The streets of Lagos are now up and running for the most part, thanks to the ease of the lockdown that head held sway for over 3 weeks. Though it’s a far cry from a complete return to normal, certain businesses can now make a guarded, slow return to the market place, gradually building back momentum from where it was left off, or veering off in new lights and direction, going by how every business has had to make necessary changes.
Many still grapple with the effects of crippled activities and business slow-downs during this pandemic season. We are surviving a down turn, many are grappling with feelings of despair that yet linger.
However the beauty of life is that it is always correcting itself. Curves flatten eventually, and the waves and tides ride out to become calm strokes. Yet, theneed for preparedness cannot be overemphasized for eventualities. We need to prepare better for downturns as we come out of this one. We need to know that at any time, something out of our control can (and will) happen. Our companies and employees need to know we expected this and that we will guide them through the storm.
Here are some mantras to life by and retain your sense of humanity while you’re at it:
1. “Give to live. Live to give.” In times of depression or bad markets, if you keep finding ways to help others and give, scientists say, your brain will release endorphins. From this you will get a “helper’s high,” or as I call it, you simply build good karma within your organization. It’s hard to replace this — and, as long as you don’t expect anything in return, there is no better feeling.
2. Exercise. This, too, helps release endorphins to positive effect, helping to ease stress and anxiety. Lifting weights or running clears the mind so you can see the opportunities in front of yoybetter. Plus, seeing the visible results of exercise can build confidence.
3. Have a cash reserve. Make sure you start building a cash reserve in case the market turns. To keep your money working for you, there are some safe vehicles that work a little better than a savings account. Steady real estate holdings can give much better returns, especially when working with advisors.
4. Creative sales. Think differently about how to engage your clients. Find new ways to reach new partners who may be good for your company. Have your sales team showcase their creativity to do more — and think outside the box. This usually leads to more personal interactions with your sales team and your clients, resulting in more business once you pull through the downturn.
5. Look for the happiness in each day. You must be a positive source of motivation for your team. You are the leader. They look to you for normalcy, guidance, steadiness and safety. Do not give them any reason for their feelings to waver or you will lose your top people. A downturn is a prime time for other companies to poach and kill. Don’t let them.
Life is funny in that we always seem to forget that we truly are in control. A downturn just means you have different opportunities you need to exploit and explore. You need to be sure to keep running in with wide eyes and an open heart. If you do this and stand by your community, you will prevail.