For me, it’s becoming more and more clear that this virus is going to be with us, without a vaccine, for at least 18 months. Our future world includes COVID-19, whether we want it to or not. It’s pretty ridiculous to think we’re all going to park it on the couch for that long, with radically reduced income. Not without going nuts anyway. A Depression could ultimately kill more of us than any out-of-control virus. This thought has me doing some homework, in the hopes I can help keep some if not all of us safe, sane and productive. With both eyes and ears wide open, start asking: where can you go next and what will you do to get yourself there?
Those who can cope, those who can adapt and adjust comfortably, are the ones who are going to not only make it, but thrive. You’ll have less competition. If you’re reading this, let the couch potatoes sit in their own fear, waiting to be told what to do. You’re not one of them.
1. Use YOUR Best Judgment
Boats are not built to stay at the dock indefinitely, and neither are you. So, shore up your boat well to leave the harbor as safely as possible. Anticipate every danger you can think of, and prepare for it.
Remember: don’t be reckless. Remember: use your head. Protect yourself and others for every possibility you can think of but keep moving forward. Maybe a COVID-19 world has created a new, undiscovered market. Maybe you can access your future goals online. Maybe now is the time to develop that idea that’s been in the back of your mind for months. I don’t know. I just know that no one has better judgment to safely navigate your ship through this unpredictable weather than you.
2. Have A Plan
Identify where you’ll be and what you want to be doing 12 months from now. When I make a plan, I like to reverse engineer it, meaning I move backwards from the goal toward the present, before I begin. But I don’t own your Right here. Only you do. Create plans that will work best for you. Creating a plan is a lot more important than how you create the plan.
3. Have Alternate Plans
Creating a second and even a third plan will keep you solid. Anticipating possible outcomes feels better than reacting to them in real time. So, think about the worst case, the best case and the most likely case while creating your plans. You’ll feel safer because you’ll be prepared.
4. Pay Attention To Your Fear
Fear is never something to ignore. It’s your essential internal alarm that you might be heading into trouble. Just make sure you know the difference between fear and allowing yourself to be frozen in time and place. If you freeze from fear and a COVID-19 world frightens you…well, you can see how that might create some issues.
5. Educate Yourself
Read some history. Who fared best during the Great Depression? Who survived the Spanish Flu? More importantly, how did those people do it? Use resources with solid credibility. Ignore the numbers and focus on percentages and comparisons. Numbers are meaningless if you have no scale to compare them to.
6. Find New Venues
If you’ve been working person-to-person with people, now is the time to elevate your knowledge by tapping into an entirely new venue. So many fields are slow to catch on. Newspapers are dying because they don’t get it. Neither do many retail chains. Like it or not, the entire world is moving online in a multitude of ways. You can sit on the couch and pout because it’s not your first choice, or you can adapt to the needs and wants of others. Ask yourself, “What is my next likely possibility?”
7. Look For Needs and Fill Them
Things will never be the same. That makes a lot of people sad. I get that. But it is possible that the future could be better, not worse. Change is a good thing. It shakes things up. Change is a great equalizer.
Smart people are going to pull out their notepad and start writing down the new needs generated by all this change. Take a moment and think. How has your life changed? What needs do you have that you didn’t have before? Get ahead of the curve. Anticipate the possible future needs of others. You will be prepared.
If you’re REALLY clever, which I, unfortunately, am not, you will think about and create things that people don’t know they want yet. That’s what Steve Jobs did. I had no idea I needed an iPhone or a tablet. None. I had no idea I needed Alexa to turn my home and office on and off, or to shape my moods with just the right music in an instant. I “read” four times the amount of books I used to because of Audible. Elon Musk is anticipating alternative planets. I could name hundreds more. Some highly creative people can actually create unknown needs and desires. Are you one of them? Think into the Future of a COVID-19 world.
A word of caution: no extremes, please. Don’t go wild on me. I feel like I have to write a disclaimer here. I’m writing to the few, to the brave, to the flexible. I’m writing to my whip-smart clients. Don’t put yourself or anyone else in danger. Don’t get yourself arrested. Just Think. Where will you be in 18 months? And how can you get there with intelligence, creativity and innovation?
While you may not have control of much, you do have more control than you realize. So, let me return to my sorry overused metaphor. Grab the helm of your life, check your charts and forecasts for rocks and weather, and get your boat pointed in the right direction. Our future world includes COVID-19 and if we just keep lashed to the dock for 18 months while we wait for a vaccine, we’re going to eventually sink. Make sure you don’t sink.
If you know of anyone, anyone at all, who could benefit from any of these tips, use the buttons below to share on Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget! to join my email list to receive updates on new posts.