Are you worried that because of COVID, it’s impossible to make money right now? Let’s talk about it. I’m Emma Natter and I help creatives strategically lead with their hearts so they can build profitable businesses.
People can say what they want about COVID being this amazing experience to reflect and reconsider, but at the end of the day, COVID sucks. You have no idea how long it’s going to be affecting your life, the health of the people you love, and the economy. I’ve felt it too. I had a big launch right before COVID hit, and my refund period was still in effect as the whole world was starting to shut down.
I lost a huge percentage of my revenue that totally changed the trajectory of my plans. I had to let go of team members, press pause indefinitely on projects I’d been really excited about, take a huge pay cut, and I was 8 months pregnant when all of this happened. I know the temptations: to quit because it’s not working, to try and wait it out, hibernate and hope you can coast until the economic lights turn back on. I know it’s also tempting to feel so rude selling to people who have no money.
This is so hard because more than ever, you want stability in your career and your finances. You’re realizing that the “stable jobs” everyone’s been telling you to go for instead of your creativity, really aren’t as stable as they seemed at the beginning of 2020. In fact, betting on YOU might be one of the safest bets you can make. Most of all, you want to feel like you’re going to come out on the other side of COVID doing okay. And while I am not a fortune teller, my gut is saying that now is the time to make things happen. Now is when it will be exciting. I’ll show you what I mean.
While there is NO way to predict what will come from these uncertain times, here are 3 major things we can learn from the past.
Even though COVID is unprecedented, it’s important to remember that recessions are not. Yes, this one is different, but the ones before it were too. So we have to remember that every recession we’ve ever been through has one thing in common: the recession eventually ends. So no matter how uncertain things feel now, there is one thing we can trust: this recession will end.
it just might look different than it did several months ago. Things are different during COVID and after (thanks Captain obvious), and it’s up to us to figure out the specifics of how we’ll help. Certain things always change after a recession or pandemic. For example, after the Bubonic Plague, workers’ wages actually went up. Why? Well, so many people died that there was a smaller supply of workers. Now, the death rate of COVID is a lot smaller than the Bubonic Plague, so the changes won’t be the same as that.
Instead, there are trends that are unique to this specific time in history. Like how people are working more from home right now, and that’s likely to continue. There’s more automation that’s happening to save on labor costs. People are baking instead of traveling. Getting takeout instead of going to a restaurant. EVERYONE is making shifts in how they live their lives. Pay attention. Be ready to jump in when your skills will come in handy. Because they will.
Moments like this are like a refiners fire, and I predict that many industry leaders will be made during COVID. The whole world is transforming, and that means there are opportunities for creative, resourceful, problem-solving people like us. We were made for times like this. We are here to help build a new landscape in our industry. We won’t be the first to use a recession this way. Some of the most successful companies today were born during a recession, including Disney.
Walt and Roy Disney knew that America needed more smiles than ever and they launched their business right as the Great Depression began. After Steam Boat Willie, they continued to create. Other businesses that got started or really hit their stride during recessions include Trader Joe’s, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and FedEx. This is possible for you too.
Entrepreneur is a French word that also means adventurer. This is the moment for adventure. Find and create opportunities that others have written off. Other people will be running away from the difficulties and the chaos. That means there will be more opportunities for people who are ready to dig in. Try to think of this time as the humanizing moment that makes your future success so inspiring when you someday tell your story.
What I mean by this is to cut costs that are not absolutely necessary to your business. This will help you survive.
During a more forgiving market, it’s easier to recover from mistakes. When you’re in a recession, each move needs to be its very best. If you need guidance to help you make better decisions, hire a coach.
Your business has an overhead of time, money or both, and the quicker you act, the more bang you can get for your overhead buck.
Whatever higher power or energy you believe in, hold to that. Don’t give into the fear that you’ll never get through this. People are making money even during the recession. We’ve had students in The Aesthetic Way when COVID hit make sales and book out their offerings with their new collections. I’ve talked to alums who have booked their highest paying clients EVER. I’ve talked to my friends and peers in the industry who are consistently bringing in five figure months even now. I was so inspired to hear from my friends that not EVERYONE is feeling all doom and gloom about their business and COVID. Why not you too? Remember that it’s all about solving people’s problems. There are opportunities for you to find and create right now. You can do that. You just have to be ready to see the opportunities.
I’d love to hear your ideas over DM! Come over to @emma_natter and tell me you’ve just finished watching this video, and what your ideas are for how you’re going to move forward next. I can’t wait to hear more about it!
Emma Natter is a business coach, public academic, and writer. Her work intersects entrepreneurial strategies with the creative process so career hopefuls can find success, impact, fulfillment, and confidence in going their own way.
I’m Emma Natter, a path-to-success paver and art-trained business coach who first shattered her own career expectations by selling out of handmade styling goods from her little NYC apartment. Now as a strategist to thousands of creatives, I teach you to harness your passion so you can do the same.
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