As a business coach, I am really focused on helping clients plan for the future. And at this moment in time, that’s a very challenging thing to do, because we do not know, one month, two months, three months, how things will look from now.
Six months, a year, we just have no idea. These are completely unprecedented times, very unique, and none of us have answers. We can all take our best guess, but nobody knows obviously, what the future holds.
The Buddhist Concept of Impermanence
One of the teachings that keeps coming back to me is a Buddhist teaching of impermanence, and focusing on the fact that everything is impermanent, right?
The good things are impermanent, the bad things are impermanent. This too shall pass, that message. And while this seems so big and so ominous right now, what I keep remembering is this is impermanent. We will get through this. And for us, as business owners, I think the hardest part about that is we just don’t necessarily know what to do with our business.
We don’t know how to keep making money, necessarily. Some businesses are doing fine right now, some are obviously not. But if you’re in a business that… You know, you’re okay for the moment, we don’t know what will happen, right? As the economy continues to go down, will people stop buying my services and products? So, we can go into the future and get very worried. And that doesn’t really do us a whole lot of good.
Now, having said that, it’s not bad to plan and to have some strategies, but these are kind of the things we’ve been thinking about.
Keep moving forward in the face of uncertainty
How am I gonna survive for the next 90 days, financially?
Do I have money coming in?
Do I have cash flow?
Do I have a line of credit?
Do I have a loan?
Do I have a partner that can support me if my business isn’t able to pay me?
All those things we need to pay attention to, and we need to have a plan around. So, if you don’t have a plan for that, definitely start thinking about it.
So, as we’re doing that piece, the other piece that we have to realize is that yes, pretty much everything I created and planned up until now, it probably needs to be redone. I probably need to rethink things because this is a whole different time. And the feelings that come up with this, the thoughts that come up with this, the fear that can stop us from taking action we need to take, can be very dangerous at this point.
If there’s something we need to do, like, I need to go apply for a line of credit, or I need to get on the SBA website and apply for the disaster fund. But our fear, for whatever reason stopping us, that can be a problem.
So, we have to have a way and have to know how to work through that stuff. To acknowledge that we’re feeling it, don’t deny it, but let it go, move through it, and then make choices that are gonna move my business forward, and my life forward. It’s bigger than business at this point, it’s just life.
This too shall pass
So, the impermanent part of it is what I think we forget about, and we get stuck in this mindset that this is dreadful, and horrible, and my life is so different now, and everything is ending, and all that. To where we don’t see that this is not gonna last.
It feels like it will be like this forever, but nothing is. The breath isn’t, you know, we inhale, we exhale, it’s always changing. The weather changes. Yesterday, it was cloudy, today is beautiful. Everything changes. And just coming back to that belief, that philosophy, that this too shall pass, this is impermanent, I will get through this, is a good first step.
Figuring out what is it you need to do, for the next 90 days, to survive in your business, financially… What does that look like? How much money do you need coming in? Do you have to let people go at this point?
Making all those hard decisions is really important. And then, doing all of that with clarity, and not overloaded from the emotions of it.
If I can acknowledge how I’m feeling, and know how I’m feeling, and honor that, but clear it out before I make a decision, so that I’m not making an emotional decision, or a decision based in emotion, mostly, or fear, mostly. Those decisions will be much healthier, and much better for where I wanna go. And especially in this moment where everything is impermanent, every day there’s more information, so I can’t make a decision right now for super long term that will make any sense.
We just don’t know, we have no idea what will happen.
Live in the present moment
So, how do I make decisions and choose to do things focused on this moment? Keeping my head down. What can I do in this moment? What do I have control over? Most of this stuff, I have no control over. And if I keep trying to force that, right, and try to control everything, I just get more and more frustrated.
So, what do I have control over in this moment, for my life, for my family, for my business? What can I do? And then, how to take those steps? All of that’s very important. When I start getting spun up and worried about what could happen, I release that and I come back to my breath, and I feel whatever I’m feeling in my body, fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, and I let it go and I recognize this moment is impermanent, the next moment will be different. And so, I just need to make a choice that will move me forward now.
Join my community
I hope you’ll join my group, it’s called SHiFT your SH!T. And the reason I called it that is because most of us make decisions and move through this world being driven by old thoughts and old beliefs that we think are going to get us to some certain place, and normally, they do not.
So, think about joining my group, SHiFT Your SH!T. This is a place that I’m hoping business owners can come to work on. Not only business skills, but the emotional side of running a business, which I don’t think we acknowledge enough. And what happens is, because we don’t acknowledge it, we don’t use our intuition to really make better choices and to grow in a way.
We need the data, we need the facts, all that good stuff, but a lot of times we just make a knee-jerk reaction. So, SHiFT Your SH!T is about helping you learn how not to do that. How to make decisions out of clarity, not out of fear. But there’s some things we have to do to get to that place first, to get to that clarity place.
So, join my group. We’ll connect. We’ll share lots of great ideas, and it will be fun too.