This Too Shall Pass: Behaviors Today Will Have Ramifications Tomorrow

At the end of the day, it's good to remember that one's behavior in the worst situations is often the best indicator of how one really is, and that's something to keep in mind for now- and for later.

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It’s only been a few weeks since we in the Middle East began to feel the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, but in this fairly short period, the economic slowdown it has effected on our business landscape has been nothing short of monumental. And it’s safe to say that it’s been especially felt by those of us who are a part of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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For us at Entrepreneur Middle East, besides been privy to a multitude of stories about enterprises that are struggling to keep themselves afloat amidst this crisis, we’ve also found ourselves tackling the same challenges as our peers. After all, we are a young business too- we only celebrated our sixth anniversary in February this year. But, at the same time, as an entity that has long called itself “the voice of entrepreneurship” in the region, we’ve decided that, despite all of what’s going on with us as a business, we also have to continue to stay true to our role within this ecosystem.

And that’s why we’ve kept our heads down and focused on our work, which, in our current setting, has meant us bringing together everything from insights to resources that can help MENA entrepreneurs navigate a way out of this unprecedented situation. So, from thoughts on how to keep a team motivated even while their salaries are cut, or tips and tactics to how to keep our wits about us, and, well, not lose it, we’ve been seeking (and pushing out) stories and solutions that will help our community of entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs get through this crisis.

I must admit here that I’ve been more personally invested than usual when we embarked on this content plan for Entrepreneur, and I feel it’s because I’ve bought into this sentiment of “we’re in this together.” While arguably clichéd, that statement carries a lot of significance in times like these. I believe that if we try to operate selfishly now, be it as businesses or individuals, then we’re almost certainly headed down a path that won’t work out in the long run. Because as alarming as this crisis may seem, we must remember that it is most definitely a temporary one all the same, and as such, what we do now will well be remembered in the future.

With that in mind, think twice before you, as a corporate, drop all of your contracts with startups and leave them high and dry. Rest assured that your reputation as a business partner has already taken a hit in the community at large. Similarly, think of the ramifications of your actions when you, as a business leader, choose to let go of your staff, so that you can continue with your luxuries. (You’ll have this on your conscience when you run around spouting “I am nothing without my team” to everyone after this crisis has passed.)

Now, all of this is not to discount the tough decisions many of us have to make when going about our businesses in extraordinary circumstances like these- but let’s be very careful about people who pass off poor choices as “things they had to do because of the crisis.” At the end of the day, it’s good to remember that one’s behavior in the worst situations is often the best indicator of how one really is, and that’s something to keep in mind for now- and for later.

Related: Perspective Is Everything