The Key To Reinventing Ourselves (And Our Businesses) Following The COVID-19 Pandemic
While every entrepreneur had unique challenges within their own context, perhaps the greatest similarity and unifying factor in the midst of it all was fear.
Entrepreneurship on a normal day or in a normal year is a challenge for even the most seasoned entrepreneurs. But the global coronavirus pandemic of 2020 raised those challenges in a unique way, beyond what we've seen on a global scale in recent history. While every entrepreneur had unique challenges within their own context, perhaps the greatest similarity and unifying factor in the midst of it all was fear.
Fear is a very natural response to any degree of uncertainty, but the palpability of it in the last year on a global scale has been off the charts. What might happen to my business? What kind of returns am I going to see on the investment I've made? How am I ever going to meet the budget if we see a huge decline in sales? How do I tell my employees that they might not have a job to come back to if I'm forced to consider layoffs? These questions and many others have created concern for entrepreneurs around the world, and attempting to answer these questions has been no small task.
While these questions have been ruminating in the minds of entrepreneurs everywhere, what's also true of entrepreneurs is their ability to look at the big picture, and navigate the need for flexibility and necessary change. Perhaps the greatest indicator of success on both a normal day, and in the midst of a global pandemic, is the ability to embrace the domain of possibility while letting fear subside.
HOW MINDSET DETERMINES OUTCOMES
It's tempting to think that the outcomes you might be seeing in your business are simply a result of the external factors you have very little control over. Perhaps revenue is down, because the borders are closed, or because supply chains are a mess. Perhaps no one is interested in spending money these days, because unemployment is higher than normal. These are potential realities that shouldn't be ignored, but outcomes are driven by so much more than larger contextual situations.
In actuality, results are driven primarily by action. Results are determined by what you do. The intentional actions you take to respond to the contextual situation you are in profoundly affect the outcomes you will see.
But what is action driven by? What drives you to do what you do? This brings up the realm of "being." Being is the seat on which action and outcomes are built. Being is the inner mindset that drives what you do and predicts the results you will see because of those actions you take. Being is where fear lives during a global pandemic. This posture of being is ultimately what needs to be evaluated in order to reinvent both yourself and your business on the tail end of this pandemic.
THE DOMAIN OF POSSIBILITY
On the flip side of the domain of fear, there is the domain of possibility. The domain of possibility is equally rooted in your being, and it has tremendous power over your actions and eventually the outcomes you see in your life and in your business.
One of the biggest markers of the domain of possibility is that it stems from a mindset of abundance, instead of scarcity. The domain of possibility asks questions about change, projection, and positive forward motion. How can this be changed, and what might be the result if we could achieve this? What opportunities are there? How can I do things better? How can something be made more efficient or effective? What is the "why" behind what we're doing? Within the domain of possibility, there's always an element of curiosity and exploration.
Most often, thinking within the domain of possibility means thinking outside the box. The domain of possibility often demands not just a few little changes, but reinventing yourself or your business altogether. It requires questioning what you do, how you do it, and even why you do it. It requires looking beyond just the products and services you offer, and beyond the processes you use. This act of thinking outside the box is ultimately a matter of creation- creating new possibilities for yourself that weren't there before.
Obviously, these questions and this state of being are very different from the state of being that is driven by fear. Fear is often trying to hold onto what was, while possibility asks what can be. Fear tries to hold onto how things have always worked, while possibility asks what changes can be made to inspire something new and different. This is a powerful mindset shift that can create all sorts of energizing outcomes.
THE NECESSITY OF POSSIBILITY THINKING IN TIMES OF CRISIS
If there's anything that the global pandemic has taught us over the last year, it's that the domain of possibility is nearly a requirement in times of crisis. You can't survive in the domain of fear and scarcity.
For many people in Dubai and the UAE, this mindset has been prevalent for a long time and continues to be widespread throughout the global pandemic. Looking back at what this country has achieved over the last 50 years, the domain of possibility gives testimony to what we are capable of. The response of the country's leadership in the midst of the pandemic has been phenomenal. Reports claim that Dubai business growth is back to the path prior to COVID-19. This is remarkable- and it all hinges on the necessity of possibility thinking in times of crisis and uncertainty.
Niousha Ehsan is the co-founder and Chief Energy Officer of LINKVIVA, an integrated events management agency that launched in Dubai in 2005 and serves prestigious multinational and government clients in the region. LINKVIVA has been awarded several accolades since its inception, which include being declared one of the top 50 event companies in the world by Special Events Magazine USA, 39th in Dubai Top 100 SMEs in the UAE (where Niousha was among the top 13 women SME leaders who lead their organizations toward excellence), The Great Place to Work Award, and several others.
Niousha Ehsan is a highly effective CEO with 15+ years of experience in the events, activations, and meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions (MICE) industry. She was awarded twice as “CEO of the year” and was also elected as a Board Member of the International Live Events Association (ILEA). Besides this, as a certified life coach and NLP coach, she champions women empowerment by mentoring and coaching women entrepreneurs around the world as her way of giving back to the community.