This is NOT a political post...
This is NOT a medical post...
This post is NOT about the president...
This post is NOT about the media...
If you feel like turning this post into something political, I'll probably remove your comment.
Like most of you, I have my opinions around all that stuff, but I'm going to keep those opinions to myself for now. Instead, I'd like to focus on something different.
I'd like to focus on the question: "What window is opening?"
Here's what I mean...
At the time of me writing this (in March of 2020), things are going crazy: Schools are getting shut down, entire sports leagues are canceling their seasons, people are being forced to work remotely and/or home-school their kids, and there's a purchase-limit on essentials at the grocery store (I still don't understand the toilet paper thing, but oh well).
Incomes are being decimated.
Hourly workers who can’t show up to work aren’t getting paid, those of us in the event industry (like myself) are getting hammered, and at the time of this post, there’s news that bar/restaurant workers are about to get a HUGE slap in the face.
Right now, “doors are closing” left and right.
This is nobody’s fault. No one asked for this.
No one asked for family members to be quarantined or stuck in the hospital… and certainly no one asked for their loved ones to die.
The truth of the matter is that when a bunch of bad stuff is happening, it’s easy to focus on all of the bad stuff. That just makes sense. So please understand, the purpose of these words is not to make light of the bad stuff in any way.
But Here's What I Know...
I know that all through my life, when a door has been closed, it’s forced me to look around for a window that’s been opened.
In other words, what opportunities can I now look for that I wasn’t open to seeing before? What window is opening?
Example: As an event emcee, I literally just lost out on tens of thousands of dollars from events that have been canceled until this thing ends.
The contracts were signed, and the money was all but in the bank.
And now, POOF! Gone!
Does this suck?
Is it my fault?
Is it the fault of the event promoters?
So what can I do?
OPTION #1: I can focus on the lost income and be angry and sulk.
OPTION #2: I can ask myself the question “What windows are opening?”
If I choose option #2, I can find a number of things I can do to move my business and my life in a positive direction.
So The Question I Ask Is This...
What can I do now with the time I was going to spend at these events?
Right off the top of my head, here are answers I’ve come up with:
- Create a new and improved sales process (funnel) for my online business.
- Learn a new marketing skill (like YouTube Traffic).
- Spend 50 hours working on the book I’ve been meaning to write for the past 4 years (note: 50 hours is just a FRACTION of the time I’d be spending at events had they not been canceled).
- Create a new web-page/marketing campaign to attract more affiliates for the product I sell online.
- Go through that $2,000 course I bought 6 months ago and REALLY implement it fully.
- Learn/get better at Spanish. I'm about a "4" on a scale of 1-10, and with a little bit of effort I can become semi-fluent.
Do you see what I mean?
This isn’t about just “feeling good” or “looking on the bright side”.
It’s about RE-FRAMING the conversation that’s going on in my head.
That’s how you “Throw Sexy” on bad shit that happens. You change the conversation going on in your head about it, and you ask yourself questions that make your mind look for solutions.
Old conversation: “This sucks. Why is this happening TO me/us?”
New conversation: “How can I turn this into something that works FOR me? How can I make it so that when I get through this, it ends up being a net-positive on my life?”
Or, simply stated: "How can I turn this into something that’s happening FOR me instead TO me?”
When my little brother passed away, almost 20 years ago, I got a tattoo that asks God to “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” (the Serenity Prayer).
I was at peace (serenity) with his passing because it clearly fell into the category of “things I could not change.”
It’s likely that much of what’s going on with the Coronavirus falls into the category of “things you can’t change” too.
But My Question Is This... What CAN You Change?
You can’t change the fact that schools are closed, but can you spend the next 30 days teaching your kids the power of being more effective human beings (by having them read something like “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens”)? Or having them focus on learning a skill that you know they won’t learn in school?
You can’t change the fact that your work hours got cut in half – and yes, you not having the income sucks - but can you use some of that time to set up the copy-writing freelancing business you’ve been meaning to start for years because you LOVE copy-writing?
I ask again – What windows are now open?
Look for them.
And turn the process of getting through this into something that’s a net-positive on your life.
We'll all get through this together 🙂
UPDATE - July 1st, 2020
I wanted to take a moment to add a little addendum this this article. If nothing else, to prove that I do, in fact, take my own advice.
As the world's top event emcee, Covid-19 made it so that every single one of my gigs for the past 3 and 1/2 months has been canceled. That means that I lost out on about $54,000 (conservatively). But it also means that I have an extra 70+ hours per month in time that is no longer taken.
Since I wrote my original words over three months ago, in March, here's what I've accomplished.
1. I've written - or should I say, I've COMPLETELY RE-WRITTEN - my book "Just Throw Some Sexy On It". The manuscript is over 80,000 words and I've since hired a consultant to help me edit it and come up with a proposal to shop to book publishers.
2. I've grown one of my internet businesses by 25% (it now generates over $1,000 a day in sales).
3. I've taken up Spanish classes. Ahora, hablo Espanol mas bueno 😉
4. I revamped the blog you're reading right now, and I've added 10's of thousands of words worth of new content to it.
5. I'm in the process of launching another new internet business. If all goes well (fingers crossed), I'll be able to make up for all my lost income within 30 to 60 days from when this business launches.
I don't say any of this to impress you...
But rather to IMPRESS UPON YOU the importance of continuously looking for "open windows" regardless of what life throws at you.
I wish you and your loved ones all the best during these trying times.