• The Hopefulist

Coping with coronavirus - Take back control

It's a scary time in the world right now. Whether you think it's all hype or you are truly frightened, schools are closing, restaurants are closing, grocery stores are being sold out, big events are being canceled. And we don't know how long this is all going to last. I asked you yesterday what your biggest concerns are over this virus and there are many. I will talk about this all week but it seems a lot of fear comes down to money. Yes, with the state of the economy and the stock market in free fall, it's something you should be preparing for in any way you can.

If you have a job that is recession proof, you are in a good spot. If you know you will continue to bring money in then you have a lot less to fear than a lot of other people. It's a terrible time to be a small business owner. Especially with all this social distancing. What can you do to make it through this difficult time? Brainstorm everything you can possible think of to bring in more money that you had never considered before. Make what Rachel Hollis calls a soup of ideas. Write freely for about 10 minutes about anything and everything that comes to your mind on how you can bring in cash in non-traditional ways. Think outside the box. No idea is too silly. It may lead you to another, not so silly, idea. This is sometimes referred to a mind map as well. Write down on a piece of paper the main source of your income. Circle it and then come up with the things that help you get to that income. How are those things being affected now? How can you work around them? What can you do to help people while also offering your services? After you do this, hopefully you will have come up with some new, innovative ways to continue offering your product or service.

One of the biggest fears we humans have is fear of the unknown. So, I have another exercise that may help. It's not something you are going to want to do. It won't be pleasant, but it can bring a certain amount of control back in your life. Are you ready? This is what I want you to do. I want you to consider the worst case scenario during this time? I mean catastrophic. You lose your business, you are in danger of losing your house, you have no money to buy food and pay the bills (I told you it wouldn't be pleasant). Put it all out there. Consider every single thing that could go wrong, including a member of your family getting sick and what that may mean for your household. Now, what can you do to avoid this worst case scenario? What are some things you can put in place now that will protect you if things fall apart in the future? I know a lot of us live paycheck to paycheck so the loss of a job or even a diminished income can hit hard. How can you survive for a few months? Is there someone you can go to for money? Is there a way to reduce your bills drastically? Can you call the bank and explain about your mortgage to see if you can get some sort of grace period. The bank would rather hear that you want to make your payment and can't then for you to just ignore their calls.

The benefit of doing such an exercise is it gives you back a little control. First, the worst case scenario rarely happens. And if it does, you will know what to do. You will be prepared and know what steps you need to take. This is not a time to hope for the best while holding your breath. Yes, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Even if you lose your house, prepare for that possibility. How will you handle that? Where will you go? Come up with some back up plans. You have to. This is real life. It's better to know what you are up against now than to find yourself out on the street with your family and having absolutely no idea what to do next. I know this is all scary stuff...it is a scary time. Don't bury your head in the sand. Be prepared for whatever comes your way.

Get yourself ready for what is coming. Like it or not, I think this is just the beginning. Figure out how you can get yourself and your family through this. Being prepared for the worst will give you a sense of control. It help alleviate some stress. It's not necessarily something you want to think about and you will still feel stressed but it will be worse if you don't prepare yourself for what may happen.

It's Monday. Grateful Monday. It's more important to be grateful for what you have than ever before. Look for the positive. The negative is being shoved in our face constantly. Be the one who notices the daffodils on the way to work or store today. Be grateful for the sun rising. Be happy to spend some extra time with your kids. (I know, I know they are driving you crazy) But look for whatever positives you can find throughout the day. Be grateful you are healthy. It's not a time to take anything for granted. We can find the positivity right now if we look hard enough. Now, I hope you can go make today, your best day yet.

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