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How to Prepare and Create Opportunities During Disruption

We are in the middle of a huge disruption. Our lives have changed. Our businesses have changed. Our outlooks have changed. Our times have changed! Everything is different.

But know that disruption does create the context for growth and change. It is where big pivots and significant opportunities happen. So, I want you to be prepared for that – and one of the ways you do it is to try to keep a positive mindset. That is incredibly important right now.

Why a Positive Mindset is Important

First of all, a positive mindset is essential because it supports your nervous system. When your nervous system is healthy and calm, it supports immunity, and we know that immunity is the most important thing right now.

One of the things you can do to encourage positivity is to stop worrying about money. We don’t know how long this will last, what’s going to happen, or what’s going to go on. It is my feeling that when people are cooped up in their houses for weeks at a time with their spouses and children, they’re going to get unhappy with a lot of things. They’re going to want to change it and want to do something about it – and we’re right in the middle of that.

I think the outlook and the outcome for us are actually pretty good. However, we need to be prepared in order to do so. So let’s get rid of worrying about money and support ourselves. The way I do that, in my business, is to sit down and look at what the next 60 days look like.

I’m not saying that in 60 days, this will be over, or that 60 days is the right way to do a financial plan. But this is about mindset. I know that you can – without your accountant – look at your income and expenses over the next 60 days and get a clear picture of what’s happening. You can determine whether you’re going to have a shortfall. What is going to happen, and how much would it be? Or, is it even there at all? Sometimes people worry about stuff that doesn’t even exist!

Developing Your 60-Day Outlook

I want you to take a 60-day look at what you have on the books. What jobs are sitting there? What will be billable over the next 60 days? What could you finish and get billed? What could you start and bill a chunk of?

There’s a whole lot of things that we can be doing right now. This is a great time to do all of the preliminary design stuff. I mean, if you’ve got some things on the books, it’s terrific – because it’s quiet! I know my creativity is up because of it.

So, look at the income. See what you have over the next two months, know how much it is, and then look at your expenses. Now obviously, you want to trim costs a little and get them into a little armful that’s easier to manage. But when you’re looking at what to keep and what to get rid of, think of that in terms of what depreciates and what adds value.

It doesn’t make much sense to buy a car right now, right? But on the other hand, an expense that would appreciate is something like education. For example, learning new software, coaching, administrative help, or marketing. All of those pieces that can help build your business are great things to invest in right now.

That way, you come out on the other end of this in an excellent position. You can pivot to take advantage of the situation or shift into something different or in a different way. Any number of things can come out of this. And if you look at it that way and preserve that part of your business, you’re going to come out pretty well.

What to Do After You Finish Your 60-Day Outlook

Once you get that part figured out, write it down. One piece of paper will do. Nothing fancy. If you’ve got a shortfall, when does it happen? Knowing this helps you prepare for it so that it doesn’t come up and bite you from behind. You want to know ahead of time, and then you want to make a plan for how you’re going to handle it. In fact, do it now.

If you need to, consolidate some credit cards, or do a zero-interest credit card — and please don’t judge me for mentioning this. I don’t want to push credit cards, but there are times when they can be a good financial tool. Use your best judgment on that.

You also want to apply for government loans, unemployment, and any SBA assistance you qualify for. Make sure those resources are in your bailiwick, and then it’s taken care of. Once you have that figured out, you’ve done all the steps you can do. Then, it’s time to put it away. Put it in a drawer and put it away. Because you’ve done everything, and you know exactly what it is!

Now I am not saying to put it away forever. Take it out weekly, look at it, and say, “This is what’s come in. This is what got added. This is what we’ve paid.” Make adjustments to each week, so you know what’s going on. You’ll have some forward thought as to where you’re going to be next month and the months after that, so there’s no panic anymore. You know what’s going to happen, and you can shift yourself to new business.

Is This a Good Time for New Business?

This might not seem like the best time to create new business. However, it’s happening, and it’s really interesting that it’s happening at a fairly strong rate! And it’s mainly centered around designers who are communicating clearly with their past clients and their entire community.

They’re out there connecting and being helpful, taking care of people, and offering to help. It’s happening in terms of business that needs to be done right now and business that comes in like “You know what? I’m unhappy with this part, and I’d like you to put this on your list so that when this over, you can help me.”

I call that a design-business savings account, which is what you want to collect. And you can figure out a dollar amount for it. You can estimate what that could be and what it means to you in terms of profit. That’s how you can see where you’re going and where you’re going to land on the other side of this.

My reassurance is that there’s a whole lot of that happening. When you do it from a positive place of abundance, you attract that. But, when you’re worried about money, worried about what’s coming up, and you’re running from a place of scarcity, that’s what comes through in your marketing, and it doesn’t work. You want to try to have an abundance mindset and create something incredible on the other side, remembering that disruption is the context for growth and change. So, it is going to happen.

Additional Resources to Support You

I want you to know that we’ve got lots of free resources for you. I did an hour and a half training last week Your NEW 2020 Plan for Success, it’s posted on my blog.

Please sit down and listen to it if you haven’t already. It’ll give you a whole bunch of steps that you can do right now that’s going to move you forward. It’s crucial during these times.

The response to it was huge, so I’ve decided to do an open Q&A call once a week on Thursdays at 9:00 am Arizona time.

IDBA Design Community Q&A Call

You can access the call here at the scheduled time along with an invitation that will come out to you as well, so you can just jump on the call.

We’re going to talk about what’s happening right now in terms of all the online resources being used for virtual presentations, both in the high-tech trick stuff that people can do and some low-tech stuff that’s making home runs. So, the call and information I’ll share are absolutely for everybody.

Be sure to join us on the call here on Thursday, and I would love to see you soon. Design something beautiful, get paid what you’re worth, and be well.

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