Victim or Victor?

Suddenly everything’s different.

The conferences that we used to alternately ask for and grumble about are being rescheduled. The offices in which we claimed we just couldn’t get any work done or ever find a conference room are suddenly closed to us. The wave of election/Olympic year spending that was going to make our already-anticipated year-over-year growth even better… who knows about that now.

Our inconveniences – a rescheduled gathering, mandated work-from-home time, a smaller bonus check – clearly pale in contrast with people losing their health, their businesses and sometimes their lives. But the speed with which the Corona Virus pandemic has disrupted our business and all of our routines has been a thing to behold. But it seems that many of us asking the wrong questions right now.

When is this thing going to be over? Are my deals going to cancel? When will my agencies start taking meetings again? Is that conference going to go on, rebook or cancel?

These questions are all about what may or may not happen in an uncertain future, and therefore encourage nothing but impatient anxiety. They create a Petri dish for an emotional virus of inaction and dismay. Instead, I suggest a handful of new questions that will prompt more creative and productive responses to our new shared reality:

How might I reinvest the hours of my day not spent commuting or traveling to client calls to become more valuable to my customers?

Given the current embargo on face-to-face meetings, how might we create really inventive ways to bring new intimacy and focus to client contacts using screen sharing, hangouts and other tools?

Understanding the feeling of isolation and disconnection people can feel when working from home, how might I create memorable bright spots in the days of my customers and coworkers?

How might my newly-structured days and cancelled travel plans open up new time and pathways of learning and strategy for me?

If there’s one mitigating quality to this disruption, it’s that it’s universal: your competitors are all equally affected… we’re all slowly circling the track under the same yellow flag. This particular hardship won’t define any of us. But our responses to it will. Will you see this as dismal quagmire or an altered playing field on which to find new ways to excel? Will you be one of those who curses the darkness or lights a candle? Victim or victor?

As is so often the case, the choice is yours.

To best care for our community, speakers, sponsors and staff, we’ve rescheduled next week’s Upstream Seller Forum to Monday May 4th. Be safe, stay healthy, be patient. We’ll see you soon.