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Crises, while they are unplanned and unpredictable, they are paradoxically also a normal part of any individual or company’s life. While the seriousness of a crisis can vary depending on the nature of the crisis itself, the outcome is also dependent on your experience, resources and mindset. These factors will play a major role in how you deal with and emerge from a crisis.

The first factor, experience is helpful in guiding your response to the crisis because not all crises are Earth-stopping global pandemics. Sometimes the crisis is simply an unexpected or unplanned occurrence that, having experience, you can deal with.

Resources are what you will use in dealing with your crisis. There are many types of resources such as financial, material and human. Networks are also a very important resource. For example, for an individual or company without the necessary experience to face a particular crisis, they can turn to professional and personal networks for guidance and advice on how to manage the situation.

Finally, mindset. This is the personal or company philosophy, outlook and attitude. A negative mindset will only look at the problem and may find a solution to it but that is where the efforts will end. Negative mindsets rarely learn from crises and absolutely never want to change. It is always about “going back to normal”.

A positive mindset, on the other hand, is a valuable resource in dealing with crises. First, such an outlook will be more flexible and adaptable to find solutions that work and, more importantly, will be quick to identify opportunities for lasting positive change.

As we all go through the pain of the current COVID-19 crisis, it is important to try and build and maintain a positive mindset. This will serve companies and individuals well in identifying valuable new niches and opportunities in the business world. Already we are seeing growth in some previously small and specialized markets, such as food delivery and online shopping. There are many other niches just waiting to be filled ranging from content creation for entertainment and learning; virtual event management; software development for productivity and new means of financial management. What it will take is the right mindset and judicious use of resources available.

These crisis mitigation factors are best served by having good communication skills and strategies. This will ensure that all members of a company are fully aligned with any new direction being taken and, even more crucially, allowing the community to be aware of new developments being made that will make their lives easier and thus clients for your efforts.

Above all else, as we go forward and grasp at the many opportunities that will come our way, keep one rule in mind: BE ETHICAL. Let us not use people’s fears during this time to take unfair advantage, rather work from an attitude of service. Unethical conduct while not necessarily illegal, is almost always unsustainable.

So crises, while painful and critical times, can create opportunities to build new businesses, processes or make vast improvements never thought possible. With the right mindset, it is possible to not just “go back to normal” but rise to a better “New Normal”.

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