The constant barrage of headlines about the recession and job cuts gives me anxiety. I'm guessing it does that for you too. Anxiety feels heavy. It's usually about powerlessness—that impending doom is coming, and there is nothing we can do.
I urge you to reject that notion. Instead, here are a few tips to take control of anxiety and go boldly toward the life you want:
Lessen your exposure.
Turn off the news. I know *drastic* but hear me out. Is consuming rotten headlines helping you in any way? Is it inspiring you to do something positive, to look for a way to crush it while everyone runs for the hills? Or is it making you fearful and nervous?
No rule says you must watch the news. You can turn it off in your browser or unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad. If you fear being "out of touch," create a dedicated time to check-in. Setting an appointed time makes you less likely to get sucked into the doom scroll. Then follow that up with something that makes you feel good—a walk, meditation, upbeat music.
>> btw- music can change your mood! For my fellow research and music nerds:
Now is not the time for one-person businesses and employees to shrink back in fear! It's time to move from passive to active.
Instead of sitting in anxiety over the uncertainty in our world, channel your energy into creating a skill that makes you more valuable. If you work for a company and are not sure which side you will land on if there are job cuts, here are three ways to stack the odds in your favor:
1. Learn a new skill that makes you invaluable to employers. Skills like conflict resolution, employee coaching, special team/project management, and harnessing the power of data and AI are always in demand in the workplace. So are creative skills such as writing, presenting, and video production. Tie your skill to an outcome (i.e., where you make money or save money for the company).
If you are not keeping a daily journal of your work, START NOW. A work journal is an asset that will show you areas of strength and weakness and provide fact-based material when it's time to ask for that promotion.
2. Despite what your momma said, talk to strangers. One of your most significant assets is your network. A network is not just your friends and family; it's everyone you encounter through friendship, work, or a shared interest. The broader, the better. You want to surround yourself with many people who can inspire you when times are rough and provide connections and resources.
One significant barrier to creating a robust network is not knowing where to start. If the notion of walking into a room full of strangers to talk about yourself gives you sweaty palms, you are not alone. As a recovering introvert, I can tell you that you have the power to overcome this! Here are some tips.
3. Now is the time to bring your side hustle into the light. Do you have some secret project like an app, a book, or the desire to teach? You can start that coaching business, take a marketing class, or write that book while employed.
This is a great time to think about the big picture of your life and what you really want. Building a project on the side is a great creative outlet that readies you with diversified knowledge and income.
If you don't know where to start, here are some quick action steps:
Write your mission statement. What do you want out of life?
Look through your work journal to identify the times you felt the proudest. Also, identify the times you fell on your face. Can you create something based on where you naturally excel? What would happen if you took some classes for the areas you feel challenged?
Write down what you would do if money were no object.
Follow a couple of entrepreneurs. What skills do they have that you are missing?
What would success look like if you launched a passion project in 90 days? What can you achieve in the next 30 days that will move you closer to that?
Don't write from a place of feasibility at first. Just get all the ideas out of your head. The more you dive in, the more you see patterns and possibilities. This will help you set a goal, a timeline, and a place to begin to reverse engineer a plan to get there.
Small teams and one-person businesses – this applies to you as well! Learning a new skill and staying top-of-mind in your network is just plain good for business. It's also a great time to revisit your mission and reset your goals to stay energized and focused during difficult times.
In addition, look for new ways to serve people. Don't enter the price wars and damage your profitability. Instead, create a service or product that makes sense to a new demographic in your industry. For instance, a DIY mini-course from a popular full-service offering. Or a 1:1 consultation that is profitable for you and will give people immense value without a substantial financial commitment.
If you are not already putting out different content types (how-to, educational, fun, interactive, etc.,) now is the time. You need it so you can get eyeballs but also so you know what is resonating with your audience. Pay attention to what performs well and make more of that. This will help you tighten your messaging and uncover new ways to serve your customers. Also, put out that promotional content! No one will do it for you. You are a business, and people expect some promo stuff.
Don't let fear be the thing that takes you down.
Fear and anxiety create noise in our nervous systems, leading to various physical and mental conditions that leave you stuck Groundhog Day style. The more anxious you are, the worse you feel, the worse you feel, the more anxious you are… etc., etc., for eternity.
Instead of feeling nervous about the uncertainty in life, channel that energy to get closer to your mission. All it takes is a plan, sweat equity, and a network of trusted friends and peers. You can have anything you want. Seriously. The only thing holding you back is fear. If you don't believe me, tell me what you want, and I'll show you where to start.
Maybe you've thought, "what does this woman do?"
Remember all those things I just talked about? Finding your special something, creating a network, and bringing your messaging to its fullest expression? Yes! I help with that, so you win more business!
I also have a love affair with baked goods… but that's a conversation for another day…