“COVID-19”, “Pandemic”, “Social Distancing”… If there exists a term to describe the current situation, it would be: 危机 (“weiji”).
“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.” ― John F. Kennedy
The sudden transition into a work from home culture as a result of the pandemic has caused an unprecedented shift in work, play as well as social interaction. Economically, no one is spared from this crisis. In fact, most governments are dipping into their reserves, offering billions in economic injections. However, as the late President Kennedy has rightly suggested, there is great opportunity to be discovered in the midst of this crisis.
This current upheaval has progressed at such an alarming rate that to survive and thrive, we’re pushed to transform challenges into opportunities for growth. How can you as a business owner find golden nuggets of opportunity in crisis like this?
The key concept I want to share with you today, is a lesson on flipping your focus. You’ve probably heard of this phrase many times, “Change your perspective and you change your life.” Truly, changing your perspective on any crisis or challenge can be one of your defining moments to breaking through the old ways of doing business and embracing innovative methods.
“Change your perspective
and you change your life”
Take action on the opportunity and capitalize on the challenge/crisis
Let me give you a relatable example of a personal friend, who transformed a traditional business that relied on physical interactions, into one that can weather through these tough times, possibly emerging from it a more robust and successful business. This friend of mine is actually already extremely successful in her full-time job within the medical field. While helping her dad’s pork stall in a wet market on an ad hoc basis, she struck upon the idea of bringing the pork business online last year. She wondered to herself, “Wow, wouldn’t it be perfect if I can make the sale of pork accessible to all Singaporeans via online means – through the click of a button or chat messaging.”
Pushed by the pandemic, she acted on her idea and took the business online. After registering for an LLC, she started expanding her family’s pork business via word-of-mouth and has since then, created a channel for people to buy pork online, all from the comfort of their homes. Her revamped business model has transformed Singaporeans’ wet market purchasing habits; with home deliveries, many families can now shop wet market goods and have them delivered right to their doorstep.
Had she not have the courage or confidence to upscale and transform her family’s pork business and adapt to the current crisis, that business could very well be one of those that don’t emerge from this storm we are in. If fact, her business has become so successful that she has plans to quit her day job by month’s end and devote her energy into this powerful transformation. It is truly amazing how just a shift in perspective within a crisis can shed light on amazing opportunities.
Here’s one of my favorite piece of advice to give you about life and business.
“While you can’t change your external circumstances, you have the power to change your life through adjusting your perspective”
Let me encourage you to take courage today! No matter how small or how ridiculous an idea, work to develop it. Have faith in it. Some of the largest tech companies today were born in basements and garages. So, go out and test your ideas. Seek advice from the professionals in the field. Find loopholes within your plan and test it again. And when you are confident, push turn it from a plan into pragmatic action.
Sure, we may face seemingly insurmountable challenges, but that is the nature of earth-shattering change. Pioneers of change often go through the most uncertainty, BUT also reap the greatest reward. Do this, and u will surely find you and your business, in a better place than ever before.