Embracing Entrepreneurship In The Pandemic
COVID-19 and mega-successful entrepreneurship may seem odd appearing in the same sentence.
We’ve witnessed the world lose thousands of startups, established businesses, and what’s worse–thousands of lives. Amidst current crashes in the economy as well as our psyches, it’s not exactly the best time to be plotting our next business endeavor, right?
At least that’s according to the world’s most well-known and well-loved Belarusian-American entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk.
Be Like A Fish
Affectionately known as ‘Gary Vee’, this scrappy millionaire has seen that multiple Fortune 100 companies haven’t just survived the toughest times but thrived in them too.
‘So, Gary, you got any sage advice for budding entrepreneurs suffering in the pandemic?’, we asked.
This is what he told us:
‘Be like a fish.’
‘No, listen. Being an entrepreneur is like being a fish. And now, you’ve got some water to swim in. This pandemic is the water! This, out of any other time is OUR time. This is what you signed up for as a real entrepreneur – to navigate a world where you have to react to different, unforeseen realities on a daily basis.’
Gary had a good point.
But what, we wondered, was the secret sauce behind thriving in uncertain times and keeping our heads above water?
Forget Your ABCs, Learn These GAPs…
What he told us next was even stranger than the fish thing.
‘How I’ve thrived in the pandemic is simple’, said Gary.
‘There are only three things you could possibly need to save you from going under, entrepreneur or not…just mind the gap. I made an acronym. That’s G.A.P. It stands for Gratitude, Accountability and Perspective.’
1. G. – Gratitude
Going beyond the buzz, this powerful little word can have a surprisingly life-changing effect on those who dare to use it. Especially entrepreneurs.
In order for us to build a business, or anything at all for that matter, we’re always invited to take a look at what we already have. If you want to construct a house, focussing on what bricks you’ve already got is a lot more conducive to weeping in the corner and lamenting the fact that you don’t have the kitchen sink yet.
An awareness of what is already done, what is already owned and what we’ve got to work with is the foundation of all success. What’s more, according to The Greater Good Magazine – Science-Based Insights For A Meaningful Life, studies are increasingly showing a strong correlation between gratitude and less stress, less sick days and increased productivity too. Good news for entrepreneurs, then.
2. A. – Accountability
Accountability? For you? Surely in a global pandemic the last thing we need is unwarranted guilt and/or responsibility…
But before you close this tab, hear Gary out.
‘Accountability is tricky because people confuse it with stress – there’s almost an instant lack of compassion…but I don’t see it that way. I view accountability as what can I control.’
Gary went on to explain that during a crisis, our natural reaction is to blame someone or something else for our suffering. People blame the government. Others blame their bosses, spouses and their cultures. Nobody wants to be the bad guy.
But embracing accountability isn’t about taking on unwarranted guilt – it’s a lot more empowering than that. It’s about asking ourselves, ‘Okay, this is the situation…but what am I going to do about it?’
After doing some inner inquiry, listen up for the answers that come from within. It’s from this very same question that multi-million-dollar businesses were born–not to mention the ideas that will surely save the planet one day.
3. P. – Perspective
Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
The truth is, it’s bang in the middle. The rest is your perspective.
As the founder of Mindvalley Vishen Lakhiani would say, you bend reality with your perception, beliefs and general mindset. So what’s it going to be?
Sure, nobody can deny that COVID-19 has taken our breath away in more ways than one. It’s tragic that so many people have lost their lives, and it’s been really tough on small businesses. But Gary offered us a different, very, very interesting angle to consider.
‘You can decide to look at all the bad, you know, and go look at the COVID-19 death rates every day. But then again you could also start looking into the data around deaths caused by collisions on the highways of the world…then you can start getting into scary debates about whether more people’s lives were saved during the pandemic. It’s ALL perspective.’
A controversial argument no doubt.
‘Also, think of World War II. Think of the Black Plague. Really bad things have happened before. And they’ve passed. So in the meantime, get some perspective and keep going.’
And guess what? All this perspective will lead you right back to the beginning of your GAPs; gratitude. You’ve got it better than you think. And if you take some accountability, your contribution to the world could help save it.
Yes, you, entrepreneur, could be part of the solution for the biggest conundrums in human history.
You Were Born For Greatness
Be like a fish and learn your GAPs…and you’ll be good to go.
‘And remember this. Have faith when things are challenging, difficult and unstable…because that is exactly when entrepreneurs do well.’