THE CORONAVIRUS AND SMALL BUSINESS LAW SERIES
This blog post series provides key legal strategies, practices, and policies to help you secure your business success during the Coronavirus pandemic.
With this knowledge, you can return to what you do best – your service or product.
In the first of this series, I discussed key intellectual property practices to protect your uniqueness.
The second of this series covered personal device usage, or more commonly known as Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”) .
Today, in the third of this series, we’ll talk about emotional strength.
By becoming emotionally strong, you develop the courage and confidence to embrace the life changes of the coronavirus pandemic.
Topic #3: Emotional Strength
KEY STRATEGIES: CONQUERING THE MOTIVATIONAL TRIAD
Did you know? Nearly 50% of the US population has been officially urged to stay home? With the White House advising all Americans to practice social distancing, many not under a mandated stay at home order are still doing so. CNN’s article “These states have implemented stay-at-home orders. Here’s what that means for you” gives state-by-state details.
As an attorney for small businesses, I’m seeing first hand the impact of social distancing on my clients. Some businesses are closing their physical location and moving on-line. Other businesses are renegotiating their on-site services contracts to remote services. I’ve seen other innovative businesses quickly creating new services to meet the needs of “distance-living.”
Re-creating a business that you’ve known and loved long term, in such a short amount of time, for most people is a huge new experience. Survival instincts bring out thought patterns of confusion, rejection, fear, and doubt.
The legal “what ifs” and “how tos” add to the overwhelm. I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity these past few weeks to reduce for my clients the emotional impact created by the legal unknowns.
NPR’s article “Coronavirus Has Upended Our World. It’s OK To Grieve” provides great insights into these impactful feelings.
Ever wonder why new experiences cause such strong feelings?
It’s Called the “Motivational Triad”
The motivational triad are the three things that keep us motivated:
- Seek Pleasure
- Avoid Pain
- Be Efficient
This is how the human species has survived for centuries. This is how the human brain is wired.
The motivational triad steps in when:
- The landlord refuses to let you terminate your lease
- Your brick and mortar business suddenly needs to move online
- You realize an opportunity for a new business
In each instance, your mind and body fight to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and be efficient. Sometimes that can be quite a struggle.
You alone can overcome the motivational triad influence by building your emotional strength.
KEY EMOTIONAL STRENGTH PRACTICES: MY 30 DAYS OF DARES
As a small business owner, I’ve personally experienced the impact of the motivational triad. To thrive, I vowed to strengthen my emotional fortitude.
To do so, I challenged myself to “30 Days of Dares.”
Each day, for an entire month, I committed to try a “first”. By challenging my fears, I moved outside of my comfort zone.
I wasn’t alone. Luann Cahn’s book “I Dare Me” was my guide. In her book. Luann documented her “year-of-firsts.” If she can do this for one year, I certainly could manage 30 days!
Towards the end of the 30 days, I felt ready for the new challenge of social distancing and social isolation. At the time I had never heard or thought of these concepts. Now they’re a way of life.
The Coronavirus pandemic has closed my daughter’s school and our county has closed all non-essential businesses and urged residents to “stay at home”. Our life sure has changed. With a month of dares behind me, I am ready for the challenge. My emotional strength is supercharged.
What were my firsts? How did they make me feel? Check it out:
Inner Beauty Dares
Let’s start with a few fun dares that challenged my “inner beauty.”
One of my dares was “no mirrors the entire day.” That’s right, I covered all my mirrors for the entire day. Not knowing what I actually looked like allowed me to think of myself as how I feel (yes much younger) rather than how I actually looked! Try it, you’ll like it.
Another day, I dared myself to use “11 phrases people love to hear” 10 times. Looking for opportunities to say something kind to someone else not only made their day but my own. As I went about the day looking for opportunities to complete the dare, the love and good energy that was returned to me was heartwarming. It made me feel good to make others feel good!
Do It Alone Dares
As a small business owner, and especially now in this time of social isolation, solo actions are critical to survival. In the past, I would avoid an activity rather than do it by myself. This month was different. I went to a meditation class by myself. Solo walks became a daily habit. The biggest challenge of all: I went to a networking event all by myself! These dares empowered me and boosted my self-confidence tremendously.
Let me tell you a bit more about the networking event. From the time I woke up, I thought of every excuse not to go. My self doubt was huge. But I went. I felt so alone. When they announced it was time for networking, my mind ran for the door. I decided to stay for just a bit. A first participant stopped me and introduced herself. We talked for awhile. Then I spoke to another and another. By the end, I had given out business cards, and met some interesting business owners. This dare “paid for itself.”
Grow My Business Dares
Every day brings new opportunities as a small business owner. My month of dares was no different. I sent my first broadcast email to my subscribers. For the first time ever, I met with a client and suggested new legal work they should hire me to do. Several times I had business lunches with previously total strangers. When my bank was merged, I transferred my bank accounts to the new bank. The greatest dare of all: I “fired” a client.
Let’s talk about that last one. Many “dares” require the strength to overcome fear. This was definitely one such dare. I’ve been working and focusing solely on getting more clients. Disengaging a client took courage. Why did I do it? I decided the negativity outweighed the benefit of working with the client. Personally, I prefer positive, trustworthy clients. How about you?
“I Think I Can” Dares
I’m always challenged when things break around the house. I lack the confidence to fix them myself. One of my dare days, that all changed. My fence gate broke and was just blowing in the wind. I looked online and it seemed the best way to fix was by glueing the screws in. Oh wait, I do have glue. I glued the screws back in. Such a simple accomplishment gave me such confidence!
Another day, I finally had the courage to update my computer’s operating system. Sounds simple? My thought before was “what if I do and lose everything?” When my computer crashed, my thought changed to “what if I don’t and I lose everything?” I updated it with the help of the support line and everything’s working great!
How about daring yourself to a 30 day dare? I dared myself to every day do as many sit-ups as that day of the month. That’s right Day 1 = 1 sit up. By Day 30 = 30 sit ups. End of story: I did also complete this dare – a month of sit ups!
The Universe Dared Me
Not all my dares were self-inflicted. It seemed the Universe was right there with me – providing some unique challenges.
One morning, I woke up to a nearly flat tire. Now what do I do? Uber? Neighbor? I decided to put air in at a local gas station. First time ever. It worked! I took my daughter to school successfully. Afterwards, the tire repair shop removed the nail in the tire. Another day and another dare done.
One day’s dare hit me like a cold slap in the face. Literally. I stepped into a freezing shower. I had forgotten to turn on the hot water. Usually I would have hopped back out. Well it’s a month of dares – why not do it? So I took a cold shower. Seems simple but actually quite uncomfortable. I was very proud of myself when I finally stepped out, shivering a bit but proud.
Go Somewhere Different Dares
Sometimes a dare is as simple as going somewhere new. One day I dropped off “sharps” from my daily prescription injections at the public health facility. For a first, I met with my new SCORE mentor at the SCORE offices. Another day I went to a Cybersecurity workshop. I drove routes I had never taken. Each time, before the journey, I was nervous. After I had gained just that much more self-confidence.
My 30 day journey reinforced my emotional strength. It was intensive training, preparing me for the new challenges and opportunities every day of this coronavirus pandemic.
It’s your turn now.
As Luann Cahn says “Dare to Do the NEW & Move Courageously Toward Change”
Do you need help with the legal unknowns your business is facing due to the coronavirus? If you’re a Florida Business, I can help. Contact me here.