Pause, Plan, Pivot, Proceed!
I’m sharing a philosophy I practice, born of deeply personal events in my life. I’m not preaching at you, nor do I seek converts; I'm simply sharing and I know you can think for yourself...chew the meat and spit out the bones.
I will not buy into the media sensationalized hype, I will not abide negative chicken little people and I will not cower in fear even, though I am aware of the seriousness of this virus and the state of the world. I believe the responsible thing to do is stay home, stay healthy and not hoard supplies. I understand we're in a pandemic. It's not denial nor Pollyanna; it's knowing there is (where we want to be, but here's where we are), so what do we do?
Adapt and overcome, as my Veteran clients always tell me.
What I will now share are my Four P's, my survive to thrive philosophy:
Pause, Plan, Pivot, Proceed!
Survivors Do This and Thrivers Did This...(more than once I'll bet).
I'm no saint, no superhero, no holier than thou leader. But I am a leader, I lead my family, my team and my network. So, I refuse to “pan-panic”. I refuse to argue with people online. I refuse to be glued to the news. I refuse to hoard. I refuse to doomsday my mindset, my self-talk or my attitude. I want to make as many good memories from this extra time off. I want to be proud of my behavior, my use of the time "off" and my creativity I'll use to keep business flowing, despite shelter in place orders.
I've temporarily lost most of my income as of March 16th, and yes...I'm concerned, but not panicking. I've lost a lot of the creature comforts of my lifestyle; I'm making do on less and getting creative with how I work, exercise and entertain myself. I've lost the ability to meet in person with people, i.e. network, show property to buyers and let buyers into my listings...kind of a problem when most won't write a contract on a home they haven't been inside...at least for now.
When "I" is replaced by "we", even Illness becomes Wellness! Physical distancing, not social!
Pause: Take a breather and breathe-remember to breathe it relaxes you. Take a break and collect your thoughts as you stock in what you still have, what you may need, what you can do without, and remember what you are still capable of. Consider and call upon your resources i.e. your training, tools, skills, network and abilities.
Plan: Time to create a new schedule if you're dealing with working from home, exercise, positively dealing with spouse and kids in the daily mix (all day), you may need to devote some family time to your work days-that's OK. You may need a new approach to hosting and attending meetings if you are a shelter in place county and as always you need a consistent way of communicating with your family & friends, clients, team, etc.
Plan to call your creditors, mortgage company, suppliers etc. and make arrangements for deferred or reduced payments to lighten your load if you're like me, without any income until REALTORS are deemed essential services. I did this to take the pressure off, it took 6 hours of relentless calls and siting on hold, but I ran 2 phones at a time and got 95% full cooperation. Lowering the monthly debts for 60 days in this crisis is as good to me as earning an extra commission check per month.
Pivot: Let go of yesterday's normal and create your new normal. It looks like newly adapted plan that executes on all your same fundamentals in a new way; a way that may need to be trial & error-tested and reworked a few times in your new normal.
The pivot that allows you to still do (adjusted) productive work from home, using technology like Zoom Meetings, Facetime Tours and Skype Group Calls. The pivot that creatively keeps you visible and relevant to your clients and team, that keeps you moving forward. The one that allows for the new normal at home with spouse and kids making good memories; so, you may need to work in breaks for family (and grocery shopping, exercise/rest). I promise you, by doing little things together as a couple or family is better than doing things efficiently and separately as a family, now and post COVID-19 by the way.
My bride and I shop together, even though it would be more efficient if I worked while she shopped. The bonding that occurs while we shop & talk and make little inside jokes and share our concerns is gold. And I'm not there to get it over with quickly, I'm there to keep her company and share the time with her. It takes as long as it takes. Efficiency is for business; quality time is for family and sometimes that occurs on aisle 7.
Proceed: Take those new action steps now; the new plan or the adjusted one and do not delay, do not wallow in yesterday, get on with it. It does no good to dwell on how things used to be, they are as they are now; this is why you paused, you reworked the plan and had the courage to pivot: get to work on your new normal.
Nostalgia is for class reunions and car shows, not business. Your business has to serpentine to avoid getting shot dead. (My Peter Falk fans (The In-Laws) will get that reference). You can't stop to question "why are they shooting at us?" you just got to keep moving and stay alive, to survive and then thrive (once again).
"Adversity does not build character it reveals it." How will you look back on COVID-19 and 2020? Will you have made some unique good memories with your family and friends? Will you be proud of your character and your resolve?
We can be scared and quit, or we can be scared and move forward. If you choose to move forward a victory awaits you (I promise). How can I promise this?
My friends I lived this promise during many difficult times in my life between age 16 through today; this Pause, Plan, Pivot, Proceed method was invented by me during my homeless few months of 1985-86, further developed during my double hand crush-amputation and reconstructive surgery of 1989, went to a new level during my decimating divorce and custody battle of 2000-2002, and during the Crash 2007-2012. It saved my life when I implemented it again when my (now 17.5 year) marriage almost ended in divorce back in 2018-2019, causing my 2018 stroke...but miraculously I healed, and we reconciled our marriage stronger than ever last Fall.
I was in dark tunnels each time, so dark a couple times I actually prayed to God for a head on collision to end my pain, but each time I snapped out of it through faith, friends, family and Pause, Plan, Pivot, Proceed. And because I did, I was led back to the (new normal) light! Stay connected & positive, mind your health and Keep the Faith my Friends, we'll be through this and better for it soon. Let Go of the Past but, Keep the Lessons.
1. Image courtesy of IndypendenZ at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
2. Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
6. Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net