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Laying out Your Mindset Before Your Actions (Social Distancing, Fear & Business)

Mar 16, 2020

There is a pandemic happening right now, and it's taken me some time to feel confident in my own opinion to write this. With so much misinformation and fear being spread, I didn't want to contribute to the chaos... Now, after a lot of discussions and research, I can tell you don't have the answers but I do have my own insight, which might inspire peace, perspective or dialogue.

Here are 10 choices I am making during this time...

#1. I am choosing to acknowledge this is bigger than me. 

I love my life, spending time in my bubble where I am the center of the universe. Nails, work, writing books and doing all the things. I even face things like depression and loneliness that have been my own personal struggles. In the midst of all of this, I really want to acknowledge that we often face things that are difficult and we can feel so isolated, but in this particular struggle, we are facing it together as humanity. As a country. It’s time to start realizing that this is so much bigger than us.

In the US we tend to think of “it’s every man for himself”, even without realizing we are thinking it. In this time though, just by reading this, I hope it inspires a shift... this is bigger than you. or me. 

#2. I am not necessarily afraid of getting this virus and death... but that doesn't mean I get to ignore it. 

This has taken me over a week to be able to formulate in my mind, and just now on paper. The initial hoarding and panic honestly irritated me. The mortality rate was higher than the cold, but not as high as Ebola... why were people overreacting? Then compassion kicked in on several levels, the first of which is that my insensitivity was uncalled for. There were deaths but there is something else that calls for action... 

#3. I am afraid of this virus hitting so many people at once that hospitals will be overrun, forced to make life and death decisions or further government intervention similar to Italy. 

I am not a scientist at all, but after reading an opinion piece from Italy (which you may not know, is on government-mandated quarantine), I started to understand a fundamental goal. As a country, we need to slow down the pace at which the virus infects people so that we don't run out hospital beds. Stop for a moment and really imagine what it would be like to have 900 beds and even just 2,000 people. The halls would be lined with infected individuals, cases would have to be triaged and ultimately lives lost because we could not be inconvenienced as a collective. I do not want to be a part of that. 

#4. I am choosing social distancing, and I hope you will too. 

Social distancing is simply avoiding crowded places and other people as much as possible to slow down the spread of the virus. You can literally carry and infect others without symptoms. Every person you hug, touch and closely interact with could also be carrying the virus. We don't know who is infected due to the long-dormant phase before symptoms show. Please look into this a little, and maybe consider holding off on the hugs. We are all going to need to be a part of the solution. 

#5. I am aware of the economic percussions this will have. 

I own a small business. My clients are small businesses. Some just signed a lease for a new space, another is 100% reliant on tourism. Before we address my business perspective, I just want to acknowledge that I am not naive, but I do have a sense of peace. I am at peace because I am not going to be going through this alone. My entire city, country, and the world will be facing the same issues and there is comfort in that. 

#6. My heart hurts because in the very short term, minimum wage service workers and parents, especially single parents, are suffering. Right now. 

My heart is incredibly heavy for those who are not able to feed their children because they counted in school lunches. Let that sink in for a moment. There are parents not able to feed their children because they rely on school lunches. I am thankful for the nonprofits that are stepping up to help in any way that they can. This is going to be a journey you guys, so maybe we can help in some way as well. 

#7. I am not choosing fear or panic. 

This is a choice I am having to keep making. It's easy to get caught up in the opinions of others or react to their actions. The reality is, we are being forced to react to the reactions of others... Toilet paper for instance. I don't want to hoard toilet paper, I wasn't worried about it, but because of people stockpiling my sister couldn't get any. That pissed me off first, and then caused me to refocus and ask "what can we do that is thoughtful, strategic and responsible, what is best for the collective and for our families."  

#8. I am acknowledging that I am blessed that my business continues, but we will all need to consider adapting to a new normal. 

Here's the thing guys, knowing that the future is unknown is a big deal. I completely reserve to change my mind on any of these things while everything continues to unfold but for now, we are all continuing forward together and start brainstorming and implementing new ways to move forward. Choosing to be virtual 5+ years ago was a game-changer for me, as was diversifying my client accounts in multiple states. Changes forces innovation. Let's choose to innovate. 

#9. I am using this time to be productive. 

I want to acknowledge a beautiful soul, Fnan, who is in Italy. We met online a couple of years ago and I love following her business growth! She recently posted about taking her time in quarantine to update her YouTube channel... I realized that her posting gave me a sense of permission to post my same thoughts. 

I had already started an in depth to-do list of things that always got pushed back and never got done... work on my own SEO, launch my podcast, work on content, etc. I was honestly worried about even saying this, that during an international crisis I was thinking about my todo list, out loud because I didn't want to be insensitive.

But, here is the thing, I realized that when we are called to lead, when we are called to share and inspire, we have to be a little uncomfortable. If you are using this time to activate your business -- money is still there to be made. There are a LOT of people who want to dig the fuck in and get things done. We can do this! I can have empathy and still do my work, which is soul-inspired. 

#10. I am also using this time to rest. 

The world has slowed down. I am practicing social distancing, which means I only leave my house if necessary, and I honestly feel good to know I am not directly contributing to the exponential spread of this disease that is affecting our entire world. All meetings are virtual, no crowded restaurants, just being safe at home. 

That's in guys... I needed to share my perspective and thoughts. This is all about the dialogue. The challenge today is to take action against something that doesn't directly affect us directly (yet), to act with empathy but also to have hope and still have excitement for what tomorrow may bring. 

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