Running on, running on empty
Running on, running blind
Running on, running into the sun
But I'm running behind
From the song Running On Empty by Jackson Browne
As we come to the end of 2021, there are many people who are in a worse position than they were at the beginning of 2020. This year there have been continuing natural disasters and death of loved ones, plus many people are at a loss because of the pandemic.
The faith we had in those that we formerly believed would have our best interests at heart, the politicians, bureaucrats and “health experts” has continued to erode. There is also much angst on the behaviour of traditional media and whether they are actually reporting the real world or that of their advertisers. The outcome of such loss of faith has led to a divided nation, protests in the streets and many people having strong feelings against those we believe are in the wrong.
Furthermore, for those people with their eyes wide open to the risks ahead, they believe the world is in for many more problems in the coming years. In particular, even if vaccines are proven to be successful, these vaccines do not mitigate the damage done in other ways to the communities of the world.
Despite the gloom and uncertainty for many people, there have been wonderful success stories for some as they have been able to forge new business models and opportunities. We have also seen a number of governments trying their best to support people, both in the short and long term, to survive the worst of the effects of the pandemic.
Let us also not forget the wonderful work of charities, neighbours and others who have continued with their best to support those in need. Truly, many of these organisations and people who have supported those in need have been magnificent.
Notwithstanding the few bright spots within the economy and the green shoots of business optimism, many negative effects are yet to fully manifest themselves. One of these concerns is that once the euphoria of the increased spending leading up to Christmas has subsided, will businesses still be able to survive in 2022.
After two years of pandemic induced trauma many people are still running on empty and devoid of hope that the future looks any better. The recent discovery of the new COVID variant, Coronavirus, has not helped allay these feelings of negativity. Many people continue to refuse to travel interstate as a consequence.
I make no claims to being an expert on how to deal with those people who are now running on empty and seeing little hope of a better future. As a businessperson who has survived OK despite everything, I too have had my moments of self-doubt and feeling less than sure about what to do next to grow my business.
Therefore, I can only advise what I have done or will continue to do to try and succeed in the future as I attempt to turn my feelings around to be more positive. Here are a few suggestions which may help you.
1 First; be kind to yourself and know it is okay to admit that you have some thoughts of negativity and acknowledge that you are not perfect and are allowed to have self-doubts from time to time. The secret is to allow time to work through these periods, being careful not to dwell for too long, otherwise you may exacerbate your problems.
2 If after allowing a short time to find a way out of your self-doubt and if still unable to manage, please seek HELP and talk to a friend, or an appropriate professional specialising in emotional or financial matters.
3 There are many sources where you can put forward your thoughts for consideration on a general basis. In many of these situations, confidentiality means your concerns do not become general knowledge or you not have to put your business into some form of insolvency administration.
4 It also helps to know you are not alone and there are many people worse off than you. Take the time to review your own situation and understand if things are really as bad as you think they are. At times, this acknowledgement is an assistance in helping you move forward to be more positive about your own situation.
5 There are other strategies to help businesspeople retain a sense of positiveness, or at least to take their thoughts away from negativity at this time. Many of these strategies cost little money and are positive initiatives to grow and rebuild your business. The main point is that these initiatives assist you to break the cycle of doom and gloom and negativity.
(a) Rebuild your business’s database or records. Too often, we forget to maintain or keep our data and records in an up-to-date state. One of the worst ways to lose money is to raise invoices or supply goods and services based on outdated information.
(b) TELEPHONE and have a chat with your suppliers to find out how they are going and whether they have any new products or services. These contacts may also lead you to find new products and services to improve your business opportunities and to sell more.
(c) TELEPHONE – not EMAIL your customers, and find out how they are going without the pressure of specifically seeking another sale.
An additional benefit of these actions allows you to verify (i) whether the ownership and key personnel have changed and/or (ii) if their situation has changed and offer assistance as appropriate if required.
You may also make another sale because of this contact and interest in their affairs.
6 Your work environment may be untidy or perhaps you can cull obsolete products and services. Taking the time to clean up your work environment to make it look more professional, takes your mind away from other issues.
7 Take the time to get away from the business and refresh your mind and outlook over Christmas and the New Year period. A few days away from the business is a great way to reinvigorate yourself by looking at the world with a different mindset.
You may also find the answers to those issues which been worrying you. It is amazing how when you are free from normal concerns, many answers come to you. In addition, a short break also allows you to review what is important in your life, or to find new business ideas.
In summary, the last two years have been really difficult for most people. As a result, many businesspeople may be running on empty emotionally, financially, or just worried about their businesses, or their jobs, or saving their homes etc.
I make no claims as to being an expert in how people may overcome all these problems. As a businessperson who has had his own ups and downs during these last two years, I have put forward a few suggestions which may help you because they have helped me.
At the end of the day however, if you still have problems which you cannot overcome, please seek appropriate professional help. It is amazing how often just talking through your problems with a trusted friend or professional can help.