Holy cow. I had no idea that there was going to be a global pandemic when I decided to become a digital nomad in the fall of 2019. It’s been a little over 6 months since I took this show on the road – working as a virtual business coach and serving as COO of Asentiv Global. Currently, I’m in Bangkok, Thailand waiting out the global pandemic and staying with a friend. I came here by way of Bali, where I had the opportunity to attend and speak at the 11th Annual International Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference. With travel being so risky, I’ve decided to just stay put, even though my family is back in the states.
As most of us do right now, I’ve got an excess of time on my hands or at least a change in the dynamic of my schedule. While the internet is swimming with articles on how to survive COVID-19, both personally and in your business, I want to weigh in with a more holistic approach. The question that has been on my heart lately is How can I feel and be more human in this time? Here’s some thoughts.
“Take your sales hat off and focus on relationships.”
Now is NOT a good time to sell. (Disclaimer, I am not saying do not take on a new client if there’s a need, but do not approach with your normal “sales suit’ on.) People need support, a resource, a safe place. They are in survival mode. Most people are trimming their budgets and tightening their belts. Respect this.
Now is the time to focus on the relationship side of our business. Check in with clients, referral partners, and others in your network like subcontractors, vendors, and businesses you frequent. Be a voice of support. A “Hi, how are ya doing” type of call, with no strings attached is perfect.
It’s a great time to offer a freebie if you have the capacity. Ask yourself, what small thing could I offer that would help my clients or my network right now? This is an awesome way to stay top of mind with your people, or potentially make new connections if your existing contacts share your offer on social media.
Use your own social media platforms as a way to promote other entrepreneurs in your network and shine a light on cool things they are doing or offering during this time. We business owners need to stick together and support each other!
An example of an awesome entrepreneur who is killing it in this area is social media marketing maven Toccara, owner of FB Ad Strategist. Every week, she has been inviting different business owners onto to her Instagram and Facebook live streaming to share helpful tips – including yours truly! Thanks Toccara.
“Revisit your WHY and work ON your business.”
Now is a good time to journey inward and reflect on the bigger picture. Review your vision, mission, and goals. Crisis and times of upheaval are an excellent acid test for our lifepaths. When the ‘shit hits the fan’ how do we feel about our business and where we are going? Do we need to make a change?
If we do feel purposeful and aligned, now is an excellent time to dig in deep and do some work on your business. Update your website. Clean out your emails. Start that project you’ve been putting off – developing a new product or service. If you have the means, sign up for an online self-development course or certification course in your industry. Start that business blog you’ve been meaning to and write a backlog of posts. If none of the above are aligned, maybe it is time to plan the NEW YOU. What new business venture do you want to take on? This is the time of reinvention and invention! When we do come out of this, which we will, the world will be different as we know it.
“Resist the couch potato, create a new routine.”
Consistency and structure are the meat and potatoes of preserving your sanity during this time. Try to develop a new schedule for yourself and your family. While it’s tempting to spend this unexpected holiday bingeing on Netflix and eating junk food in an endless stream of pajamas, the transition out of that rabbit hole is going to be just as painful as it is hedonistically enjoyable right now.
Put yourself together. Do your hair, wear makeup, jewelry, put on real clothes if this is your norm. Wear deoderant, even if there’s no one to smell you but you – haha! Splash on a little of your favorite perfume or cologne. For me, doing this makes a difference in my mindset and how I feel, even if I’m just working on the computer and my clients wouldn’t know if I’m in my underwear or not.
As Robert Frost said, “The best way out is always through.”
“Self care like a boss.”
Now is the time to deposit into yourself. If you know me, you know I’m passionate about this topic. I’ve written an entire blog post on this last year – 6 Ways to Self Care Like a Boss. The thing is, many of the ways that we usually self care may no longer be accessible to us. It’s time to get creative!
For instance, if you love going to the salon or spa, have an at home spa day. Look up recipes online for homemade facemasks and body scrubs. Who knew what you could do with coffee grounds or some oatmeal, honey, and turmeric powder? By the way, if this is usually done with friends, then DO IT WITH FRIENDS, set a time with your group of gals and use Zoom or Skype to all be on the call together while you are self caring!
“When life gives you lemons, make a lemon face mask or scrub and finish off with a lemon drop martini ;)”
Download a meditation app and spend 20 minutes of your day getting centered. Here’s a list of the best apps that offer guided meditations. If you have a spiritual life or religious practice, now is a good time to stay plugged in and connected to your fellowship via social media, online meetings, group meditations, or streaming services.
Clean and reorganize your space. I know for myself, messy outsides make my brain feel cluttered. It is spring and this year we can give a whole new meaning to spring cleaning. If you are working from home, give your home office space – even if it’s just a little nook – some love so that it’s inviting to work in.
Brainstorm a list of some little self care things you can do from home and post it to your bathroom mirror as a daily visual reminder.
“Shake your tail feather!”
Workout! This goes along with self care. Especially if you are used to working out regularly, your body and your mind are reliant on this physical outlet. It can be easy to slip into depression if you’re used to getting endorphins from exercise and then suddenly you become imbobile. If you can’t work out outside your home, there are tons of options for online workouts. Good Housekeeping has an excellent article which highlights some top options.
Keep your eyes peeled on your social media – many local yoga teachers and fitness trainers are offering live streaming classes for free or donation. Where possible, support local! Alyssa Kratz of Soulshape Yoga in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (my former hometown before I become a nomad) is offering weekly live streaming classes on Instagram @soulshapeyoga and then posting them to her youtube channel for you to watch at your convenience.
My personal coach Alika Ho’omana with Ho’omana Strength and Conditioning has been posting in our private group, to keep us in line, ask you personal coach or trainer if they are doing this, and if so stay connected with them and shake it up with some new stuff that is online at the moment.
Finally, try to step outside and get some sun on your face and a breath of fresh air at least once per day even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Ok, now on a more personal, heartfelt note.
“Be a friend.”
Check in on friends. Give special attention to friends who you know struggle with mental health or addiction issues. Friends who may be in a physically or emotionally abusive relationship and are stuck at home with their abuser. Friends that live alone, or are single parents. Friends that are estranged from, or don’t have family. The social isolation and stress associated with the COVID-19 virus and quarantine is even more difficult for them to cope with.
Lending a listening ear, offering to do a shopping trip for them, or helping to connect them to online resources can really make an enormous difference. Even if people push you away, be the one that keeps knocking on the door. We may be the closest person in a person’s life, and not even know it.
“A tree with strong roots laughs at storms.”
The future isn’t promised. In countries that have already been hit hard by the COVID-19 virus, like Italy, a large number of elderly citizens have passed away. Take this opportunity to reconnect with relatives, especially older ones who are at higher risk.
Today, many of us live far apart from our extended family. Organize a Zoom call or Facetime call relatives. Ask about family lineage, traditions, recipes, how couples met, and funny stories, which you may have already heard a million times. The living history of our older relatives is precious beyond measure. The lack of communication and distance between generations is how languages and cultures have been lost on a larger scale.
If you are estranged from family members, or holding resentments, now may be the time to let old wounds heal and to release baggage from the past.
If you’re still reading this, I hope this post inspires you to look for ways to celebrate our shared humanity and cultivate connection during this challenging time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions regarding your business, life, or a mishmash of the two. It’s all related and I am here to help! Get in touch here.
About the Author
People and possibilities. These are the two words that motivate Lynn Howard, owner of Asentiv Hawaii and COO of Asentiv Global. She lives by the motto “No excuses, only solutions.” As a business coach, her passion is to inspire others to achieve their own success by believing in themselves and taking action to overcome adversity. She is blessed with a delightfully snarky sense of humor, which provides comic relief when doing difficult ECC work with clients. An adventurous spirit, she loves to travel and has visited Indonesia, Bahrain, UAE, Thailand, Vietnam, Peru, and Columbia. After living for many years on the Big Island of Hawaii first in Hilo and then in Kailua-Kona, Lynn became a full time digital nomad in 2019. Follow her @lynnhoward_bizcoach on Instagram and Lynn Howard – Business Coach on Facebook to see where she goes next!