Mr. Rogers famously shared his mother’s advice to him when he was afraid: “Look for the helpers”.
I tend to isolate when I’m afraid or feel out of control. In this space, I’m unable to see who is right there, ready to offer me assistance and have historically viewed receiving help as a weakness. I have learned to listen and hear the need of the giver to give. From the challenges of 2008, I know no one ever really does anything alone, and in the context of today’s Covid-19 crisis, those helpers might be a friend who has connections and can give me a heads up when Small Business Loans are being offered, my accounting company who is offering webinars, friends in the industry…
Communicate with specificity. Vagueness gets vague results. This is the big one. When you get past the fear and get a clear list of what resources you have and what you need, people can help you. I never asked my landlord to help me in 2008. I never even revealed I was having difficulty. This time is different: I have a plan and I will reach out to my landlord (asking, for example, to amortize the coming month’s rent into the life of the lease so I can stay in business), and to my creditors and any other bill collectors, to ask for some relief. I know now that not only is this ok, but it’s the experienced business woman in me asking, not the fearful or isolated woman. Somehow, that gives me the confidence and courage to act with purpose.
When I need to, I adjust my attitude. I do it as often as needed, anytime I slip into a disempowering space. It can be easy to get stuck inside of “this should not be.” Any time spent in this space is in effect a blame game, and, to be honest, a total waste of resources.
Instead, Work with what is. This is where you are powerful and can shape results. Stay in the place of clarity and creation. If you stay in a negative, woe-is-me headspace, you won’t see or hear the opportunities and the help around you from this space.
Hardship is real, it happens…and most importantly, it does not define you, or your business. Be responsible for the energy you are generating and sharing. Be the supportive space, the grounded space, the place where people know they are safe.
Leaders are defined in the face of challenges.