7 Silver Linings of the Coronavirus
In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus crisis has turned people’s lives upside down.
Just a few days ago, most people were concerned with the hustle and bustle of ordinary life: work, errands, seeing friends, and running businesses.
Confidence was at an all-time high. The economy was chugging along steadily, well into a decades-long economic surge and the unemployment rate was near an all-time low.
In a sudden turn of events, millions of people have been ordered to stay at home, lives have been changed forever, confidence has plummeted, fear has skyrocketed, and millions are out of work left scrambling to figure out what to do next.
Yes what has happened is horrible and tragic but much of what happens to us in life is out of our control. What is in our control is how we respond to such life events.
So what can you do to get through this?
Look for the silver linings the Coronavirus has brought us, and yes, there are silver linings.
Every problem creates a new set of opportunities if you choose to view them as an opportunity.
“Here lies the chance of a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not.”
So in this difficult time, rather than fretting about what has happened and worrying about what may or may not happen, find the silver linings in this crisis. That is the mindset we all must adopt right now.
Here are 7 silver linings of the Coronavirus pandemic.
1. Time to Learn: turn downtime into productive time
If you’ve lost your job or your business has slowed down significantly I’m sorry to hear that and I’m sure you’re concerned. It’s very unfortunate.
But what would be more unfortunate is if you wasted the time it has provided you now.
The silver lining in this situation is now you have an abundance of time.
How many times have you said, “If only I had time I would go back to school, start a business, or learn a new hobby”?
Well, now’s the time.
Reflect on what you liked and disliked about your old job or business. Identify new opportunities that better align to those interests and skills you have so that you come out of this crisis in a better position than when you entered it.
Turn this downtime into productive time. Read, clean, organize, develop new habits, and learn new skills that will help you succeed in the long run.
View this time as an investment in your future.
Now more than ever brands are giving incredible value away.
Many of the nation’s top universities are offering free classes, many brands are streaming live workouts for free, and for a small investment you can acquire knowledge and skills via platforms like Linkedin Learning and Skillshare.
By the way, it doesn’t have to be all about acquiring utilitarian skills for your career.
Use this time to acquire fun skills and develop hobbies like playing an instrument or learning how to cook. There is tons of value in that too.
2. Quality time with your family
When things are good and we are busy, we tend to let things slide and develop bad habits.
The important things like family and friends get pushed to the side in favor of work, business, career goals, and other commitments.
Fortunately, this crisis has helped all of us remember not what but who is important.
If you’re fortunate to be at home with your family, use this time inside to dedicate to family-time, dinners, game nights, putting puzzles together, or going on walks together.
Be grateful for the family you have and the extra time you can spend with them. If you’re not fortunate enough to be with family right now, set up daily or weekly video conference calls and get creative with how you can play games or enjoy time together.
3. Time to slow down and reflect
Before the Coronavirus did your typical day look something like this?
Wake up, rush out the door, drop the kids off, speed through work, rush through meetings, exercise, rush home, speed through dinner and finally crash like a sack of potatoes into your bed at night only to repeat the whole routine the next day.
Yeah, I hear you.
The one great thing about this whole ordeal is it has forced us to slow the heck down.
What this means is more time to take stock of what is going on in your life, with your family’s life, and your work and business.
Do what works for you but use this time to meditate, reflect, journal, and plan what’s next.
4. Friends and personal relationships
As the saying goes, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Now that we can’t see our friends and family whenever we’d like, it gives us a great perspective on how important our relationships truly are. I’m sure by now you have a much greater appreciation for your friends.
Heck, by now I’m willing to bet you might even be missing your annoying coworkers.
So rather than lamenting the fact you can’t be with your friends right now, be grateful for those you have.
Of course, all that is happening is unfortunate and scary, but the good thing about the Coronavirus is the perspective it has given us.
The Coronavirus is a harsh dose of perspective many of us needed.
Suddenly all the mundane trappings of ordinary life have fallen to the wayside. The want of materialistic items, the endless search for shiny new stuff, and the race to keep up with the Jones’ seems trivial at best now.
What really matters: family, friends, work, safety, and health. That’s what we should be focusing on.
Feeling stressed right now because of the situation at hand? Good!
Olympic sprinter and gold medalist Michael Johnson has a powerful view of stress that can help you reframe the negative association with stress. He believes stress is a reflection of your ambition and he sees it as a catalyst to elite performance.
Very few people are able to conjure up the drive to go and accomplish great things without a driving force. The Coronavirus crisis is one hell of a driving force, don’t you think?
In times of crisis, we have two options: give up or fight back.
Crises are often the jumpstart that catapults people forward into great periods of development.
For example, after a stint as a Congressman, Abraham Lincoln was dejected and depressed. He had spent his entire time trying to accomplish two things, to get a promotion as a commissioner in the new president’s cabinet and to pass a proposal he crafted to deal with slavery. He failed spectacularly in both of these efforts.
After his tenure as a Congressman, he sunk into a major depression.
But he didn’t let this defeat stop him. Rather than letting it define him, he used this personal crisis as the driving force to improve his life and become better.
He became resolute. He reflected and determined he “must die or be better.”
From there on he studied, researched, and honed his craft from well before sunup to well after sundown. He was the first one up and the last one to bed throwing himself into all areas of study: philosophy, astronomy, science, economics, history, literature, drama, and highly complex mathematical problems.
He spent hours, weeks, and months educating himself to become the politician that we hold in such high regard today.
There’s no telling what would have happened to Lincoln had he not experienced his own personal crisis but I’m willing to bet he certainly would not have become the president and leader that he became without this crisis.
Because of his earlier struggles and experience in difficult times, he was able to lead a young nation through its own crisis, the worst and bloodiest war of its history, the Civil War.
Now is a time for us to realize that although this is a massive crisis and challenge, it’s a massive spark of motivation to inspire us. Now is the time to put our foot on the accelerator, gain experience in dealing with difficult times and to become better than we were.
The work we put in now will help us emerge triumphantly from this crisis.
7. Time to revamp your business
Yes many businesses are closing shop and many people have lost their job but once again, there is still a silver lining in this downtime.
When times are good businesses get lazy.
Not because they intend to and not because they are lazy in the sense of doing nothing, rather they are so busy growing that they let things slide and develop poor habits.
Now is the time to re-tune your business.
Use this time to develop a financial plan and develop new strategies that will create new lines of business.
Use this time to create a marketing plan that will grow your business.
Spend time developing a message that your customers can understand and fall in love with. Build a plan to attract, engage, nurture new prospects, and convert them into customers.
Use this extra time not to sell your customers more products and services but to develop stronger, deeper relationships.
Create an email marketing plan that positions you top of mind with your customers. Become a trusted brand and a brand that customers love.
When culture and society are in a crisis, customers look to brands to help get them through the crisis. This gives companies an opportunity to connect on a level like never before with their email campaigns.
Companies could and should use email marketing to be known as a giving and helpful brand.
So start building your relationship up with your customers now so when you reopen you’re the first brand they come back to.
How can you do that? Simple.
- Identify new customer pain points: Identify your customer’s new pain points caused by this crisis as it relates to your product or service.
- Be empathetic: Let your customers know you hear them and understand what they are going through. Help guide them through this challenging time.
- Be giving: As it relates to your industry and product or service, provide your customers tips, ideas, or products that can help make this time less difficult.
- Pivot: Pivot your products and services and develop new solutions to your customer’s pain points. With new problems arise new opportunities. Stop lamenting the fact that you can’t sell your old product because of Coronavirus, figure out what new product or service you can develop because of Coronavirus. If you have something that can help your customers out, it’s a disservice to not offer it to them right now.
If you’re afraid that now is not the right time to communicate with your customers because of this crisis you’re wrong. They want and need your help. Go help them, take risks, and change the game plan. Your business depends on it.
Find your silver lining in all of this
The key to surviving the Coronavirus crisis is gratitude, or to find the silver lining in all of this. Gratitude isn’t something to be practiced only when times are good, in fact, it must be doubled down on in difficult times.
Take this opportunity now and figure out what the silver linings are of the Coronavirus are for you.
Connect with friends and family, acquire new skills, reflect, slow down, and set your business up to thrive when we return to work.