Compassion is described in the dictionary as "sympathetic concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others."
Call me crazy, but the last thing anyone needs right now is to be inundated with hundreds of products or services that can't help them manage their needs with our current COVID-19 catastrophe. Of course I know that we must make money to live, but please spare me the unnecessary ads for your shoes, art, webinars, or anything else that can wait until the apocalypse has passed. Unless your uniquely designed shoes can teleport me back into the world of normalcy from earlier this year, or my purchase provides a child (or two) with a pair of shoes who really needs them... let's hold off.**Note: Books, laughter inducing videos and music are exceptions to this stance as they help transport us to another place to get our minds off of this nonsense. If you offer free downloads of any kind, you get bonus points.**
I'm sorry if this post seems insensitive to my fellow entrepreneurs, but nothing is more insensitive to me than scheduled emails from companies who make hundreds or even thousands on classes and products, as I actively scramble for creative outlets to offer youth and parents solutions to adjust financially, physically and emotionally to this new structure of life. Of course I want others' businesses to thrive during this distressing time, but I also need us to become more compassionate with our marketing choices and delivery methods.
Yes, we are ALL dealing with our new normal in the best way we know how. For those in the creative world, this time to ourselves can serve as a blessing when it comes to unleashing your imagination, allowing conceptual creativity to soar to new heights. But I'll be the first to be #transparent and say that I don't have all the answers, nor do I choose to pretend I do. I'm still learning who I am during this new normal, whom I'm serving and who I'll evolve into once this is all over (especially if this illness is seasonal as the media suggests). It might be wise for you to ponder upon this as well, as we stand to gain new ground as we reinvent ourselves when the dust clears.
Here are my thoughts for this shutdown, lock-in, shelter-in-place....whatever you choose to call it:
1. Please don't sell me right now.
As a business owner and nonprofit leader, these precarious circumstances have indeed placed a strain on my livelihood, as I'm sure many others can relate. #NoKidding Let's all go back to the drawing board and really give some thought to whether we would buy our own product at the moment if we had a choice in the matter. As much as I enjoy making money, I want to be considerate of those who may not be able to support my business AND their family's needs at this time. Let's be kind and if you can't afford to give away a free audio book download like I did, a free product sample, free meal, or a free service... hold off off constantly selling me until we're out of the line of fire. Unless you're selling toilet paper, food, or Lysol wipes for the low-low...spare me. I PROMISE we'll all get back to successfully selling once this pandemic slows down.
2. Don't host a pity party, but WORK like you never have before.
Yeah, we're "stuck" in the house. Sure, OYA can't host a nonprofit gathering. Of course, church and business as usual is nonexistent. But please know that this time can be precious for the recovery of your mind, your spirit and your soul. Learning a new trade or tapping into a new talent is one thing, but unless your mind is at peace, you won't fully come into your full potential. #Mediation , #patience and #reflection will get you through these arduous times and help those around you appreciate the time you're sharing together, without becoming unraveled. Continually #challengeyourself to set improvement goals weekly or monthly for encouraging yourself to get through this. Try this fun activity: Write your future-self a letter congratulating you on where you plan to be in two month's time.
3. Don't refuse to adapt.
To the rebellious souls that went to party at those open beaches recently, please know that you're making it difficult for the rest of us. Yep, I said it. Stop being hardheaded and holding us back from getting through this health debacle. Let's #respectauthority and follow the regulations put in place by the powers-that-be and stay well and watered in our own gardens. Call and check on a friend. Order a pizza or cook a meal for an elderly neighbor. Each person may be different, but COVID19 doesn't discriminate with who it chooses to infect, as we've seen. Let's be an active part of the solution and prevent the spread of this debilitating illness. #AloneTogether has taken on a whole new meaning to me and hopefully to you, as well. My plans forward are simple; be kind and GIVE to those in need, remain educated and present in the moment, and eventually our overall (personal and business) growth shall be imminent. #JoinMe
Executive Director, Outstanding Youth Awards
Operations Manager, b dynamic! Productions