Coronavirus: Tough times need tough entrepreneurs
The business has surely been slow since the last few quarters and with the coronavirus pandemic rapidly upending processes around the world, the last month has reached a new low. With the deadly COVID-19 in the air, there looms a huge cloud of uncertainty and darkness. As an entrepreneur one needs to try to reflect on the circumstances and understand what can be done differently to tide over this crisis.
Tough times call for tough entrepreneurs and here is what you need to do in this hour of crisis as businesses across the world grapple with the fallout from the pandemic:
Keep your word
In tough times when there is little value of things around, your word is the most valuable thing. It is easy to make an excuse and deny or delay commitments, but when you honour them you don’t just win trust you win the person.
It is important you never break the trust of your team, customers or vendors in such times. And if you cannot keep your word because for some reason things didn’t go as per plan, make sure you communicate. And do not forget to make up for it later. In these times the true guide of life is to do what is fair.
A story of building from scratch is always inspirational, but how you can survive the tough times with grit is what can inspire many more. In tough situations, it is your grit that is the differential factor. Because true grit is rewriting your story when you are being written off as then your comeback will be more impactful than how you started off.
It is said battles are not won alone, but they also don’t end until the last man is standing. In the end, when it's over and when you look into the mirror, it will reflect the result that you achieved with your grit.
Take the risk
When the going is tough many shy away from taking the risk. A pessimist always sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. It is an opportunity when there is less competition around.
At times like these, you need to choose between going ahead and doing the unusual or just settling for less and being ordinary. You need to exit the herd mentality and its comfort zone and be uncomfortable for a while.
You never can tell when bad luck may turn into good luck. But also, once you have reached stability, there is no point being carried away and it may prove prudent to be cautious and safe to sustain yourself to the level you have achieved then. So, it is important to know when to stand back and when to move forward in such times.
Inaction hurts more
In building a business in rough times, you find yourself in many tough situations where too much time and money is wasted before realising what is broken, and how it can be fixed. It isn’t important to be right all the time, but it is important how quickly you can right your wrong when you see it.
Often, in bad times, the business is stuck between the difficult choice of letting go or changing the path. More often than not entrepreneurs who are in self-denial mode tend to stick around with a broken model even when they know it isn’t going anywhere because it is difficult to put their hands up and say that this isn’t working.
Sometimes, letting go can be the bravest thing you can do and sometimes pivoting your business model can save it. Statistically, bad decisions are only the second biggest reason for failure; the first is indecisiveness.
Failure is part of the game
If you have never failed, you have never been tested, and then you haven't seen your best yet. A setback is only an opportunity for you to come back stronger. And at the time of failure it's not your fans, but the critics that will help you keep moving ahead. You might get written off by your critics, but in times like these, you need to need to be the rock you always sought and be the strongest when you feel weakest.
Ultimately, when the process of building the business gives you a bigger high than the success of it, you realise that the goal is not getting to success but to always keep going, without losing enthusiasm.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)