Are You Spooked? Don’t.
“This feels like a hell. 2008 seemed manageable”
“Will my business survive this? Two of our customers have asked for massive hair cut!”
“How will I manage next 3 months?”
“My pipeline is off the table. This is disastrous!”
“This is not the moment for growth. This is the moment for survival.”
These are some verbatim quotes from TechCEOs with whom we are talking to right now. There is fear, anxiety, pressure to hang in and most painful of all is that (it seems) there is no visibility at end of the tunnel.
“We just came back from our fantastic sales kick off in Bali end January and now this! This is the worst crap show that could have happened at the beginning of the year. “
Are you resonating with these thoughts and emotions? If yes, well you are not alone.
Well then in any situation you have two ways of looking at things. One through a filter of fear and anxiety and another through a filter of confidence and progress. Fear usually is usually related to uncertainty while confidence is related to commitment, courage and discipline.
It’s all about having the right frame of mind to address this crisis. Maybe we have to learn to shift our mindset and pick up a few tricks from the Navy Seals.
There’s a part of Navy SEAL training called “drown-proofing” where they bind your hands behind your back, tie your feet together, and dump you into a 9-foot-deep pool. Your job is to survive for five minutes.
Like most of SEAL training, the vast majority of cadets who attempt drown-proofing fail. Upon being tossed into the water, many of them panic and scream to be lifted back out.
Some struggle until they slip underwater where they proceed to lose consciousness and have to be fished out and resuscitated. Over the years, a number of trainees have even died during the exercise.
But some people make it. And they do so because they understand two counterintuitive lessons.
The first lesson: the more you struggle to keep your head above water, the more likely you are to sink.
The first lesson is all about allowing yourself to actually sink to the bottom of the pool. From there, you lightly push yourself off the pool floor and let your momentum carry you back to the surface.
If we apply this to the situation we are facing now in our business is not to struggle, panic and beat our head with a club. Instead, lean into the situation and allow ourselves to go through the dip and look for leverage points (opportunities, life lines) to push ourselves up.
The second lesson: the more you panic, the more oxygen you will burn and the more likely you are to fall unconscious and drown.
The more intense your desire to breathe, the less you will be able to breathe. The more intense your will to live, the greater the chance you will die.
Lifting this to our situation, TechCEOs and leaders should hold their head, keep their energies and face our fears. When you name and face your fears (many techniques available to do this. One from Tim Ferris ‘Fear setting‘ is really good. Try it.) you tend to calm down a bit. When you are calm you spend less energy worrying and have more have to focus on things you can control.
What is being tested during this Covid-19 crisis is your ability to control your own impulses?
Can you relax in the face of uncertainty? Can you calmly do a financial stress test? Can you engage clients and risk your business in the service of some higher value or goal? These skills are far more important than your ability to generate quick revenue.
This skill — the ability to let go of control when one wants it most — is one of the most important skills any good leader can develop. And not just for SEAL training but for our life and in business.
And so how do we do this? By letting go. By giving up. By surrendering. Not out of weakness. But out of a respect that the world is beyond our grasp.
Covid-19 is not your doing.
When we recognise that what we have built is fragile, limited and temporary in the grand scheme of things – you can relinquish control that is perpetrated by ego. Instead learn to handle the situation through wisdom.
You lean into the fear and uncertainty, and just when you think you’re going to drown, just as you reach the bottom, it will launch you back to your glory.
That is not far away. Do not Give up. Keep trying.
- 10 Steps TechCEOs Can Take Now to Bounce Back Click here.
- Should Tech firms consider Re-Branding to Drive New Demand – Click here.
- Do TechCEOs Get ROI from Marketing Click here.
- 3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.