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In March 2020, our business was changed forever. The industry that we eat, sleep and breathe was put on an indefinite pause while a virus spread quickly through the world.
A pandemic hit.
No one could have predicted it, and no one could have seen it coming. An event that will go down in history as the time when the world stood still. The headlines in the Wall Street Journal on March 14, 2020, read “The Virus That Upended the Business World”. The articles described the devastation at that time and that was only the beginning of what was to come.
…Broadway goes dark, $100 MILLION in estimated lost ticket revenue
…SXSW cancelled, $355.9 MILLION unrealized economic hit in Austin
…NBA season suspended, $972 MILLION in last year’s revenue that may not happen…”
By March 16th, I had a plan.
There are a few situations where leaders are supposed to make quick decisions or hard decisions. A crisis is one of them. See the real test of leadership does not occur when everything is smooth sailing. Rather, leadership is oftentimes tested during a crisis. The way a company behaves and acts during a crisis will establish their credentials as a good one or a poor one when the crisis is over.
Below are some tips on how our team not only survived but thrived over the last 11 months:
Keep a Positive Attitude
Now I am sure if another person tells you to “just stay positive” you might scream but during this uncertain time adapting an “entrepreneurial mindset” will keep you moving forward. You see entrepreneurs view the world differently (you know us “dreamers”) and in the midst of a crisis, true leaders focus on what they can do, not what they cannot. By creating a positive attitude and encouraging your team creates a radical openness to new ideas, new approaches, and new ways of operating. As management guru Peter Drucker (and many others have) said,
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
At Hype, we immediately looked at the team we had and created what we called the “Task Force” – our team was made up of talented and skilled team members that could take on many roles. During the last year, it isn’t about staying within your job description- it’s about overflowing that cup and making the necessary contributions to keep the business running efficiently.
Define Your Core Values
This is something that needs to be set BEFORE a crisis hits, so if you are reading this and do not have your core values defined, now is the time. See our CORE VALUES were our North Star. When we were feeling lost, unmotivated, and unsure- we remembered who we are and that allowed us to keep moving, keep innovating, and planning for the future.
Find Outside Help
Fighting for your business sometimes means asking for help. In the COVID-era, there have been a number of resources available for businesses to get the funding they needed to stay open. Equally important is having a relationship with a bank and being financially sound before a crisis strikes. Do everything right now and when (not if) the next crisis hits, you are prepared.
Cope with Problems and Be Ready to Learn
This has been a year of learning. Everybody’s life is being disrupted. Some more unfairly than others. The news cycle is not necessarily calming people down. In your online and social media presence, spread a message of optimism, about getting through this as a community and be a support group for your team. We meet every day to kick off our day, plan our tasks, and listen to each other.
Happy to share more about what has worked and what hasn’t in the last year. I’m of the belief system that’s there’s a lot more we can all gain by working together and sharing ideas.