• Susanne Birgersdotter

The world is scrambling to contain the pandemic that is currently ripping through us. Nothing is as we expected it to a few months back. And we cannot expect to go back to life as we know it.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of us – no man, no business, no country is safe from its devastation. And unlike the change that we welcome, no one saw this coming. No one knows about it, no one prepared for it. These are just some of the reasons that make it so lethal.

Change is already an integral part of being an entrepreneur. We welcome and anticipate change. We are on the lookout for it. We prepare for it. We are excited about it. In the business world, change is indeed the only thing constant. When some people shy away from any changes, we thrive in them. But then, every once in a while, we get a powerful curveball that will blow us away.

How do we deal with an unexpected, frightening, and unwelcome change?

As humans, we are inclined to reject the unknown and keep near what is familiar and comfortable. However, it is also that human nature of self-preservation that keeps us from moving forward, achieving great things, and success. Here are five steps that could help you face, manage, and overcome any unwanted changes in your life and business:

Acceptance – The first step is to face what is in front of you. Acknowledge the change. Accept that it will disrupt your plans, your projections, and life as you know it. Go over trying to deny it as something temporary or that you are resistant to its effects. Accepting changes is not always easy, take your time. Grieve for what is lost, challenge the injustice of it, cry for your lost world. Once you have gone through the process, acceptance will come easy.

Take a pause – Do not rush into making decisions or transitioning into the new normal. Remember, it is a new life altogether, and one should ready for it – emotionally, mentally, physically. During the pause, assess your emotions and how you are feeling about the turmoil. Allow yourself some time to grieve for what you have lost. Are you bitter about the changes being forced into your life? Are you afraid of the unknown? Are you ready to move on?

Assess your situation – The next step is to transition from the emotive to the objective state. Taking stock of what you have will help redirect your focus from the negative effects of a sudden change to positive energy. This stage encourages you to put on your thinking cap, tackle the numbers, and get back on the entrepreneur mindset. This is where you assess your assets, losses, obligations, and overall business position.

Explore options – Time to make new plans for you and your business, with the changes taken into consideration. After thoroughly reviewing your business position, you are now ready to respond, rather than react, to the situation. Reacting is the automatic reflex to a stimulus while responding comes with the consideration of options available and choosing the best ones. Transitioning to the new beginning brought about by the change could include both new and old practices, outlook, processes, products, and businesses. Know what you can retain and bring into the new phase and which you will need to change, forget, and replace.

Get help – You do not have to go through the change alone. Seek help and support whenever and wherever you can. Your inner circle, friends, family, and industry colleagues, and can give valuable inputs to your efforts in bouncing back from a setback. If all else is lost, then create a support system you can rely on. Get a business and developmental coach, seek new partnerships, and tap on your network to form support groups.