Today is the International Day of the Entrepreneur, but we are still in the middle of a global crisis. Can we do something to resist?
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
Today is International Entrepreneur Day , but this year we are going to celebrate it in the midst of a global crisis.
I'm not going to deny it, last week I felt very lost. The closure of more than a year, the numbers of COVID-19 coronavirus infections and the complicated economic outlook began to collapse my spirits. I think it increased because my family is Italian and the photographs of Bergamo in the Lombardy region , where trucks were seen in line taking bodies to other areas of Italy to be cremated, made me fear the worst for Mexico.
Then, what always happens in Entrepreneur happened: I came across the infinite goodness of Latinos in times of trial. There are those who give away webinars, meditation classes, sale of cookies to collect for medical supplies, 3D printing of plastic face masks, etc. I have seen Mexican business men and women fight the pandemic with innovation, optimism, and leadership. With immense generosity .
Latin American and Hispanic entrepreneurs are resilient. It is part of our DNA. We come from countries that experience continuous crises, so we are experts in adapting and starting over again and again. As proof, it is enough to see how entrepreneurs have relaunched their products with new ideas and rethought their businesses to digitize them in record time.
Entrepreneurs understand two truths about what is happening:
- COVID-19 is not going to stop us. It only alters the plans that we had drawn up.
- The best weapon we have to face the economic crisis is to stay together (with a healthy distance) and support each other.
For me, the role of Entrepreneur in this historical era became very clear: tell the stories of entrepreneurs who are transforming the world, provide you with current information and approach leaders with knowledge to cope with the crisis. At the brand we have doubled our efforts to publish news at the moment, guides to transform your business, webinars with experts through our Entrepreneur Masters initiative and give you our printed magazine for free in digital format .
You should be concerned and take this pandemic seriously, but despite what we see in the next few weeks, there is no need to panic.
Our goal as a society at this time is to flatten the curve, that is, to spread the infections in a longer period of time so that they do not exceed the capacity of our health system. Social distancing is the best weapon we have at the moment to achieve it.
I am a pragmatic optimist. I know this virus is bad, but it could be worse. COVID-19 gives us the opportunity as the human race to improve our health systems and protocols to be ready to face a more aggressive pathogen in the future. I also think that it is a great time to make some changes in certain social norms such as accepting the home office as a valid work option, the ability to work open hours, or simply, to understand that when someone is sick, they should not go to the office to work!
Every year, thousands of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) die because they do not dare to digitize their businesses or change their preconceptions about what they are and what they do. If this experience causes us to become more “savvy” about the importance of opening up new channels and creating support networks in our communities, millions of businesses will be saved in the years to come.
I am not trying to minimize the effect of the coronavirus on our lives. There is a highly vulnerable population (the elderly, those who suffer from diabetes, hypertension or live with a compromised immune system), but history has shown time and again that humanity is quite “enduring” (103 years ago we survived the influenza pandemic , the most virulent epidemic on record in modern history).
These moments can bring out the worst in us, but also the best in our humanity. How we feel about the crisis depends a lot on what we focus on it. Again, you have to take it seriously, but there is no need to go into absolute terror.
For me that means being grateful for the doctors and nurses that my country has, the various initiatives to support SMEs that have seen their income shrink, the scientists around the world who are working tirelessly to find a vaccine, the big entrepreneurs and little ones who are doing their bit.
The economy will recover sooner or later. It is an inevitable cycle. I believe that this experience will make Mexico and Latin America stronger if we can overcome the pandemic with empathy.
We must move forward, discard what worked yesterday and accept that tomorrow has already changed. This crisis will fuel the next wave of innovation and today we are defining our future.
We are still in this together.