By Neil Phillips.
Welcome to the new normal (for now) during the coronavirus crisis. “Business as usual” is not the case. You, your team, and your customers are feeling lost and unanchored. And with children at home, your schedule is completed turned sideways. This situation is new to all of us. Here are four guidelines for direct selling leaders.
First, focus on what you can control. Think about the prayer from Reinhold Niebuhr, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
- You can’t do anything about the worldwide pandemic. You can stay at home.
- You can’t go to the theatre. You can download a movie.
- You shouldn’t go to a restaurant. You can order in.
When you focus on things out of your control, you feel helpless and anxious. Shift your focus and start to feel more positive.
Second, do something small. Any action is better than no action. You can course-correct if you do the wrong thing. If you don’t do anything, you will continue to feel helpless. We are programmed to make significant steps. The “GO big or go home” syndrome lives in us. That approach may be more demotivating that helpful right now. Think small to get started. Want to eat an elephant? Start with one bite. Want to create a habit? Do it once and then repeat. Peel back an action until you get to something really small and then do it regularly. What will happen if you follow your schedule (shower, meals, and so on) even if you are staying home? What changes in your attitude if you start to write something uplifting on Facebook every morning? What’s the tiny bite to start you forward?
Third, set a schedule. You and your family are used to a schedule, even if it’s a loose one. There is a wake-up, get-up, clean-up, and fuel-up start to a typical weekday. Set a new schedule and a new routine. Set times for:
- I love watching Dana go outdoors every hour for 1,000 steps. I feel energized.
- Children reading time. An hour after a meal is a welcome break for everyone.
- Set a time to reach out and check on friends. Nursing home visitors are restricted right now. Who can you call?
- Do something new with your children. Think craft, cooking (share with your neighbors), or game. You can find a lot of DIY on YouTube.
- Set a time to reach out with gratitude touches. Think about how positive your life becomes if you call or leave a video message for three people a day about how you appreciate their friendship.
- Put your children in charge of the family media schedule and meal choices. Set up a whiteboard
- Prepare a shopping list and buy for a week. You don’t need to hoard. Buy a week’s worth of consumables at a time.
You have a routine. If the old one won’t work, create a new one. We like predictable routines, so have one for your business and family.
Fourth, overcommunicate. You may be sheltering at home, but don’t be alone. Sales leaders want and need a community. I’ve already noticed the “isolation madness” settling in among highly sociable salespeople. This is your time to shine. You are the conduit to keep your team together and your community alive. You’ll feel better if you talk to people. So…talk to people!
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