There’s a lot of talk about how we should be operating our businesses amidst this “new normal” we’re living in. For some, the initial panic of how to survive COVID-19 — both personally and in business — has subsided, but honestly, some of these conversations forget that some businesses are still in the midst of survival mode.
I’ll leave the predictions and the science to the epidemiologists, but it does seem that COVID-19 and the precautions we’re taking around it might be around for a while. We have to learn how to operate our businesses and conduct our lives in this “new normal.”
Here are some things I’ve learned over the past 7ish months of running Stratos during COVID-19:
#1. Have grace – buckets of it.
Each person on our team is facing their own “new normal.” Our team spans six different states — all taking different precautions. Added to that, we each have our own personal stress we’re dealing with. Added to that, we have clients that span more states than I can keep track of — all taking different precautions and with different personal stress.
All I can say is how grateful I am for grace. Grace for the days I’m frustrated with my team and for the days they’re frustrated with me. Grace for the emails I wish I could un-send and for the emails received that didn’t land well. Grace for the miscommunication, over-communication, and under-communication that we’ve had with clients and for the mistakes we might have made.
In the end, we don’t know what anyone else is going through, especially right now. Grace is key.
#2. Keep plugging along.
We have some clients whose businesses have never done better and we have other clients struggling to make budget. While each of our clients has different needs, they all continue plugging along. Working under stress is wearying and can lead to burn out, but the only way through it is by putting one foot in front of the other — and then sometimes taking a break to rest.
I’ve seen this in my own journey. One Zoom meeting after another can be more exhausting than I ever realized. But showing up with my best each time has allowed me to serve our clients and our team in a way that I’m proud of. And trust me… I too have spent several nights decompressing in front of the Great British Baking Show.
#3. Automate as much of your marketing as you can.
This is not my pitch. It is merely advice from one business owner to another about the relief that comes with automation. Our lead generators and sales funnels are all automated. We batch social media content and schedule it out. In essence, we’re able to set it and forget it… just kidding, you should still keep an eye on it. This has allowed us to focus on our clients and on growth goals while still pulling in a steady stream of income.
For some of our clients, automating and batching content has allowed them to be present while helping their kids with school-at-home. It has meant others of our clients can be present for their loved ones who are sick. It’s meant our clients can focus on what’s important — rest, health, and business growth — rather than running on the content creation hamster wheel.
I could keep going and tell you all about the different ways I’ve stumbled through figuring out this “new normal.” And I imagine, I’ll keep on stumbling right alongside you all, but at least we’re doing it together.