BY- Jon Michail
If you believe in personal freedom, innovation and creativity, then entrepreneurship may be for you.
First came the global pandemic, confining us all to our homes in panic. Then came the economic slowdown, as entire industries found themselves wiped out overnight. Next comes the restart, where well-prepared business leaders, owners and entrepreneurs will leap ahead and take advantage of the buyer’s market. But not all have the right mindset to take advantage of this once-in-a-century chance and recognize that the most significant opportunity for an entrepreneur is right now.
Why Mindset Matters
The COVID-19 crisis has hit the world hard. Many companies have had to furlough staff. People have been left confined to their homes without contact. Governments have been forced to outlay billions to stabilize the economy. We would not blame the casual reader if they thought this situation seemed dark and hopeless.
Even with a glass-half-full approach, it can be tough to remain optimistic. You might have heard that right now is a good time to invest, or to start a business, but those calls to action seem like faint echoes in a dark cave.
That is why the right mindset is the first item you need before beginning any new endeavor. And to find it, we start with a question.
How do you take advantage of this opportunity, and what mindset do you need to thrive in this cataclysmic environment?
Grow Instead Of Manage
Adequate entrepreneurs look at the world in flux and ask themselves, “What can I do right now to manage this?” while great entrepreneurs look at the world and ask, “What can I do right now to first survive and then grow from this?” This minute yet well-grounded and subtle change of reference makes all the difference.
You need to recognize that right now is not the time to be reeling in and being on the defensive, but rather consolidating in order to strive forward on the attack. Look to invest, including in your (online and offline) marketing, rather than to shelter the storm. After all, the adage applies here: “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for.”
Don’t Follow The Crowd
It can be hard to resist the temptation to follow the crowd. An interesting study titled “The Non-Consensus Entrepreneur: Organizational Responses to Vital Events” found that entrepreneurs who don’t follow the crowd are ultimately more successful and attract new opportunities. Entering the unknown makes you more cautious and efficient with resources, ultimately breeding the behavior of success.
If you hear about a new, attractive market, be wary, as it might be a collective overstatement of the market potential. Instead of rushing to exploit it, perhaps think about what you can do to take advantage of the trend. Get rich selling pickaxes in a gold rush.
And if others are selling new get-rich courses or offering to be mentors to enter this new market, beware.
Many will whisper their “sage” advice into your ears, and colleges will be ready to take your money. Don’t fall into the trap of reading more and doing less. Take smart, massive action and learn by results rather than undergoing countless, sleepless nights of research without gaining practical experience.
Look for opportunities with new, trusted partners who are unorthodox or outside of your regular dealings. Contrarians are in high demand right now, and for extra inspiration, we only need look to your suppliers, customers, complimentors and even competitors for new, fantastical partnership opportunities.
Remember Your Fundamentals
The pure foundations of the economy are unchanged by this crisis. People still have the same wants, needs and desires (and everything else that Maslow tells us in the hierarchy of needs).
Keep in mind that the current crisis will not last forever. Various new factors will come into play (such as herd immunity, lockdown lifting or perhaps even a vaccine). From there, the foundations of our economy and society will reestablish themselves. However, that does not mean it will be back to the old normal. Millions of people will continue with ongoing hardship.
However, people need to eat, sleep, travel, be fulfilled, be entertained and have a purpose. All of this won’t go away just due to a few months of sitting around at home, although I believe that it will fundamentally change (we will get to that later).
But you don’t need to wait for this date to come to take action.
What does this mean for the brave entrepreneur? That that fundamentals of infrastructure have also been unaffected. There is currently less demand, sure, but the physical supply chains and tools of business are still present, if dormant.
Look for those industries that are “asleep at the wheel” and see if you can take the place of the driver.
Look In, Not Out
Lead with wisdom. Another massive opportunity for entrepreneurs is to look inward at their businesses instead of looking outward. Study how to make your business more productive and efficient; jettison wastefulness and cut overheads.
Take on the mantle of streamlining during this crisis and make your business lean and mean. With the right approach and when the lockdown lifts, you will be able to outpace the dinosaur competition and take back the lead in markets you may have not even considered before.
The advantages of this technique are that it is free from human or financial constraints. Any business can be made more effective, and it is upto you to find out how.
The One Big Takeaway
Many businesses will fail through no fault of theirs, and that is unfortunate.
Whatever plan of action you decide to take, remember that the time is now. There has never been a better time in recent memory for entrepreneurs to get ahead and for you to rebalance the world’s economy to your advantage.
What do you think? Even with the enormous challenges ahead, is now the best time for entrepreneurs?