__Can you adapt?
In my career as an entrepreneur I have often had to adapt to very dramatic and drastic changes in circumstances, again and again. Usually it is not of my making. Today, the 22nd of March, it will have been 20 years since I was told that if I did not get out of my country that day, I would be killed. I had not done anything or said anything, I was just perceived to be a threat to the interests of others in very powerful positions. I had to adapt quickly to very drastic changes in my business…
# I was deeply concerned about the safety of my family.
# I was still in danger of being followed, and harmed. I was not safe.
# Only faith in God kept me believing my business would not be taken from me.
Right now some of you are finding yourself in exactly this situation, because of the Coronavirus:
# You are deeply concerned for your own personal safety, and that of your family.
# You don’t know if your business will survive.
# You are not sure what to do next.
So what do you do?
First things first: Do everything you can to protect yourself, your family and employees. Next! Calm yourself down. Don’t panic or despair. Avoid feeling sorry for yourself.
Remember what I taught you here years ago about the Eagle being the only bird that is a specialist at hunting in the storm. I first taught you this to make you understand that as an entrepreneur, you are working in a @Storm most of the time, with only a few hours of sunshine every day.
Most days it is just howling, unending @Storms!
I have seen some bad storms in my life, but let me tell you now, this is #The Mother of Storms! I have never seen anything worse than this outside of an all-out global conflict.
Approach this like you would when a nation goes to war. It could be like this, or worse, for the next 12 to 18 months (especially if people do not listen to instructions to help keep them safe right now).
Holding on to traditions like hugging people, shaking hands, attending huge wedding feasts, and funerals, could be fatal to you and your family right now. So, why do it?
You think it makes sense to go to a big funeral, and then get yourself buried next?! This does not mean we don’t bury the dead: We must, and with all the dignity, love and respect possible. But still we must…
You cannot work from the office, or hold normal meetings face to face? It’s not the end of the world…
By the time this is done, those who survive and go on to thrive, are like the #Eagle, who knows how to find opportunity in the @Storm!
First, you must learn to fly in a storm. Use its winds and currents to help you to take to the sky.
__Have a sharp vision which does not get distracted. Learn to fly alone, even when there are other eagles around…
When the opportunity emerges, the eagle is quick, very quick, because it knows that in such situations opportunities are few.
Don’t be choosy!
Don’t be proud!
Hey, you might end up sweeping floors, until you are back on your feet. Maybe in fact you are already sweeping floors and now there will be competition for your position like never before.
#Adapt – you have no choice… You must have vision and make a plan!
“Put all excuses aside and remember this: you are capable”. Zig Ziglar
To be continued. . .
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa