Hi, it’s Annie! I’m glad you’re reading this blog on how to “Survive and Thrive after a Traumatic Business Event” since they are, unfortunately, super common right now. With the economy turning down, inflation is up, and it seems like one thing after another. It’s a turbulent time, but you can survive it.
Change & Turmoil
We’ve lived with all sorts of changes after covid, and we’re trying to get back to normal life and business. Meanwhile, the U.S. and the world have ongoing political turmoil and many natural disasters. It’s been tough!
And businesses are definitely feeling it as they go through these hard times. For some, it’s difficult enough to call a traumatic event. Revenue has been down over the last couple years, and now it has turned down more. Businesses have had a myriad of things happening in their external environments, from the loss of big clients, to trying to come to grips with the “great resignation.” Finding the right people to hire is not a challenge that is over. It’s hard for businesses to cope.
As well, quite a few companies are struggling with management and team members trying to find common ground for return to office, but they're not finding it. This, in itself, causes dissension in the workplace, causing more people to leave. It's a difficult transition.
If you are currently experiencing a traumatic business event, here’s how I think of it. It’s kind of like the external environment is on fire, and the flaming fire is right at your back. Obviously, it isn’t business as usual, you have to do something totally different to survive. Reality is, there's not that many good options. It is a traumatic event!
What worked yesterday is not working today.
Okay, so when there's not a lot of good options, you and your business have to make a drastic change, and usually it's an alarming change. You must leave business as you know it. What worked yesterday is not working today.
Right now, visualize your business sitting securely on a bank, alongside a river, and you are suddenly aware that a fire is taking it (and you) over—hot flames threaten your survival. You have no choice but to take the risk and jump into the river’s cold, white water rapids. To survive, you must ride the rapids.
If you're a rafter, these are class five rapids! They're a big deal, but the thing is, you leave the trauma of the fire behind, even though it’s no leisurely cruise on the water! You realize as you jump into the uncertainty of white water rapids, things may be a scary, different kind of awful for a while. You know it, but you have no choice. You weigh the decision, and are realistic about what to expect while getting downriver. With courage, you survive.
Survival is first and foremost.
It is super traumatic to accomplish. The rapids choose your destination, you don’t. Your thoughts are I just want to survive this.
- Focus on recovery and reorganization.
- Recognize you are physically okay. Make self-care a priority.
- Appreciate you and your team are growing together as self-leaders as you refocus your plan.
- Expect it to look different as you seek new opportunities and open new doors.
- Continue to develop your people and market your business.
- Commit to your vision and purpose.
Appreciate how the time spent in the rapids transforms you.
Courageously face the challenges ahead. The goal is to not only survive, but to recover. Now is the time to consciously choose and learn. Right now in your business, what’s the first thing that comes to mind that needs to be done differently? Blaze a new trail, and do business like you’ve never done it before. It is an adventure with new personal growth that results in business potential.
To recover, the idea of taking a new approach to business, doing business differently, takes renewed dedication and endurance. Take a fresh look! New opportunities are available. Look for them. You have to scramble, and you also have to learn to be okay with some things not going well. The payoff when you survive this (and you will), is that you will be a person with a different perspective, increased commitment, fresh knowledge, and some amazing discoveries.
If your business is experiencing the trauma of this time, you don't have a lot of other choices, right? You may have already been stretched beyond what you knew could do, to something you never dreamt you would do. The gift of this, you ask? Seriously, you’ll see, like the quote, “what doesn't kill you does make you stronger.” You’re a better person for it. Very true!
Surviving events that challenge your business have a huge payoff.
You are going to be a different person with different skills, different knowledge, and different experiences.
Appreciate your renewed strength and an eye that spots new opportunities. It is a journey that will show you things you wouldn't have seen before, doing things you wouldn’t have taken on before. When you and your team survive this together, you’re stronger and more confident, and willing to take risks. Innovation and possibility at its best!
Don’t expect to bounce back to the same business you had—do expect important discoveries that lead to recovery!
I get it. I know it’s scary to flee from the fire, and then try to survive the rapids. It’s hard not being able to predict where your business will land. Trust you are okay no matter what, and maintain the confidence in your business vision as you move forward. Even though it is likely to be different than expected—it just may be way better than expected, too!
I want you to take this to heart: even though these economic times are hard and unpredictable, it will be worth it to ride the big rapids. For now, you’re still riding the rapids, so think outside the box; make well thought out decisions, and do the self-care needed to keep up the endurance. Keep going!
Facts tell us, there’s nowhere else to go, traumatic business events happen, so each of us can either choose to stay or go—my hope is that you stay along for the ride. Endure the stretching and pain, and utilize and support your team. The “people part” of this challenging time builds extraordinary reliance and genuine teamwork—and long-lasting business trust.
You want to survive and thrive!
We’re available to you. If you have questions… maybe about where you can start to do things differently to move towards recovery. Schedule a call with us. We’ve got experience riding the rapids!