Have you been in a situation where the whole world seems to have abandoned you? Have you wondered why every effort you put into achieving anything seems to be futile? Have you been in such a predicament that you don’t know where to turn? I bet for one reason or the other you have been faced with such a crisis. That is the moment you should remember the old saying “there is a silver lining in every cloud”.
That is the situation I found myself in when circumstances and the universe conspired to put a heavy financial burden on me. There was nothing I did to improve my situation that seemed to be working. Rather, the crisis simply compounded. The covid-19 pandemic did not help matters either. So I turned to a few friends to seek their “wise counsel”; some said I should pray and others said it is just a passing phase.
But prayer alone doesn’t solve problems. I couldn’t also sit down doing nothing and hoping that this phase would pass. Then I sought guidance from a few people who have been in similar situations gotten out with great opportunities. I got some 12 sound pieces of advice from them, and I share them here for you. They may also be beneficial to you.
1. Accept Your Situation
One thing that kept coming up in my interactions was “accept your situation”. This was probably because they noticed that I kept on questioning whether I was dreaming. Why me? One person said if I accepted my situation and adapted to the challenges, I might just find an opportunity disguised in these struggles.
To you my friend, I tell you what I was told, you need to accept your situation. Stop questioning yourself. After all, if not you, who should it be? But accepting your crisis situation doesn’t mean you surrender to fate. Accept that your predicament is a call to action. It is a call to take positive steps towards greater opportunities.
2. Outline Your Problem
I was asked if I knew what my problems were and if I had written them down. At first, I thought I knew my problems, but when I attempted to write them down I got stuck. I realized that writing down my problems logically was more difficult than I thought. I even thought I did not have any problems after all. But as I reflected on this task, and began putting the pieces together, the picture became clearer. I saw my problems more clearly and perceived how I could take advantage of them. Then I remembered the saying that a problem well defined is a problem half solved. So, my friend, I advise you to clearly define your problems.
3. Identify The Causes of Your Problems
Now that you have identified your problems, it is time to find out their causes. There may be several things that are apparently the causes of your predicaments. But a careful look will reveal that one or two are the real causes. If these are tackled, the rest of them will naturally be resolved. When I tried this step, I made the mistake that many people make. I listed ‘who’ I thought were the cause. But identifying the causes of your crisis is not about the ‘who’ as it is about the ‘what’. When you solve the ‘what’, the ‘who’ will become irrelevant.
By clearly defining the ‘what’ causes of your challenges rather than the ‘who’ causes, you clearly set the pathway for possible solutions. The key here is to get it right, else you stand the risk of compounding your problems if you address the wrong causes.
4. Modify Your Mindset
Very often in a crisis situation, you tend to stop thinking, and you maintain one viewpoint of life. You forget that there is not only one way out. You need to change your mindset if you hope to turn your crisis into an opportunity. Changing your mindset doesn’t mean you abandon your past experiences, but rather you use those experiences to redirect your thoughts. This will help you to broaden your horizon.
5. Broaden Your Horizon
It is time to widen your scope of thoughts, broaden your horizon and think long-term if you are to come out of your situation victorious. By broadening your horizon you see the numerous opportunities out there. It affords you the opportunity to evaluate many options in order to come out with the best solution. This is what I learned from the sages.
6. Be Open to New Ideas
I discovered that it is important to be open to learning new things. Being open to new things is a sure bet to finding new prospects. I was particularly advised to search the internet for ideas. I did, and I was surprised at the wealth of knowledge and opportunity available there. I also went back to read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It is such a great and inspiring book.
7. Remain Focused
Your challenges can easily let you lose focus on your plans. It is not easy to remain focused, more so in times of crisis. Yet it is during this time that you are called upon to remain focused on the bigger picture. I was reminded of the story of the deaf frog that climbed the pole in spite of all odds and negative comments from bystanders. The morale of the story is that, if you are deaf to naysayers and remain focused on your goal, you will surely succeed.
8. Have a Clear Vision
I was asked what my vision was, and whether I had written it down. A vision is critical because it guides your plans and helps you to set your goals and objectives. It is not only the corporate world that requires a vision. Individuals like you and I also need to have clearly defined visions. When you have a clearly defined vision, you will be inspired by it to give off your best in turning your crisis around.
9. Innovation is Key to Success
I was reminded that innovation is key to the survival of everyone, corporate or individual. One must continually innovate to survive and stay relevant. This statement is even more important in times of crisis. When there is a change in your circumstances, the change must lead to innovation which in turn, should result in growth.
Prior to the covid-19 pandemic, many organizations were reluctant in conducting their businesses online. Now, zoom meetings, google meet, and many other online meeting platforms have become the norm. Some organizations have even reported that these platforms have brought efficiency to their operations. A lot of work is now being done from home, and schools have moved most of their teaching and learning online. According to UNCTAD “As lockdowns became the new normal, businesses and consumers increasingly “went digital”, providing and purchasing more goods and services online, raising e-commerce’s share of global retail trade from 14% in 2019 to about 17% in 2020”.
10. Have Self Belief
You need to believe in yourself that you can overcome the challenges that you are facing. Coming to the realization that you, and only you, are the master of your own situation, is the beginning of your success. President Barak Obama’s mantra of “Yes We Can!’’ is the epitome of self-belief. There is so much power in believing in your own ability to dig yourself out of the pit. But self-belief alone is not enough and does not mean the challenges will suddenly disappear. You need to harness your willpower to take action and move quickly from crisis to opportunity. It uses your predicament as a Launchpad for greater opportunity and success. So, just as I was advised, I urge you to trust in your own ability to rise up to the occasion.
11. Challenge The Status Quo
“Just accept your predicament as part of life and move on. There is nothing you can do about it. It has taken only miracles for people who have been in your situation to get out of the mess. God’s time is the best”. I am sure you have heard these statements over and over and over again. They are true, right? You are tempted to believe them, aren’t you? I actually made some of those statements too.
But I was told to rethink the possibilities. Merely because others could not do it does not mean I too could not. That reenergized me to ask myself if I had exhausted all options available to turning my crisis into a golden opportunity. I realized that I did not challenge the status quo enough. So you, my friend, challenge the status quo. Ask yourself these questions:
- Why did previous people fail?
- Did they prioritize their ideas and thoughts?
- Did they have people urging them on?
- Were they afraid to go it alone?
- Were they anxious or fretty, and did they persevere?
- Were they willing to try something new?
12. Leave Your Comfort Zone
We are so used to our comfort zones that we do not want to step out. We become limited in our thinking about the vast opportunities outside our comfort zones. But I recall one speaker at a seminar I attended saying that when we leave our comfort zones into the unknown, we soon realize that we have just created a new comfort zone. By so doing, we are expanding our comfort zone. So don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone. My friend, do not wait to leave your comfort zone tomorrow. Leave right now! History has favored people who have taken advantage of crises to move out of their comfort zone. In the midst of crisis, they implemented strategies that brought them tremendous success. Hence, I call on you to also leave your comfort zone and explore new, perhaps unconventional, ways of doing things to turn your predicament into an opportunity for success.
What Opportunities Exist?
I have realized that irrespective of who you are when a crisis hits, it can be daunting. The tendency may be to fold your arms and lament. But, every crisis situation represents a new beginning that offers an opportunity to start afresh. The saying that when one door is closed, another is opened represents the opportunities that crisis put at your doorsteps. One of my friends said to me, “When the door is closed and there is no other door, use the window, but if there is no window, create your own door”.
Besides the health challenges, the covid-19 pandemic has brought untold hardship to many people around the globe. A lot of people have lost their jobs and livelihood, and many more are in unfulfilling jobs just to survive. Some are contemplating starting a business. But starting a business can be very challenging, more so during this pandemic which has caused a serious global economic recession.
Nevertheless, it is important to reflect on the opportunities presented by this pandemic and the recession to help you out of your predicament and live a life of financial freedom. The question then is how do you move from the current crisis to opportunity? As I stated earlier, many more people are going online for their purchases of goods and services. So there the opportunity lies. You can start an online business, and there are several of them that don’t require a ton of money to start. Never mind if you are not tech-savvy, you can do it. The Six Figure Mentors are a great source of learning How to Launch Recession Proof Income Streams from Scratch.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ll see you there.