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I am sure that just like many other business owners, you did not foresee a pandemic in the year 2020. Infact, you may never have imagined that there would be any pandemic in your lifetime. The pandemic that you knew of was what you saw on tv and block buster movies. None of what you watched ever crossed your mind that, one day, in your lifetime, you would ever live through it.

The covid-19 pandemic has affected our global ecomony in several ways. For instance , schools have closed and parents are forced to home school their children, most businesses have closed, some companies have laid off their workers and most people are faced with an uncertain future.

In the midst of all this uncertainty, what is your business continuity plan?

As a business owner, now would be the time not to panic but to sit down and strategise on how your business will continue after the pandemic. Here are a few pointers that will help you form a business continuity plan.

1. Have a winning attitude

You must have it in your mind that you will survive the pandemic and live to see the aftermath. You must see yourself in the future running a successful business. It doesn’t matter if you are closed right now or the sales are in the negative at this moment. Having this positive winning attitude helps you wake up each day with the determination to do what is expected of you. This attitude propels you forward in your mind and actions. It keeps you on the high to salvage your business no matter what. Right now, more than ever, you must have a solid mind frame.

2. Restructure your business model

If your business does not have an online presence, it is time to create one. If there is a lesson that business owners have learnt during this pandemic, it is the importance of having your business online. This way, you are able to serve a wider range of clients from anywhere in the world at any comfortable place that you are in. Take your time now and restructure your business model to fit an online profile. You can start by opening a business page in the popular social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram then start building your business from there.

3. Make a fresh strategic plan

One thing we can all agree on for sure is that, the pandemic has disrupted our business strategic plans. Most businesses have annual strategic plans, these are goals that have been written down on how they will be accomplished in a given financial year. Now, is the best time to restrategise and write out fresh strategic goals. If you did not have any strategic goals, you will need to write and plan on one right away. You can redefine your next six months, say from July to December and write down SMART, sales strategies that you will follow through.

4. Learn a new skill

Remember how much you fall short on bookkeeping? This is the perfect time to learn a new skill. That skill that you know you need in your business but you have never got round to learning. Perhaps, you need to learn how to make SMART sales strategies; maybe you need to learn how to market your business online. Perhaps it is a new baking recipe for your business. Whatever skill you know you need to learn, do it right now. When the pandemic is over you will simply apply it and move your business forward.

5. Network

If there is any pinch that we are feeling right now is the importance of people around us or the lack of them. In the wake of pandemic , we have had to social distance. This has made us realise the importance of people in our lives. It is the same in business. You need to network albeit online and find people with skills, knowledge and same interest as you that you can use and learn for your business. Follow these personalities on their online platforms, connect, network as much as you can. Build relationships that will became fundamental in your business journey.

You can add more to the list of things that you can do in order to make your business continuity plan. Remember there is life after the pandemic. In the meantime as you plan for your business don’t forget to follow the recommended guidelines to stay safe, protect yourself and your loved ones.

As part of having a business continuity plan, we have a Grow My Business Coaching Online Program that you can take advantage of during this lockdown.

Read more on it below.

The Power of Asking

“If only you knew just how much power, you hold inside of you, you would be unstoppable!”

WILLIAMS: Some truths about the history of slavery | Toronto Sun
Photo: Courtesy

Early this year in February 2020, I held my first sales seminar. We called it, Ignite Your Sales Seminar 2020. It was hosted in one of the best locations in the CBD in Mombasa, Kenya.  Back in the year 2019, I had written down one of my strategic goals in 2020 was to organize and host a Sales Seminar that would bring together a diverse number of people who were employed and or did businesses.

I have always held to the belief that sales is the cornerstone of any business. If you are employed, doing business, earning an income of some kind or simply living life in anyway, you are always selling something hoping that someone would buy.

In business, if you are not selling, you may as well not be in business.

I wanted to organize a sales seminar that would be empowering to anyone who was in sales.  The idea was for people to come together and learn how to ignite their sales in the year 2020 while at the same time network with likeminded individuals.

Since this was my first seminar, I had a lot of fears within me. First, I was working with a very tight budget. Secondly, being fairly new in the consultancy world, I was not sure if anyone would show up for the event – I was not a household name. Thirdly, I needed to have a mix of speakers that would speak on different topics geared toward the theme of the seminar- Ignite your sales in 2020. Lastly but not least , I needed the right people to work with me in the logistics to bring this vision into reality.

Take a second and imagine the pressure I was in.

Immense.

I needed to get everything in order in good time. Booking of the venue. Advertising. Assembling of the speakers. The right pricing. Getting the right workforce to work with, meet the deadline etc.

That is not even the story.

Truth is, I was cash strapped. All I had was my vision and the determination to see it come to fruition. I had no money to pay the speakers. And I was faced with the dilemma to charge the delegates a premium fee that would be enough to also pay the speakers. I contemplated that for a second.

Then again, I was a new player trying to get my footing in inspiring and motivating lives. Who would pay a premium?

It took a lot of will power and the fire within me to continue with the planning of the sales seminar despite the challenges I was facing. I strongly believed in the value that I was offering, and I knew whoever attended will not leave the same way they came.

That was the transformation I was gearing for.

I identified professionals and experts in their fields within my local community.  Personalities that I knew would add value to my delegates.

Then, I exercised my power of asking.

You can imagine, the brevity and the strong fort I put when I made those calls to the potential speakers as I sold my sales seminar vision to them. At some point I thought I was overselling myself. I was not going to back out. I was focused on making it happen. I largely explained the value that both the delegates and the speakers would get from the sales seminar. I humbly asked if they could please make time from their busy schedules and come to give value -for free?

I made calls. I pushed. Some said No. I persisted.

In the end, through persistence and strong belief in my work, I got five YESs from five different speakers!

Let this sink in.

We finally had our dream team speakers! I was super excited!

The day of the Ignite Your Sales Seminar 2020 came. Delegates did not disappoint. They showed up in numbers that really encouraged my team and I who had worked so tireless to make that day happen.

Saying that we had a great time would be underselling the success of the sales seminar! The speakers gave more than a hundred percent of themselves, something that to this day, I humbly appreciate with the whole of me. The seminar sessions were interactive, fun and with incredible lifetime lessons.

Exactly as I had envisioned it.

All this happened because I ASKED.

Ignite Your Sales Seminar is an annual event that we hope to be hosting. The success of our first, encouraged me to dream for a much bigger, better sales seminar for the year 2021 and the consecutive years.

This is for you!

Go forth and ask, ask, ask! Ask shamelessly! Get rejected and move on to the next person. Ask for help. Ask for ideas. Ask for whatever resources you know you need. May the fire in you burn more than the fear of asking!

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Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new

Barack Obama

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Time to Play!

New Pooh, Piglet Walking Hand In Hand - Winnie The Pooh And Piglet ...
photo credit: courtesy

Rabbit’s clever,’ said Pooh thoughtfully.
‘Yes,’ said Piglet, ‘Rabbit’s clever.’
‘And he has Brain.’
‘Yes,’ said Piglet, ‘Rabbit has a brain.’
There was a long silence.
‘I suppose,’ said Pooh, ‘that’s why he is always doing things alone.” (adopted from Winnie the Pooh)

What is it that sets your soul on fire?

You may have this strong belief that you have what it takes to make your ideas and dreams come true. You probably know that; it will work out and that you are the best at it.

For the big idea to work you need people to support you. After all you are the vision carrier and as such you need people to help your vision materialise. You need people to help you with the necessary resources, such as capital, mentorship, labor or just a simple encouraging word to help you propel forward.

You are so excited that you seek everyone that you know with a bid to getting the help that you need. Your expectations are extremely high, you know without any shadow of doubt that they will buy into your idea.

Bingo!

You are faced with rejection. The people you thought will help you, do not see the big picture as you see it. In fact, they do not see it all. No help comes your way. To make matters worse, they tell you that your idea will not work, that you will fail and that it will be a waste of time.

True, when you take a long look at what you must work with, you realise that they could be right.

Doubt creeps in and you start questioning the very existence of your being.

What do you want to do?

Here is what I say.

Congratulations! Now you have an audience. It is time to play!

They are obviously watching with snorted noses waiting for you to fail.

Maybe not.

Show time! Do not disappoint; It is time to walk alone.

Rabbit (Winnie-the-Pooh) - Wikipedia
Photo credit: Courtesy

Walking alone is a particularly good thing. You know why?

  1. It is your idea; nobody knows it better than you.
  2. If you do not do it, one day you will regret having not made the decision to.
  3. The best part is, there are no restrictions of anyone’s opinion to hinder you.
  4. What about resources? You say, “I don’t have any” Great that is the beauty of it all. You must consider how much fire is burning inside of you and how badly you want to let it out.

I always ask my mentees, “What is in your hands”?

Look critically at what you have. Do not ignore any small thing. Use that at hand without shame. Then build progressively.

  • When you start working on your idea, the right people will meet you along the way. When you are in search of something so bad, the universe will conspire with everything it has to give it to you.

Understand, it might not be immediate, but it will come.

  • It takes brevity to move forward against all odds. Understand, you are your own encourager and cheerleader.

Anyone who has made it in life will surely tell you that it was never easy. Quitting is not an option for you.

You must see your future as a success of what you want, then come back to the present and go through the struggle to achieve it.

You owe it to yourself to start walking alone. The others will catch up along the way.

“The things that make me different are the things that make me, me.”

—Piglet

Adopted from Winnie the Pooh

Watch out for our Next Post we will talk about “The power of asking”.

I need to keep myself together!

“You can’t change that. You can’t fix that. You can keep yourself together!”

Three months ago, I had several plans; I had scheduled meetings, events that we were looking forward to host, dates with my family and friends, travel bookings and school activities to attend. You name it!

Suddenly, a ‘Stay at Home’ order! came through the door faster than any of our plans could materialise. Then everything changed. I mean,everything!

As we were settling down to the new norm, at some point I became restless. You will agree with me when I say that it was not easy to adjust to the new changes; stay at home, raise your kids, home school your kids, get your work done, run a business, stay healthy and at the same time keep sane.

I asked my friends to share some of the healthy habits that they did during the lock down while focusing on their businesses and or work. Here is a list of some things that I managed to put together.

You can adopt some if you are not already doing them.

  1. Do some gardening at your back or front yard. You will be surprised at how much fresh vegetables your family will be getting on a daily basis.
  2. Get potted plants and give life to your doorsteps, balconies, window panes and some selected areas in your house. Tend to these plants on a frequent basis.
  3. Create different theme days at home with your family. You can have each family member give input on what they would like done on a daily basis. e.g. beach theme day, paper craft day, sports day, karaoke night etc. No idea is too small. Have fun while at it!
  4. Have a duty roaster for the kids and adults in the house. Come up with a reward system for exemplary work done!
  5. Lay out a family alter and specify a time that the family will be meeting for fellowship and sharing of the word of God.
  6. Rearrange your furniture and redecorate your home. Have other members of the household give a helping hand.
  7. Learn and try out different recipes on a daily basis. Have a good laugh when the food doesn’t come out as you had hoped!
  8. Organise a food drive with your friends, family and your community at large. Give to the less fortunate.
  9. Reach out to family members and friends that you have not spoken with in a long time. Make amends.
  10. Remember how you have been postponing for years to start working out because your excuse was that you were busy? Now it’s a good time to start.
  11. Have you always wanted to write a book? A blog perhaps? What are you waiting for?
  12. Make a habit of sitting down with your family members and just talk. Talk about your dreams, their dreams, fears, plans. etc. Make it meaningful.
  13. If you have always wanted to change some aspects of your life like getting out of a bad relationship, changing careers, relocating, making new investments etc. Take time to reflect on these, plan and start taking measurable actions.
  14. Unclutter your house right from your wardrobe, pantry, kids old toys to the store and garage. Donate all you can.
  15. Update your CV, professional papers and accounts.
  16. Repaint and repair your house.
  17. Get creative and make stuff using recyclable items in your house. Have your family join in.
  18. Repair your clothes.
  19. Start knitting.
  20. Create an online club i.e book club, cooking club, business club etc

Feel free to add some of your own to the list that we can all learn from.

Keep Safe!

Watch out for our next post where we will talk about why walking alone is a good thing!

Garbage in, Garbage out

When the first case of a coronavirus patient was announced in my country, I suddenly became anxious about the reality of the pandemic having hit closer home.

I went on a panic-cleaning spree in my house. Mixing all sorts of detergents that I could get my hands on, cleaning every surface area at reach; right from the floors, tables, door knobs, window panes you name it. Then I started over reading about the virus in various social media platforms; what was happening around the world, how people were getting infected, the number of deaths occurring each day, the despair that people felt, how to protect yourself etc.

I engaged in various social media posts where people posted all manner of information most of which was unverified or personal opinion of the corona virus , which was just terrifying to say the least. For several days I did not sleep well because of the imagery that I had created in my mind from accessing all the panic inducing information. As a result, I went into a complete shutdown and my mind stopped thinking and focusing on what was important in my life like work and family. I stopped working or thinking on the next steps that my business should take in the midst of this pandemic.

For several days, I allowed fear to paralyse me.

One day, I came to the realisation that I had allowed my mind to be preoccupied with “garbage” and this affected my productivity and my sense of reasoning. I had to bring myself to a new space and acknowledge that, filling myself with panic and unverified information was not healthy.

You know what they say, garbage in, garbage out.

It was then that I resolved to making a personal decision to stay clear off “garbage” and focus on the positive aspects of my life. I started appreciating the environment around me more. I noticed the calmness during the day due to low traffic flow and at night I enjoyed the comfort of the stillness of the dark. My appreciation of the people within my circle grew and I let them know as much. I chose to spend more time with my child and enjoyed it tremendously.

I took a minute and looked at my life from a new perspective and with it a new fire ignited within me to strive ahead. I reaffirmed my relationship with God and relied on his word to get by. I sieved all the information that I was feeding myself and became deliberate in search of the knowledge that I needed. I blocked links from my social media accounts which were not productive and I set out on a healthy plan on how to live, love and work in the midst of the pandemic.

For the first time during the pandemic, I felt I was in control of my life.

So, what is it that you are feeding your mind during this unprecedented times?

You have to be very purposeful of that which you allow to get inside your mind. Remember, there is life after the corona virus. You must live as if you will survive because you will. We must keep our hope alive.

Be selective with the kind of news that you are watching, the type of media forwards that you are receiving and the type of activities that you are indulging in during this lock down. What you feed your mind, grows, and it will manifest itself in ways that you will either have control over or not.

You get to choose.

Watch out for our next post. We will talk about some healthy habits that you can choose to do during this lock down while focusing on your business or work.