Emma Barry, internationally known consultant, author, boutique industry expert pundit, and speaker recently talked to BFS Co-founder Julian Barnes about the importance of mindset as a business owner in the suddenly uncertain world of Covid-19 and global unrest, and how to stay motivated amidst all the bad news in the world.
First, Emma suggests, while it might be counterintuitive, think about some of the universal positive outcomes from Covid-19:
- Health and lifestyle as concepts are enormous and relevant and everyone is incredibly aware of them right now – they will continue to grow!
- This is a complete reset for the entire world (for its inhabitants and the environment) – this type of shift hasn’t even happened in wars – Covid-19 has truly and indelibly impacted the entire world.
Based on all of that, according to Emma, we’ve been forced into an innovation accelerator – which is uncomfortable for us humans, since most of us are conditioned to the status quo. But we’ve quickly learned that health is vitally important, we collectively need to start doing things differently, and we will settle into a hybrid life that goes back to live and in-person to some degree (we are human, after all) but digitally enhanced, because that type of interaction is here to stay.
The other bottom line? The human spirit always prevails.
Be in a mental state that is resourceful, and be able to see things in a different way, she advises. Some people see challenges, and some people see opportunities; Emma Barry is decidedly in the latter camp.
She acknowledges it’s difficult when you’re in the throes of stress over your business or the daily challenges of life during a global pandemic (and other crises), so she offers tactics for openly shifting to a growth mindset:
Guard your thoughts and guard the messages that you let in because they inform your mindset and define how you see the world. You can only manage your own energy and with whom and what you interact.
If change and changing the way you think and do things is the foundation, start by managing the behaviors that feed into the whole mechanism. For example, be extremely careful about what goes into your mind first thing in the morning. Emma only checks the news twice a day – otherwise the constant bad news reflects in her mindset.
Doing something, anything, that helps others gives you stores of positive energy. Emma explains that she has given up judgment of herself and simply gives how she knows how to give.
Connect (If you’re stuck, reach out to five people you like, love, or admire); Act (what can you do given the skillset or tribe you have that helps someone or otherwise moves you forward or helps you learn something?); Laugh; Move (every day and especially outside – it helps you shift stuck energy).
Emma Barry also understands that mindset – even a positive one – needs to be balanced with reality, especially in a time of crisis.
We don’t like not knowing, be it an answer in the moment or a long-term outcome.
But: according to Emma, we must find how we can control the controllables and be okay with the unknown at the same time.
First, assess the absolute reality, on all counts: financial, emotional, and mental. She advises about 50% of her clients to let go of their businesses and 50% to hang on and dig in. Because, Emma says, you have to have both the heart and stomach for getting through this time and thriving on the other end.
Your path to profitability HAS to be in place. You have to have multiple scenarios mapped out during Covid (different revenue streams, whether they be sustained and how they look over different periods of time, and whether you should make major changes like closing your brick and mortar location, etc.)
You also have to take your members with you: be utterly transparent with your clients and members every week. The only way forward is being honest and authentic with the limited resources and information you have access to.
And that, Emma says, tracks directly back to your WHY: why do you exist, who is the community you serve, and how are you going to do that? You, and only you, know the answer.
Shifting Your Mindset for a New Era with Emma Barry
Join BFS and Industry Badass, Emma Barry, for 30 minutes of lightening fire inspiration and advice on how to shift/reset your mindset to continue to survive these unbearably difficult times.