I was talking to a friend of mine about roller coasters the other day.
She told me this interesting story about how, as a kid, she learned how to enjoy roller coasters, after HATING them for most of her childhood.
There was a big amusement park in her town, and her friends always wanted to go there. Not wanting to tell them about her roller coaster fear, she’d go with them and just grin and bear it on every ride.
For each roller coaster they rode, she’d white-knuckle the safety bar, feel her whole body clench, and hang on tight until the ride was over. Needless to say, it wasn’t fun at all.
Finally her senior year of high school, her class went to Cedar Point the day after prom. There’d been some typical teenage drama that had occurred the night before, and she and her best friend couldn’t stop talking about it.
It consumed their conversation as they waited in line for the largest roller coaster at the park. They continued to blab away while in their seats, as their car click-click-click-clicked it’s way up the ride’s steepest, scariest hill.
And then, right at the hill’s crest, my friend realized they were about to go down. Ack—she wasn’t ready! She hadn’t white-knuckled the safety bar, her whole body hadn’t been clenched, and she hadn’t been praying for the ride to be over.
Thoroughly unprepared, all she could do was give in to the ride. Because her mind hadn’t been seized by its usual panic and because her body was mostly relaxed, careening down that steep, scary hill felt shockingly FUN.
My friend said she realized right then that the reason roller coasters had been so terrible was because she’d been resisting every twist and turn. She was expecting the worst. But the minute she relaxed and let the ride take her, the experience was infinitely better.
This story got me thinking about our experiences as business owners during this “ride” of COVID-19. I think we can all agree that in many ways, it’s been quite a roller coaster.
It’s left a lot of us confused about what to do in our businesses, wondering if we’re going down the right track and if we need to revamp the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year.
All of this uncertainty can create a groundswell for overwhelm and fear. It can cause us to stick our heads in the sand and do nothing, or restructure e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g because we feel like we need to do something drastic to protect or reposition ourselves.
But the best thing we can do, though, is relax.
We need to take a deep breath, stay calm, and remain committed to the vision we’ve held for our business all along.
Yes, we may need to adapt or change our short-term goals.. We may need to rethink our offers or our services to make them more appealing to our target market or better focused on what our customers need right now.
But the last thing we should do is panic, be overly reactionary, or resist every twist and turn this crisis throws at us because we’re wrapped up in fear.
In a fear-based state, overwhelm takes over and makes it nearly impossible to make smart decisions that will serve our businesses now or in the future. We become reactive and that can actually produce more work with little ROI.
Remaining calm, however, is the best thing you can do for your business. From a grounded and focused place, you’re able to make well-thought-out decisions that will help you adapt in the short-term without throwing you off track of your long-term goals.The “ride” of COVID-19 has been quite a roller coaster, but remaining calm is the best thing you can do for your business. From a grounded and focused place, you’re able to make well-thought-out decisions that will help you adapt. Find out more: Click To Tweet
When you stay calm and accept the uncertainty of what we’re all living through right now, you’ll be better able to see the path you need to take, as well as the new opportunities that may only exist because of this crisis.
Just like my friend learned, it’s only when we relax and embrace the ride that the experience has the chance to become better. Who knows, your business may become even stronger at the end of this wild, uncertain ride we all find ourselves on!
If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that we ALL are unique and different in our own ways—ways that can dramatically impact our businesses. My hope is that you’ll use our personal branding tools to uncover what those unique factors are for you, and—like Kiki—have the gusto to let them shine.
About The Author
Rachel Gogos is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for people, the web, and creating strong personal brands. She started her career at the United Nations headquarters in New York city, where she helped create the look and feel for the organization’s first website. Today, in her current role running brandiD, Rachel channels over 15 years of marketing and communications experience into each and every website for brandiD’s clients. Find out more!