This week, LinkedIn published a piece from their Workforce Confidence Index sharing that freelancers "reported lower confidence in their financial stability than the unemployed." As if we're not all inundated with enough bad news, there's no need to state the obvious. Most of us are shaken and concerned right now as nearly any business is affected by the pandemic. Even more interesting were the comments on the article from freelancers and entrepreneurs sharing their view of this crisis as an opportunity.
For freelancers, entrepreneurs and digital agencies, COVID-19 might be presenting more opportunities than expected.
The Opportunity to Let Go of Fear...Again
For any business owners, freelancers, independent contractors or entrepreneurs, you are already used to being comfortably uncomfortable. Growing a business comes with its own set of fears - uncertainty, failure, financial insecurity. In order to strike out on your own, you already had to set that aside and adjust. Whatever practices you did to move past those fears, whether they were mental or physical exercises, prayer or working second jobs, you can still lean on those to get through this fearful time too.
The Opportunity to See Things Differently
One of the commenters on the LinkedIn post stated, "Scared people stay scared. Confident people stay confident." If you can relate to this, especially as a scared person, now is a perfect time to see things differently. Reach out to colleagues who are handling things better than you may be. Connect through online video chats or ask them to recommend authors or podcasts to you. Begin incorporating positive messages and practices to become one of the confident people. It'll make you a stronger business owner than you were before.
The Opportunity to Be Prepared
Okay, maybe you didn't consider a global crisis in your business plan but guess what, now you will. If there's anything that COVID-19 has shown us, it's that none of us were prepared but some have pivoted to survive. From startups switching gears to manufacturers creating parts for ventilators, companies are adapting in response to an atypical crisis. This challenge may reveal new opportunities or the dire importance of a rainy day fund - perhaps something you've considered but shrugged off. Now is your time to pivot, connect, reframe and use your imagination to not only survive this crisis, but thrive because of it.
The Opportunity to Use What You've Got
So many businesses struggled when the lockdowns occurred across the country and they had to adjust to a remote workforce. Most freelancers and digital agencies were already fairly comfortable with this work environment and adjusted quickly. This is just one example of the ability to tap into the skills and resources you likely already have.
Here are other examples from the comments of the LinkedIn article:
- Monetize your intellectual property and/or create a subscription model
- Use your inventory raw materials to create necessary and relevant new products
- Reach out to a new and unexplored community of potential buyers of your services
- Adjust to market opportunities that you hadn't considered before
- Reinforce relationships with new and existing clients
- Consider diversifying streams of income and stick with it after things return to normal
- Create new virtual partnerships and connections with other organizations
- Rethink and optimize your business to be more efficient than before
No one can tell you exactly what to do to get past the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on your income. It truly is an opportunity, if you choose to shake it off and adapt. If you own a business, you already know what that's like. Keep it going.
Use this time to get your business organized!
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