Embracing Change

Most business people have seen more change in the past 18 months than in the entire history of their companies. They also admit they don’t know when – or if – things will return to “normal” or if THIS is the “new normal.”

One of my close friends closed her business this week after 10 years.  Other friends are unemployed or have been forced to move to being self-employed after the companies where they worked – often for decades – closed their doors.

In my personal life, I’m experiencing a bit of change.  The youngest of my stepsons is moving into his 1st apartment on Monday.  My only niece moved to Dallas to start college this week.  One of my friends who runs Vision House, a transitional housing facility for homeless families posted Facebook photos of her son’s college dorm room with wistful comments about the change this represents in their lives.  Even my housekeeper is feeling the emotional effects of the changes in our household!

Whether the changes you are experiencing are business or personal, they are still unsettling. Just reading all of this likely caused you some anxiety.  Not one to wring my hands for long I find myself asking, so, what can we do about it?

Be proactive – embrace the change.  Sure, easier said than done, but try  at least.  Activity, productive tasks, can lessen the sense of being out of control.

Simple things, going shopping for new apartment furnishings with my stepson helped quell my anxiety over the move.  Stripping and washing the bed linens so they will be fresh when they get to the new apartment seems to have helped my housekeeper feel like she’s helping rather than waving from the curb.

Your team members, family members and friends likely would like to help you with your changes as well. Do you have inventory you need to move?  Rally your employees and support network to look for ways to turn these items into cash even if that is using eBay or Craigslist.  Take this opportunity to clean out and stream line.  If you have too much space, is there someone else you know who would like to use the space and help contribute to costs?

When what you have done before is no longer working, it’s time to think outside the box – get creative – try something different.

Are there unemployed teens who can distribute flyers in the neighborhoods around your business or attract customers with signs and balloons along the road?    Are you using social media effectively?  Need help?  Ask a young person in your circle and let them feel valued.  If they do a good job, give them a reference for the work they have done on your “special project” to help them in their employment search.

Like all of you – I don’t know when – or if things will ever go back to the way they were.  But what I do know is that change is a natural part of life and that learning to embrace it is the surest way to not only survive – but thrive!

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