One of the most common questions I have received from friends and family in the wake of the covid-19 (aka 'coronavirus') outbreak has been:
"Will your company survive?"
Whilst there is certainly something to be said for the amount of cash a business has remaining in the bank to support payment of employees, products and services, I find myself nevertheless perplexed by the sheer amount of negativity being peddled by the press and social media.
There seems to be some common understanding that these kinds of disasters are decisive in their impact, with little to no chance of recovery in the foreseeable future. The initial shock can certainly be jarring, but after a short period of adaptation one should be ready and hungry to innovate and chase new horizons.
The outbreak has already shown us the possibilities of remote working, "this meeting could have been an email" culture and the importance of diversifying one's revenue streams. Why not seek further opportunity during what will undoubtedly be a quiet period for the vast majority of businesses worldwide?
Having the space to breathe and the time to think means that we are able to think more creatively about ways in which we as business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, employees or people can reach new heights.
Without the operational madness of dealing with active customers, updating timesheets or managing employees, we should instead hone in on exploring new partnership opportunities, creating new lines of revenue, identifying key hires and planning for the future.
There is, after all, nothing more exciting than imagining what the next few years could look like for a business.
It equally applies to personal development as it does to business development. Whilst we may be working from home, we no longer suffer the anxiety of "not leaving until your boss leaves" or being drowned with requests from neighbouring colleagues. This leaves our mind free to wander, leaving us open to learning new skills or pursuing hobbies.
A theory which I avidly subscribe to is that of 'cognitive load'. The core idea being that the human brain can only take so much stimulant in a single sitting before it eventually loses interest, switches off and begins thinking about other things.
It is often the case whilst at work, or indeed whilst not at work, that we are so overwhelmed by the day-to-day minutiae that we don't have the mental capacity to consider the bigger picture. This stunts creativity, mutes freedom of thinking and ultimately limits our potential to innovate.
This is why, in times of global crisis, we should try to refocus our attention on the things that really matter in life whether that be your family, your personal development, your business or indeed anything which holds importance in your life.
You must take this period of turmoil as an opportunity to grow, rather than an opportunity to stagnate.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity" - Albert Einstein