If there’s one thing the current crisis with this virus has taught us, it’s that fear and panic can quickly settle into our daily normality. A lot of people really struggle during stressful times such as this. And with people panic buying everything from loo rolls to tinned vegetables, and sharing the latest (often inaccurate) news headlines, it can be all too easy to get swept up in the wave of fear and panic that seems to be sweeping the world at the moment.

It’s totally understandable that many people feel that way, especially when traditional work and life routines are needing to be adapted. 

However, if you’re a freelancer or small business owner who already works from home, you need to be able to continue working during these stressful times. And often, the panic and worry you’re experiencing is linked to something more fundamental – whether you’ll even have a business once the virus crisis is over.

Switch your focus to stay sane during stressful times

As cliche as it may sound at the moment, you do need to stay calm and carry on. You need to learn how to calm the worry and fear you’re currently experiencing and turn it into something more productive and less stressful. Whilst you’re in a fear and panic-filled state, you’ll struggle to see what practical solutions you could potentially implement, to help give your business the best possible chance of surviving and growing during this crisis.

With that being said, let’s see how you can switch your mindset to one that’s more healthy for you and productive for your business. So here’s five things I recommend you do, to stay sane and forward focused during this difficult time.

#1: Remind yourself of what you can control during any stressful period

There’s a lot of things within your control, during this period of time. From the things you choose to share and talk about, right through to how you shop and where you’re spending your time. Here’s the top 3 that affect your business right now:

Your thoughts and actions

This is a biggie! Your thoughts and actions impact on how you feel and how you impact on others. But they also serve to highlight your business branding and ethics too. So be mindful of them both. Work on your confidence and self esteem, be aware of the self talk you’re using and watch how you’re showing up during any period of difficulty. Are you acting responsibly and mindfully?

Your marketing and visibility

This is something you can actively work on from home, regardless of whether you’re in normal work mode or adapting due to other family members being home. Sit down and work out a marketing and visibility strategy you can use to really get active and interacting online. Could you write and repurpose your blog posts? (Need help with getting blog post ideas – read this article!)  How about embracing video or live-streams?

The practical ways you adapt and protect your business

As mentioned in this blog post entitled ‘25-practical-tips-to-help-freelancers-online-small-business-owners-during-difficult-times’, if you want to calm the fear, you need to get productive. This is especially pertinent if you want to protect your income and the future of your business. So why not look at how you can adapt your business to suit? If you’re usually in a more offline environment, how can you bring it online? If you’re an online business already, how can you offer more to help your ideal clients and customers – or could you branch out into another niche, and help a wider audience?

#2: Audit your business

Now’s a good time to carry out a business audit. Take a look at the following areas:

Take a look at your finances – don’t bury your head in the sand now

How healthy are your business finances? Are there memberships you’re paying for but never use? Could you cut back on the tools you’re using – or if you’re paying for several different plugins, tools and software, would it be more cost effective to move over to an all-in-one platform such as Kajabi

Take stock of your available skills and experience

What skills and experience do you have and are you utilising them within your business? Could you create a new service that encompasses the skills and experiences you have? Do any of your skills need updating or expanding on? Maybe you could schedule in learning time to study a new course or read a new book. 

Look at what you already have created

I’m sure I’m not alone in having multiple things created but not currently on my site! Now’s a great time to resurrect old products, optins, courses, ebooks, programs etc, that can help others and help raise some much needed funds for you.

#3: For your sanity, adapt as needed!

The one thing this virus has taught us all, is the fact that we need to be able to adapt our businesses to suit all situations. So how can you do that? Here’s 3 ideas to get you started:

Think about how you can adapt your existing services

If you’re mostly offline, how can you adapt what you currently do, to go online? Can you start using videos to share your knowledge? Can you hold online classes and meet ups? If you were already online, can you adapt and expand what you’re already offering, or add in additional payment options for those who are struggling financially?

What can you create to help

Another great way to adapt your business offerings is to see what else you can create and offer, as both free and paid products or services. This doesn’t have to be directly related to what you currently do either – you could share what you know about hobbies you have or other skills you don’t currently utilise in your business.

What can you move up your to do list

Adapting plans is something that many of us are going to have to do now, so what can you change and bring forward? Maybe you were planning to offer an affordable membership later this year – you could bring that forward. Or how about increasing your visibility or starting your own Facebook page? Take a look at your plans for this year and see where you can adapt them to suit the current situation.

#4: Stay calm when working from home

Your mental and physical well being are essentials too. You need to look after yourself, so you are fit, well and able to continue working. You may also have others who rely on you, and you can’t look after them, if you’re not looking after yourself first. So tips for staying calm:

Remember to exercise and breathe! 

If you want to stay calm during any stressful or difficult period, implement some form of daily exercise into your day. Yoga, meditation, go for a walk (observing safe distancing etc) and get outside in your garden. Practise deep breathing exercises, Web MD have some basic breathing exercises you could try.

Change your thoughts 

It’s essential stress management on a simple scale – change your thoughts to help change your mood and life. Look into using positive mantras and switching out your negative thoughts for more positive ones. Some great starting mantras could include: 

  • I can do this
  • I am safe, I am loved
  • I choose calming thoughts
  • I control what I can and let go of that which I can’t
  • This too, shall pass

And check out Always Well Within – they have a blog that shares 33 mantras to quickly calm your stress response, over on their website.

Clear your space

Clearing your space is a great way to shift the energy in your home, as well as within your business, plus it helps shift your mood. So why not tackle the spaces in your life – including your office, the rooms in your home, and even your business website. 

#5: Think long term

Finally, you need to protect your sanity, moving forward from this virus, or any period of stress and difficulty, for that matter. So what can you do to help protect your business as best you can, from things outside of your control? How could you still bring in an income, if you’re not able to work or if you need to step back for a bit? Here’s some ideas to get you started:

Bring in on and offline options

As mentioned above, what can you do to adapt your business for the on and offline world? You realistically need to have both options available, if you want to protect yourself and your finances. 

Go for multiple streams of income 

Another point to consider is how many streams of income you have. Basically, don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Yes, still have a signature course or offer, but also look at how you can repurpose and repackage what you do, to create other streams of income. Look into ebooks, courses, memberships, freelancing, speaking, affiliate marketing etc.

Automate and schedule

Get into the habit of automating and scheduling your content, at least a month in advance. This will give you a bit of a buffer for if anything unexpected happens. But also consider planning and creating each quarter – to extend that buffer. But by using schedules and automating as much as you can, you’re also freeing up your time and minimising the things on your to do list, freeing you up to create and implement other opportunities that come your way.

In summary

I know it isn’t always easy to stay calm and focused during difficult times such as this current virus crisis. However, it is the only real option you have – if you don’t want to heighten any negative impact situations such as this, may have on your business.

By following the five tips above, you’ll be able to effectively switch from those feelings of panic and fear into something more productive and focused. Not only will this help you feel better, it will also free you up to focus on the action steps and new opportunities that you could be implementing to protect yourself and your business, in the future.

How did you like today’s article? If you’re an online business owner, I’d love to hear from you about the type of content you’d like me to focus on during this period of time. Whether you’re looking for practical business advice, mindset solutions or tips on improving your confidence, I’m looking to write blog posts that truly help you. So why not get in touch with your ideas and suggestions? You can send me an email through my contact page or simply leave a comment below. I personally reply to all emails and comments, and you’ll also be helping to shape the content of future blog posts on here, too!

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