I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the current Coronavirus environment that we all find ourselves grappling with. Like many of you, I have gone through uncertain times - DotCom bust and subsequent recession of 2001, September 11, Enron, Iraq War, Afghanistan War, SARS, Swine Flu, Ebola, MERS, 2008-2009. However, unlike most of you in the startup community, I have had a perspective from the retail investment world. I worked as a financial advisor, did compliance and operations for big and small financial advisory practices through all of those events. I had front row seats, seeing and dealing with clients when markets go volatile due to uncertainty.
And without fail, the news media and pundits utter these words "This time it is different!" And yet, in my experience, it all ends up being the same. Markets go back to normal, and businesses start picking up steam. Not making light of the fact of where we are today and what may be coming; #Coronavirus seems much deadlier and dangerous. Just know that this too shall pass and as startups, we will come out - bruised perhaps, but we will. Stock Markets will stabilize, and Angels/VCs will pick up speed to invest if they are going on a hiatus. After all, it is in everyone's interest to produce value for their respective stakeholders.
In different ways, we all are in precarious positions with our businesses as startups. Yet, as entrepreneurs, it is in our blood to find a way. It is not what anyone else does that matters, but what we do today that will determine our future. Think hard about your businesses...how can you be in a position to take advantage and be ready to roar? There are opportunities. While everyone else may be slowing down or giving up, take this opportunity to send out emails to folks you want to make contact with. You know they are not in meetings or have a lighter schedule. This reminds me of my favorite motivational speaker's quote:
And if you don't want to listen to two hours of his amazing motivational speech, check out the video for an example of two salespeople on a rainy day below that applies to us as startups.
Here is what I am going to be doing.
- I have realized that we are actually enabling remote work for financial advisors and potentially more service orientated business. So I am going to take a deep look at how we can help advisors and other businesses set up for future events such as this.
- I am going to be reaching out to marketing experts to help me craft a message in this regard.
- I am also going to reach out to financial advisors to invite them to our beta program. We want their feedback on how we can make the best meeting documentation software for them.
- And I will be reaching out to Angels and VCs to keep them updated on what we are doing so they know that we are not "waiting" for things to happen.
So what are you going to do with your startup?
And just so that we are clear, do not ignore #Coronavirus - Make sure you wash your hands, exercise social distancing and be safe. This virus is deadly and we have to take all precautions.Also, if you are emotionally overwhelmed, reach out to Crisis Text Line.