The world is passing through a very tough time in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic. As we know, nobody remains unaffected from the attack of the deadly virus. And the world has been burning the midnight oil to find a solution for yet another growing major concern, an uncertain future. The power of creativity (and more) can help.
Businesses are crumbling, unemployment is on the rise, liquidity crisis deepens in all the countries, and the world has slipped into recession. An effective COVID-19 vaccine will revive everything in no time. But the panacea is yet to come out of the trial stage.
As the crisis mounts, Ramon Ray, entrepreneur, best-selling author and founder of Smart Hustle Media in a recent Facebook Live session with Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship and the Small Business Leadership Conference titled, “Think Bigger. Think Smarter. Overcome Fear and Take Your Business Forward,” explains in detail about the specific measures that the business owners need to take in order to outlive fear and to build a mindset to overcome an uncertain future.
You can watch the full video session here for more ideas and inspiration.
He says this is not the first time that we have gone through tough times and that is one thing to put in perspective. As people are facing survival challenges from different corners in this crisis, this is life-changing for many.
“Many of you listening today have gone through tough times, if you are a bit younger, maybe, it is the first but this is life,” says Ray.
Recalling how he managed to beat the challenges and hardships in his young life, inspirational keynote speaker says, “We all have anxiousness and I think the key thing to think about then is, what do we do with the fear.”
People have fear and they are anxious too.
“We are all concerned but now what are we going to do without it?” he asks.
This then goes to another point which is all about choice. It is a choice. Though many people had to close their businesses, they still have a choice. “What will you personally do to reinvent yourself,” Ray asks.
He highlights the need to focus on the community as a measure to bring down stress. It's very important to check yourself, check the family and ask them how they are doing.
“If you are going to church or synagogue or you have a local community group, sports team whatever it is, ask your community whatever that may mean for you. How they are doing, what is going on with them, not only are you checking on with them, but that comradeship they are gonna then check on with you,” Ray points out.
The power of creativity
Small business owners face a huge challenge of creativity and it is the key to the success of a venture.
“Some of us lack creativity and if you are not able to have creativity to think of ideas to execute to adapt to learn to leverage, this is why it is hard for you to win or advance forward,” he says.
It is very important, essential that an entrepreneur has to put that creative mindset on, because if the creative skill, the ability to think outside the box, the chances of succeeding or the chances of surviving and thriving are high.
“So I do suggest you consider that is that the aspect of creativity especially in rough times.”
Need of a mindset
Does a person who owns a business need to possess a mindset? Everybody who is starting their own business doesn't have a mindset for pain, a mindset for uncomfortability, he says.
“Most of you on here have already started your business but it is very important for business owners to ask yourself what if you don't have it, get it. If you have it, well and good. Do you have a mindset for business?” he asks.
Ray says he knows what he has gotten comfortable with. He has gotten very comfortable with being uncomfortable. “This is what you have to deal with oftentimes as a small business owner,” says Ray.
“It is the hustle and the grind or as I say, it is not just hustle, it is the smart hustle. So this is what it is like the mindset and attitude for business being comfortable with. Being uncomfortable is important and how do you do this?”
Be willing to learn
A business owner must have a mind to lean the prevailing situation around him. He has to see the possibilities in everything.
“If you can be in business, you have to have optimism, you have to have hope, you have to be inspired or get inspired or inspire others to succeed,” he points out.
This is what it takes, what's the mindset. It is important to see possibilities everywhere, see possibilities especially in the impossible and make sure you are careful who you surround yourself with.
“You surround yourself with people who are negative all the time you are going to be thinking negative. It is that is what is going to happen,” Ray says.
Do the small business owners are less keen on thinking big and against taking reasonable risks?
Ray says it is time to think different as small business owners don't think big enough.
“We don't think strategic enough and by the way I have a new book coming up this fall which is going to focus on a lot of these key points,” he says.
Business leaders need to know what are the profit drivers in the business and they can’t just look at the gross revenue.
“They look at the profit, so you can run a profitable business. Look at your team,” he says.
Ray says JMI probably has a lot of information on leadership finance team, sales and marketing. Jim Moran has a book on the qualities of a good business leader.
An entrepreneur must know if he has got the right team and must observe if they are doing the right thing. And at the same time, the business leader must inspire his team for excellence too, says Ray.
“Our business revolves in a large part around us. My point is being as you are looking to build your personal brand, build your community and fan base. Educate. That is the number one sales to the person who educates the most of the best will win,” he opines.
A pleasant face is another important factor to determine the identity.
“Ask for a smile before you ask for a sale. When you do this, it is contagious. In your sales process, instead of saying can you buy from me, just be nice first. People are wanted by and last point be the celebrity CEO,” he says.
Brice Bowman, a viewer, asked how someone would start a successful new business in the current economic climate; specifically if it is reliant upon in person interaction.
Ray says, “Starting a new business, I would focus on education. Then be very clear as Seth Godin says, ‘what problem are you solving, who are you solving it for, be very clear’.”
Lindsey Boomer, Manager of National Programs at Jim Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, part of the College of Business at Florida State University, says it has been mentioned about the need to have some creativity.
She asked, “Do you have any tips on how to go about kind of spurring that creative side of someone and new ideas I know for myself I try to go to, you know with planning conferences and things like that I like to get inspiration from other conferences or other events or join certain newsletter and things like that. So, do you have any tips on how to kind of spur creativity if you don't have it?
“If you don't have creativity, I would do it. Reading is powerful, just read books too. In this case, we are all stuck in our homes. Facebook groups and our LinkedIn groups can be powerful. I do that a lot. Or go to Facebook groups, ask questions, anybody has suggestions, you post that people will give you all kinds of suggestions,” he says.
Ray talks about the importance of mentorship in the life of a person especially, an entrepreneur and says through the work of Jim, Wright Institute, and others, he realized the significance of mentorship.
To a question from a viewer namely Bryce on his top motivators who help him persist through adversity, Ray says he believes that he is nobody and finds value in every person. Despite being a thought leader, he is keen to listen always. Calls people and listen to videos of the JMI website for ideas and motivation.
Giving tips on managing stress to Boomer’s entrepreneur mother Elba, Ray says that mentors can help a lot. “I found that and mentors could take the place of real people,” he says.
He suggests going to social media groups for ideas and solutions to the problems.
Ray says he is not a rich man. Though he lost the job at the United Nations years ago, it could not weaken him. He has grown with smart hustle and maintains a good team to run his business. His nice little system helps him grow even in COVID. The entrepreneur stipulates that a business owner must have the ability to explore opportunities in challenging times without succumbing to fear and then only he can survive and thrive.
You can have the full video session here for more ideas and inspiration