The Rollercoaster of Small Business Ownership During a Global Crisis.
“Rollercoaster ride of emotions” – they’re not kidding!!!
I can ‘hand on heart’ say “I’ve run the gauntlet of every feeling and emotion this last week”….and the craziest part of it all? Well, we’re only really just beginning week 2 of “lockdown’, so I imagine I’ll continue to ride this rollercoaster for the coming weeks (and months) to follow.
Now normally I’m a gal that loves a good rollercoaster -an adrenaline junkie through and through – seeking the crazy twists, turns, highs and sudden drops as the coaster throws you about….but this ride is just nauseating and terrifying
In this blog I’ve broken down the 5 emotions I’ve felt as the founder of a COVID-19 impacted business, in the hopes that you just feel … less alone
For me, mine all started with disbelief:
I remember way back, like … x8-12’ish weeks ago watching Wuhan in disbelief as an entire province ground to a shuddering halt. Disbelief that a government could pull the hand brake on so hard was almost incomprehensible.
Then in February, watching as Covid-19 starting to make its invisible journey around the world. First isolated, shocking cases, then Italy growing alarming fast into a new, epicentre
I remember early March talking to other parents, business owners and friends, and even then the disbelief was still so real – “this’ll just be a few short weeks, we’ll all work from home.
And absolutely said from a genuine state of disbelief.
Then … fear:
In hindsight? The disbelief was protecting my brain from understanding that this is something that’s going to change my business (and many businesses I work with) for a really long time.
Not just fear for myself, but fear for my family, my friends, for the many people my business employs and gives work to. I know these people; they are my ‘business buddies’ and I know they, and their families, are equally riding this awful roller-coaster.
For me, the fear has sprung from the ‘unknown’. Planning beyond 7 days is starting to feel like a ‘long term forecast’ it’s an unsettling feeling that I just want to go away, immediately.
Then there’s been the grief:
And we’re allowed to grieve.
The business I built, the time, the energy and money invested into creating something meaningful. A journey that hasn’t been without its challenges, like all startups!
I’m grieving for the clients I work with who’ve gone from achieving incredible results, to closing their doors [due to necessary restrictions], and literally overnight.
And I’m grieving for my children, who were thriving in school. My parents, who I know long to cuddle them again
And then the mental exhaustion rears its head:
Whilst the world seems to insist that I sit on my coach and watch Netflix I am working HARD – Trying to support my kids in their home schooling (a new respect for teachers!) Being at the end of a phone (or zoom call) for clients, just trying to keep things afloat so that there will be a business at the end of all of this.
Because there will be an end to all of this, and I want my business to be standing at the end of all o’ that.
Then there’s hope:
There has been beauty in amongst all this ugly, and it’s been people showing their very best sides. Someone once said (and I can’t remember where I read this) that when there’s a crisis ‘look for the helpers’ -You will always find good souls who are helping. And those people inspire me to look for ways I can make a positive difference in a small but significant way.
And finally? There’s the “entrepreneurial spirit”:
And that’s what’s going to see us out of all of this. I’ve heard of so many small business owners creatively, conscientiously adapting to their new world. Finding new ways of working, new ways of selling and surviving.