Adapted from Lindsey Epperly’s article as seen in Insider Travel Report:
Over the past few weeks, the majority of marketing messages I’ve received have reverberated around the unity we face as humankind and the fact that we are all in this together. No other single event could have rodeo-style lassoed the world in a way that brought us globally to our knees. More than anything, we are together in our survival mode.
With that is the opportunity to move beyond the shock, grief and triage phase of our human instinct toward survival and into a productive, thriving version of ourselves, our books of business or our organizations. Regardless of whether you’re facing that survival mode in your career, the business you own, or your day-to-day family life, I’ve found the following questions are essential to shifting from floundering to flourishing:
What do you want to be remembered for?
I’ll lead with the heart-forward question, a one-time ask that requires you to step back and think through what makes you tick. Boiled down to its absolute rawest form it is: what gets you out of bed each morning when it feels like the sky is falling? Perhaps it’s the opportunity to serve your clients or the greater purpose that you have as a leader within an organization. Or maybe it’s the hope you cling to that each new day that brings us one step closer to the end of this. Everyone’s answer to this question is going to be a little different, and that’s how it should be. Our industry needs the tapestry of each individual why in order to rise as strong as possible from this crisis.
Several weeks ago, I took an afternoon to ask myself the question of, given the opportunity that is found in the midst of deepest adversity, what do I want to be remembered for? I landed on three simple words: Be a beacon. Knowing what I want to be remembered for has allowed me to lead Epperly Travel toward a unified goal around our mission statement. In moving out of survival mode, we have strategized on how we can be a beacon to our clients and our peers. From this goal evolved our travel advisor-specific environment called Nourish, where we provide support and collaboration for each new event that our community is navigating.
What problem are you solving?
Now that we’re past the “kumbaya” question, let’s appeal tow you logical thinkers. A business exists to solve a problem—and the problem you’re solving has dramatically changed in this crisis. Not only that, it will continue to evolve as the world awakens from the deep stillness we find ourselves in during this shelter-in-place phase of our existence. Knowing this, the key to benefiting from this question is the frequency in which you ask it, starting with right now and developing as events in the world progress.
What problem are you currently solving for your clients, your team and your industry? Your clients are bored in their homes. Your industry is reeling from the battering of negativity and job loss. Your organization is experiencing motion sickness over constant change. You may feel powerless that this is all insurmountable for one person, but no one is asking you to fix the entire world. What if you could use your resources to do for one what you wish you could do for all?
You should answer that question as it applies today. Then put your pen to paper on what that looks like moving forward. Spend some time diving into your business plan to answer what that question can look like when the world reopens again and, yet again, as the new way of travel emerges, because we know now that the old normal is not an option. How will you and your business solve each new iteration of normal that unfolds?
As a complimentary resource to help guide this discussion in your own business, check out the complimentary business planning module offered by EntreTravel.
What is your one next step?
Your answers to the two questions above will lay a strong kindling, but the only way to ensure you come out stronger from this storm is to take action. Dale Carnegie once said: “Inaction breads doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.”
So start small by identifying the one next step you need to take in order to achieve your goals during this time. Then identify the next one and then the next. It’s all about placing one foot in front of the other and protecting against the paralysis of inaction.
Doing this will give you the comforting semblance of control that you can make an impact during a time that otherwise feels as though it’s barreling down and impacting you directly. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in life is that it doesn’t happen “at” or “to” us. We get to set the direction of our lives. We get to steer the ship. We get the opportunity to fight the storms—and fight them we will.