This is a very important piece of content live on my Facebook page. And it will also go on my blog and podcast, The Disruptive Entrepreneur:

• About the virus
• About the panic, the fear
• The media panic and the fear
• What you can do about it
• What’s fact and what’s not
• How it could affect business, your business and other people’s businesses.

Do you think that this virus is fear-based panic in the media? Or do you think this is a real clear and present danger and threat to business?

What I’m not going to talk about are the medical statistics or the number of people who are getting it, or may or may not die from it, because that’s not my place. Also, that’s not my area of knowledge. One thing for sure, is, I think there are a lot of people are commenting on this virus. And they have no clue about the facts. No clue whatsoever!

I intentionally did not jump on this early. It’s almost like, a marketing gimmick. I want to tell you what I’m doing, and my thought process, and the planning behind-the-scenes. Because actually, to our business, it could definitely affect us significantly. There’s no 2 ways about it. I think, if this has happened 12 years ago, when I’d started business, I didn’t have any real overhead. I didn’t have any staff. I didn’t really have any responsibility. I’d been like, oh, whatever. Everyone is just scared. It’d all be fine.

I have a business that has nearly 100 staff. I have a business that has an overhead at sometimes, pushing £1 million per month. So, even if it just affects our turnover by 20 percent, that could have serious implications to a company like mine. So, I’m taking it f**king seriously. Just so you know.

Taking it seriously is different from fear and panic, and rub it in the headlights, and feeling like the world is over. Because let’s be honest, if you’re a pharmaceutical company, if you’re a disinfectant and hand gel, you’re absolutely killing it right now. So, I need to as a business owner feel the fear. Because sometimes, you feel some fear. You don’t want that feeling. Because I’m seeing quite a lot of people just saying, ah well, everyone is just scared for no reason. Ah, you know, just don’t worry about it. It won’t affect you or anyone. It’s only really old people who are affected.

Well, that’s some people are avoiding the feeling of fear. But I think you should feel the fear. You should breathe it in, and go okay, what is this trying to teach me? Or, what do I need to do? But the fear should not turn into panic. None of us know what’s going to happen.

I’ve had conversations with people who say, hey look, what happened in China and Italy is likely to happen everywhere else. I had other people say, ah, well, they’ll control it a lot more. Of course, there are some conspiracy theorists about this virus. And of course, the media, they have definitely fuel that. You know that. Some of the stuff they’re writing, is just, it’s really not in context.

However, this is what I am doing. I am making a plan. I think, don’t they say, fail to plan, plan to fail? So, I am making a plan. I am certainly mildly concerned. I guess, if you’re a statistician, if you think about the outbreaks before, viral or non-viral. So, what was it? Swine flu. Of course, we had Salmonella, which was non-viral, I believe. And you look at what’s happened in the past, it is kind of faded out, and not really been that impactful overall.

But it definitely affects businesses. And so, you have to think about how can it affect your business, and what can you do about it. Because some businesses, it will actually help. And some businesses, it will hinder.

So, for me, I run events, probably not going to affect too much of my property developing and building. But I run events, and if I have less people at events, that could affect me. So, I am planning the worst, but expecting the best. And that’s the key thing. Plan the worst, expect the best. I am planning the launch of some new online programmes. Because, if people can’t attend events and all events above a certain number, or temporarily postponed, I’ve got to be able to ride out 3 months, 6 months. I don’t know.

I guess it’s likely that by summer, it’d all be gone. Generally, viruses tend to not be as potent in the summer months. But exactly, it could be a big hit for serviced accommodation operators. Anyone where people leave any sort of trade or business, where people leave their house, it could be affected.

Can you pivot your business model, or plan to pivot your business model, whereby you can run it from home? You can run it globally online. I’m preparing the launch of some new online events. I may not launch these. And I may not need to launch these. Plan the worst, expect the best. Plan for no one leaving their house, even though I actually don’t believe that no one is going to leave their house.

I think there will be a few events cancelled. I think we’ll all move on as normal. But who knows? I could be proven wrong. I’m just telling you what I think based on past events like this, and when I’m not feeling the fear. But actually, the fear is good, because it’s making me plan. I have 4 or 5 really good scalable online training programmes that I could completely pivot into. And I could end up hopefully thriving rather than just surviving through this challenging time.

What this teaches you, is, you have to plan for stuff you can’t plan for. You have to prepare for the completely unexpected and be blindsided by. And how do you plan for something that you can’t plan for? Well, that’s the skill of successful business owners, is, always have a plan for a plan you can’t plan for. Because we’ve had a few disruptions to our business and our training companies. One or 2 of them, okay, we could have seen those coming. Could we have done something about those? Let’s get the lessons. One or 2 of them we couldn’t see them coming. We just have to react quickly while we’re happening.

And of course, now the virus, you’d never could plan for that. But of course, if you plan for a virus every 10 years, if you plan for a recession every 10 years, if you plan for a war, if you plan for all these things, then at least you have some kind of contingency ready.

I think it’s really important that you’re ready to pivot out of a moment’s notice, and you’re ready to act as fast as f**k. If this thing kicks off a bit more, it’s the quick and the dead as they say. So, you have to be ready and learn to pivot fast.

If you’re a start-up business. So, are you starting your business right now? Or, have you been doing it a lot longer? Because if you’re a start-up, it’s way easier to pivot. I can understand why someone who’s just starting up, and hasn’t got many clients or overhead or responsibilities “Ah, don’t worry about it. I might had been like that 12 years ago.”

But when you have business, and overhead, and staff, and responsibility, then you can get hit big time. Of course, a lot of people are going to use this as an excuse. I think there’s probably more to the fly.be administration than just the virus. So, you’re going to get new stories about this. And of course, they’re going to be exaggerated. Then the fear is going to spiral and cycle. And you have to be careful to step yourself back at that.

Feel the fear. Create a plan. Plan for the worst. Expect the best. Be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice. Be ready to downsize or to scale-up. Could I move into a business model that could leverage this? Could I add on extra products or services that could actually help me make more money through this time? Am I prepared to act very fast? Because, if I act slow, I lose the quick and the dead. So, you can actually scale your business through this virus panic and fear.

David has said, he is a one-man band consultancy. But he has a global consultancy. Of course, that could be really good. He probably doesn’t need that many clients to grow. He could grow globally. He could create an online version of his consultancy. Let’s be honest, people are going to be, they’re going to get really bored really quick of this. If there is a bit of quarantine, or if there are people not doing events and not going out, soon enough people are going to get really itchy feet, and they want to get out. So, then what you could have, is, a spike up after that. It’s going to have a bit of a drop, and then a spike after that. They called it, a dead cat bounce, don’t they? I don’t know.

There are my thoughts on it. How could you leverage it? Observe the masses. Do the opposite. Is there opportunity for your business in this? If the things that could get affected by your business happened, how could you pivot the model, or create a new product or service so that you can actually offer an additional product or service? If people don’t go out as much, they’re still going to spend money. They’re going to get bored. There will be that boredom spending. So, there’s still going to be good opportunities for you in business. But you must have a plan.

I hope you found this useful. Please share this around, because there’s so much fear, and panic, and bad news. Also, a lot of people talking about things they can’t control. Listening to a bit of media, and making out that they know everything about everything that’s going on. I’d like to put a bit more productive, proactive, and positive stuff out there.

Please could you share this video or this podcast, if you’re listening to it. And give people some practical steps. Of course, I don’t know all of your business models. So, I don’t actually know exactly what you can do. But I think, if you plan for people going out less, and staying at home more, a product or service that could be delivered in that way, I think you could end up really leveraging this. And this could end up being really good for you. You know, when you’re in Darwinian times, it’s always survival of the fittest.

The ones that thrive through this, actually take market share. They grow significantly. The quickest way to grow, is, for everyone else to die. And people forget that. Of course, they get scared. And they’re worried. Oh, what am I going to do? Business is going to be really hard. But actually, your competitors are getting wiped out as well. You’d by sort of just natural selection end up staying there.

That’s what happened to us in the last recession. We were small. We wouldn’t have been able to grow as quick. But a lot of our competitors were taken out, just because we were still doing what we were doing. So, just keep going. that can give you this really increased positioning at this divisive Darwinian challenging fear-based time. Don’t believe everything you read in the media. Don’t believe most of the things you read in the media. And only control what you can control.

Rob Moore
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