Taking the next step

No matter what the crisis or disaster we know it will pass. We know there will come a time when life begins to settle down again even if it does not feel like that now.

In the middle of a crisis life feels unpredictable and it is hard to imagine what the ‘new normal’ might look like.

It is hard to move beyond the bad news that surrounds us.

However, faced with a choice of doing nothing and waiting to react to whatever happens or being proactive and working to design my own future, I know which choice I am taking! Reacting to the actions of others is close to being a victim.

It is like saying to myself, ‘I can’t do anything, I have no power, I am not responsible for my future’ and then the danger is that we waste energy looking for someone or something to blame. While we have not caused this crisis, we do have a choice about how we react now.

In this new series of articles, I am focusing on moving forward, beyond Covid 19.

I will present a seven-stage approach as follows:

Firstly, we need to get past the past. We need to overcome whatever it is that is stopping us moving forward. We need to build on the best and get rid of the rest.

Then we will look at how we create new horizons. Reset our vision and the direction we are travelling in.

Knowing where we are heading is empowering and exciting even when the going is tough.

Having created new horizons, we need to be prepared for new adventures. We need to have the skills and attitudes necessary to take us into the unknown. For some, Covid 19 will have taken its toll and we will have to rebuild ready for the new adventures.

Our next step will be to clarify our new beginnings – how are we going to set off on these new adventures. What will be our first steps? What preparations will we need to make before we begin? Who do we want with us?

Being the best we can be should be our guiding motto for any new journey. This will be the focus of article 6.

Finally, any memorable journey will also be an enjoyable one! If we do not enjoy it, we will never be able to give it our all.

Before we embark on this journey, take the opportunity to clear the decks and prepare for a new future. Now is the time to get rid of all that rubbish that has been cluttering up the workshop or office for years; now is the time to learn how to make better use of your phone or computer; now is the time to get help to see what can be done better and more efficiently in the future; now is the time to look at your financial management practices.

You might need to prepare yourself personally. Lose some weight; learn some new skills; revitalise key relationships with business partners, staff, customers and suppliers; clean up your act.

Grasping the opportunities post Covid 19 are going to require everyone to be fit and healthy, in body, mind and spirit, and to be working in an environment that encourages creative thinking and enthusiasm.

The space might be very simple – a small office or shed or garden – but make sure it is a nice space to be and feels welcoming to you, your staff and your customers.

An old, broken, smelly toilet or somewhere full of rubbish and unused equipment or a parking area full of water-filled potholes does not make anyone feel welcome!

Clutter and rubbish get in the way. It is hard to think clearly and creatively when surrounded by boxes and paper that you haven’t looked at for years!! Remove anything from walls, doors, windows and noticeboards that is old, out of date, torn or faded.

Perhaps a coat of paint is needed or some repairs to furniture and fittings or giving the kitchen a good clean.

If you still have staff, get them involved too and have fun working together as a team.

Remember you do not have to have it all figured out to move forward – just take the next step.

Next week – getting past the past and overcoming whatever it is that might be stopping us moving ahead.

Please contact me if you have an interesting story to tell and are happy for it to be told.

Breadfruit Consulting (www.breadfruitconsulting.com) is a Vanuatu-based business providing advice, training, coaching, and mentoring to businesses throughout the Pacific islands. Breadfruit specialises in ‘business continuity planning and action’, helping businesses to survive in a crisis. As a registered Business Advice Service Provider with the Business Link Pacific programme Breadfruit Consulting can offer eligible businesses up 100% fee subsidy. Contact chris@breadfruitconsulting.com or hazel@breadfruitconsulting.com

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