Tips for Struggling Small Businesses Faced with Looting during Pandemic
Encouraging Small Business Owners to Protect Their Mental Health during Second Setback
Many small businesses already struggling during the pandemic shutdown faced another setback with the looting and destruction from rioters who took advantage of peaceful George Floyd protests. While small business owners are cleaning up broken windows and boarding up destructed buildings, it is critical that small business owners take steps to protect their mental health.
I understand this second blow comes at a vulnerable time for small business owners but encourages them to take important steps to get through this second or third storm.
Starting a business is built on hopes and dreams and many entrepreneurs operate in a state of entrepreneurial burnout. Extreme stressors added on top of existing burnout place us at heightened risk for chronic health problems, as well as depression, anxiety, suicide and other severe mental and emotional problems. We have to practice exceptional self-care.
Here are eight recommendations to small business owners to stabilize their business and protect their mental health:
1) Give yourself the time and space to acknowledge what you have lost.
2) Seek support from your business community. Talk to other entrepreneurs. Be intentional in connecting with others who approach challenges from a positive, growth oriented mindset.
3) Acknowledge and experience gratitude for what you still have … your health, your family, and your ability to be resilient.
4) Practice exceptional self-care. Get plenty of sleep each day (8 hours), exercise daily, eat healthy, practice mindfulness. At Tap the Potential, we call this Veggies First. It means taking care of yourself first and foremost so that you have the creative mental energy to identify the opportunities to go forward from here.
5) Acknowledge the future is yours to create, even as you have experienced loss. What do you want the next 2 years to be like? How do you want to experience life? If you could start your business over from scratch, and have it be how you would like it to be, what does that look like?
6) Identify your top customers/clients. Talk to them. What do they need? What opportunities exist for you to serve them from your strengths and your resources? This will be key to rebuilding and creating a more sustainable business going forward.
7) Finally, be mindful that the intense reactions we are observing are in reaction to feelings of hate. Fear and hate are driving the unrest and the violent protests. LOVE is the opposite of fear and hate. Those emotions cannot co-exist. Every one of us has the opportunity to step up, lead with love, and ask the powerful questions: What’s possible? What is needed? What can we learn from this? How do we as a nation move forward to UNITE?
Get in front of this now. Assess your level of entrepreneurial burnout and the health of your business. It's time to get your life back!