It’s Up To Us (To Plan Ahead)

It’s Up To Us (To Plan Ahead)

The other day, as I was preparing to head out to the KVR trail for a stress-relieving hike, I saw a neighbour fiddling with something under the hood of her car. I asked if she needed any help, but she was almost finished what she was doing. She closed the hood, cleaned off her headlights, then turned to me and said, “I fixed it! I fixed my car myself, without the help of a man!” Then with a grin and with a spring in her step, she headed back to her condo.

This is not about male/female roles but about the excitement we feel as we tackle new skills or go back to using some that got replaced with whatever others we chose to pursue for our careers. Because of separation from others whom we normally turn to for specialized work, or a reduced income making us favour DIY jobs, or putting in extra hours with our businesses because we had to lay off some staff, it becomes necessary to perform tasks we might otherwise have handed out to someone else.

The concept of following your passion and focusing on your unique abilities while delegating the rest were and might still be skewed right now because of the social distancing edicts from our government’s system. We can wait for the danger to subside and a vaccine to be developed and distributed so we can get back to normal, or we can do something now to create an even brighter future than the past.

More Than Mere Survival

I think Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck has a good answer when he writes in a recent MFM e-newsletter, “…I think the most important mindset for each of us, individually, is to make sure we come out the other side better off in some way”.

This pandemic, then, becomes an opportunity for a personal paradigm shift and for the business and personal development that will ensue. For building character through perseverance, gratitude and compassion. For expanding our knowledge of the world and the people and ideas in it. When you Google “free online courses” it seems that every university and business school in North America is offering free online courses, so cost is not a legitimate objection for those wanting to continue their education.

Even without perfect knowledge of what the “new normal” will be or how soon it will be achieved generally, each of us as entrepreneurs can still put a revised strategic plan in writing with our core values in mind. From there, it becomes clearer what steps to take, what skills and resources to develop, and what contingency plans to put in place.

In the case of the exceptional business that has found a way to thrive by providing much-needed supplies for the pandemic itself, the challenges will be more about what happens to that rush of business when things calm down and the demand for their products can be filled with stock-piled items already purchased.

Simply going back to the way things were is not a viable option. So, it’s up to us to carve out a new normal. Looking back from the future at the documentaries showing a miraculous recovery after the pandemic will be a thrill we’ll want to share with our grandchildren.


Original article published in my Entrepreneurial Adventure column the Penticton Herald April 22, 2020. This is an edited version for this publication.

© 2020 Mary Lou Gutscher, Success Mentor