COVID-19. Crazy times, amirite?
To sound like just about everyone else, the COVID-19 epidemic has truly rocked businesses worldwide. Definitely it's scary and overwhelming to businesses who rely heavily upon brick-and-mortar operations or those who are in impacted industries (retail, services, travel, hospitality, just to name a few).
What's really interesting to me, though, is how quickly businesses have been open to pivoting to new ways of doing business. Restaurants are now offering curbside pickup for food and booze (pro tip: for those of you in Los Angeles, swing by The Bellwether in Studio City to pick up their Crispy Brussels Sprouts, anything from their Hand Made Pasta menu, and a delightfully refreshing and sneakily-intoxicating Not Your Mama's Mule -- trust me, they're game-changers). Mobile-orders for coffee shops have skyrocketed and now you pick up your drink at to-go tables at their entrances. Except for my local Starbucks which ended up temporarily shutting their doors. <heartbroken>
And there are many service-based organizations who are reevaluating their products and how they deliver their offerings in order to survive while their normal operations are impacted. The number one thing people are saying they want to do? Create paid digital content. In some cases, it's leveraging their KNOWLEDGE versus their PRODUCT. Here are some examples:
What do they have in common? A hell of a lot of subject matter expertise. People come to them because they know their stuff in their industry. And much of the time, it's 1:1 service. But now, with their primary revenue sources being affected in many different ways, the smartest companies are looking at that dusty, yet alluring, backburner project of creating some sort of digital course, training, membership site, or online experience. You know, the one that always comes up with you start thinking about new revenue streams or passive income for yourself or your business? Everyone has them.
I've seen very clearly in my business that organizations are falling into two camps:
Those who view the development of a digital business as a COST
and those who view it as an INVESTMENT.
It all comes down to mindset. Seeing the COVID-19 impact as a cost comes from fear and constricted thinking. It's scarcity mentality. The Universe has offered up a rare opportunity to pause, reconsider, and be forced to do something different (#DSD as my dear friend, recruiter to the stars and supreme matchmaker, Traci Porterfield, always says). What we do with this window is up to us.
Those who see this slow-down as a period of reflection and opportunity have been contemplating finally leaning in to the digital aspect of their business. And you know what? They're doubling down on it. They're investing their time, money, and energy into efforts that will pay off in the long-run. Not only is this smart and strategic in a growing digital world, but it actually feels good because there is movement. Having a goal, a meaningful project to work on, something new to look forward to, is super motivating!
And let me tell you, sharing your knowledge, insight, and expertise with the world in a digital format is 100% an investment. Not only can you expand your reach and impact, but it actually frees up a lot of your time so you can work on your next piece of genius. If you find yourself sharing the same information over and over again, it's time to package it up into digital format. If you have a premium offering or service, there are many ways to maintain the "white glove" experience your clients and prospects know and expect from you. It's about innovation and creative thinking. How can you do more with what you already have? How can you systematize and streamline? How you invest a little now to reap the long-term rewards later?
So I urge you... during this time of instability, fear, and uncertainty, acknowledge that's just fear talking. It doesn't have to be the boss of you. You're in control of your thoughts, which ultimately lead to decisions. Take steps now so that when it's back to "business as usual," your business is set up for even greater success than it was before COVID-19 landed on our doorsteps. There's abundance waiting on the other side.