On a national and global scale, these are scary times—and it might get even scarier down the line. It’s times like these that thought leaders, like Simon Sinek, can help remind us how to move past the fear. I bring up Sinek because recently he went against the typical narrative and stated that we are not in unprecedented times.
There has always been change—in fact, change is the only constant. What we’re experiencing right now is just more change. Think about how far technology has come in 20 years. Right now, we’re struggling to adjust because change has happened in the blink of an eye, and we’ve all been forced to adapt.
Similarly, after the events of 9/11, this nation was changed in a single day. What’s more—we’ve seen economic crashes before. We’ve had recessions and housing crises, we’ve had a depression. This isn’t the first crisis, and it won’t be the last. Yet we’ve also had economic booms, and thriving economies.
Times are scary, but they’re not unprecedented. We’ve faced similar challenges, and we’ve overcome them. And I believe that we’ll come out of this time even stronger than before.
One of my mentors, Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach, put together a “Scary Times” Success Manual that has been of tremendous support to me personally. In fact, I refer to it on a weekly basis so that I’m always focused on the right things. And I’m sharing some of the core principles with you today in the hopes that it provides you some comfort.
10 Steps to Success in Scary Times
- Forget Yourself
Rather than focusing on yourself, shift your thoughts toward others. Especially when scared.
In times like this, we instinctually shift into survival mode. We’re so focused inward, thinking about whether or not we’re going to make it, that we’re operating from a place of scarcity.
When you find yourself in that place, shift gears and think about what you can do for others. This is operating from a place of abundance. Your support needn’t even be monetary—think of all the ways in which you can provide value to others, no matter how simple. Just showing up for the people you love is a positive shift when you’re in survival mode.
2. Focus on Relationships
When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s easy to focus on the commodity that you offer in your business. Rather than focusing on that aspect, think about how you can nurture your relationships. Because beyond your products, people are looking for connection. If you can focus on growing your existing relationships and fostering new ones, you’ll be far better off.
The other day, when I told someone that I appreciate them, they asked me what I meant by that. And to that I asked them to think about the concept of appreciation from an investment standpoint.
This person brought value into my life through a conversation, and I know that value will continue to appreciate because I will actively implement some of the concepts they shared with me. So through our relationship, we can create value for one another in a way that transcends the mere transactional.
3. Create Value
When we offer a service, it’s easy to get hung up on the sale. Yet I encourage you to forget about the sale, and focus on the value you provide. If you can offer genuine value to someone, and can build a relationship with them through that, one sale won’t matter. They’ll be interested in a continued relationship with you.
4. Focus on Opportunities
We’ve all lost things in the last few months, and we’re all grieving something. Rather than zooming in on the losses, now is the time to focus on the opportunities. We must travel from the past and into the future.
For most people, this is a difficult ask. And yet it must be done. Because right now there are more opportunities than you could imagine—you just have to be willing to look for them. And you can’t do that unless you’re looking forward.
5. Progress is Key
The challenges, losses, and hardships are an every-day battle. And those difficulties can either derail us, or spur us onto progress. Take each day as it comes, but never lose sight of progress. Before you know it, each small victory stacks up.
So don’t be afraid to go slowly. Any progress is better than no progress, and a year from now you’ll be proud of every step forward.
6. Focus on Today
So we’ve talked about looking to the future, but don’t look so far forward that you forget to live in the now. Just as above, it’s okay to take life one moment at a time. Look for the opportunities, but don’t plan so far forward that you forget to do the work.
Write down your goals and then break them into steps. Do what you need to do in each moment, and don’t stress out so much about life down the line. And take time to enjoy those moments too. If you’re working out, give that workout your all. When you’re reading, make sure you’re also comprehending. Allow yourself to fully commit to each thing you decide to do.
7. Let Go of Who You Were
Instead decide who you will be. We all must ask ourselves the question—“Who do I need to become so that I can come out of this situation bigger, better, and stronger?”
Then, follow through. Never let your notion of who you were keep you from evolving—we each have an immense amount of power to be the exact person we want to be. All that’s required is the knowledge that we have that power.
8. Focus on Your Response
Events will happen that we have no control over. We cannot control uncontrollable variables, and that is a hard truth to grapple with. By acknowledging that simple fact, we reclaim so much of our power.
And rather than getting bogged down in the circumstances, we must look to our responses. What can we actually do, once the event has transpired? Then take action.
9. What’s Available?
Rather than focusing on what’s missing from your life, look to what’s available. You can’t accomplish your goals with resources that don’t exist, so why worry about them? Use what is available to create more resources for yourself and others.
This kind of thinking challenges you to be resourceful. There are things you might not even know of, and never will if you keep looking to what you lack. Technology is vast, and much of it is freely accessible. That’s a good starting point. You also likely have untapped skills and unique abilities.
The companies who are successful right now are the ones who are leveraging what’s available to them. Businesses are converting in new ways, and they’re working with what seems like less. It’s all about working smarter.
We all have complaints. But complaints bog us down.
Strategic Coach has an exercise called positive focus, which asks you to focus on a few super-specific positive things in your life each day. And by doing so, even when it seems like there is nothing positive, you actually attract more positivity in your life.
Maybe, the only positive thing you can identify is the weather. But do that, and you set yourself up to see more of the little things you can appreciate. And those little things snowball into bigger and bigger positive outcomes.
I’m grateful for my health, and the ability I have to build this amazing life. I’m grateful for my spouse, my family, my friends. I’m grateful for my clients, and the opportunity to serve.
When you focus on what you have, and shift from scarcity to abundance (as these 10 steps encourage), your whole paradigm begins to shift. And even though we’re experiencing some scary changes, I hope you feel inspired to navigate these times with a little less fear.
You can listen to my new podcast, Cashflow Investing Secrets here.
Live your Freedom, Live Your Legacy, On Your Own Terms,
M.C. Laubscher is a husband, dad, podcaster & Cashflow Specialist. He helps business owners and investors create, recover, warehouse & multiply cashflow. You can learn more about exclusive cash flow strategies in M.C.’s new video series at https://www.yourownbankingsystem.com/
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