We can all agree that we’ve been through a pretty tough couple of years. The pandemic has affected all of us in different ways and it’s clear that female entrepreneurs have been hugely impacted. Many female business owners had to put their businesses on hold throughout the various lockdowns and suddenly turn their hand to home schooling and keeping everyone around them going. The ripple effect on their lives and businesses has been huge. Now we’re moving forward again but, for many of us, our confidence is shattered and we feel like we’re starting over. In a world that’s feeling a little topsy turvy right now, how can you move forward after a global pandemic?
Covid hasn’t gone away
It’s worth remembering that Covid hasn’t gone anywhere, it’s still very much on our minds and part of the equation. We’re constantly being bombarded with news headlines telling us about ‘rising infection levels’ and Covid figures hitting ‘record highs’. Many of us have friends and family who have tested positive recently and it feels like a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ we’re going to see those two red lines appear on our own lateral flow. Infection levels in schools seem to be high and, if you’re a business owner and a parent, you’re probably feeling on tenterhooks waiting to get ‘that call’.
As I’m writing this, we’re being told that one in sixteen people in England currently has Covid. If you go out for dinner or to a bar you’re not alone in thinking: how many people in this room are positive? Maybe I should have stayed home? With all of this going on around us, is it any wonder that we don’t really feel as though we can move on?
We’ve been here before
This pandemic has handed us lots of ups and downs. We’ve all hit points when we thought it was over, only to be told that a new variant had emerged and restrictions were tightening again. Just look at Christmas. The arrival of the Omicron variant put us all on edge. There was uncertainty over vaccine effectiveness and the sense that Christmas could be cancelled once again felt like a real possibility. There were long queues at vaccine centres and panic as we all tried to get our boosters. It felt as though, nearly two years on, we were back in the eye of the storm. When we’ve all been faced with so much uncertainty, it’s not surprising that we’re finding it hard to believe that we’re coming out the other side.
The impact on your business
If you look back to where you were in your business in early 2020, you may find that you’re not where you hoped you’d be two years down the line. Many female entrepreneurs essentially pushed pause on their business two years ago to navigate the challenges of the various lockdowns. If you had school aged children you were home schooling, whilst those with younger kids found themselves with zero childcare options as childminders and nurseries closed their doors.
According to Business Leader, a recent survey of over 800 female entrepreneurs found that 11% had to put their business plans on hold during the pandemic, with 47% stating that they had to take on extra family responsibilities. Read the full article here. New clients were hard to find, plans for in-person events, networking and trade shows had to be abandoned. If you were in the hospitality, travel or wedding industry, your entire sector basically evaporated overnight. Plans to expand and grow businesses fell by the wayside as we all tried to pivot to a digital world.
Female entrepreneurs were thrown a massive curveball and it’s okay if that has meant you haven’t achieved what you’d hoped to in your business. Considering what we’ve all been dealing with, is it any wonder?
The impact on our mindset
The impact the pandemic has had on our mindset is huge. We all hold our own set of core beliefs, which are established as we grow, learn and experience life. But in the last couple of years, those have been challenged and we’ve developed a new set of beliefs. A set of beliefs in which the worst-case scenario is possible, a set of beliefs that mean we don’t feel as safe as we used to. We’ve normalised living in a digital world and many of us are finding that it’s the in–person events that now feel strange to us. Is it okay to hug a friend? Or is that too risky? Should I go to that concert? Or should I be worried?
After what we’ve all been through, it’s understandable that our minds instantly go straight to the worst-case scenario. If we look at the tragedy that’s currently unfolding in Ukraine and the talk around chemical weapons and nuclear threats, it’s natural for our minds to fear the worst. Our brains are built to protect us, to keep us safe, but we’ve now got two years’ worth of evidence telling us that worst-case scenarios are possible.
Living with Covid has taught us to expect the unexpected, to realise that something we never thought could happen can happen and that has changed our view of the world.
You can take back control
After the two years we’ve lived through, working on refocusing your mindset isn’t going to happen overnight and that’s okay. There’s no ‘quick fix’. It’s about understanding where you’re at now but knowing that you can move forward, you can come back from this and there are things you can do. In many ways it feels like the Covid chapter of our lives was written for us, but you can take back control of the pen and write the next chapter yourself.
Take a moment to stop and reflect on the journey you’ve been on these past two years. Think about what you’ve achieved and celebrate those successes. Think about what you’ve learned from this experience. What’s worked? What could you do more of? What could you let go?
We can get so caught up in where we aren’t making progress, what we haven’t done, what we need to do, that we forget or we don’t see all taht we have achieved.
We CAN bounce back from a global pandemic, many of us are. But it may take time, you may need to relearn some things, unlearn some other things and get comfortable again.
If you’re feeling as though you need some support to bounce back, to achieve your goals this year and refocus, working with a coach could be just the answer for you.
My Successful Ladies Mindset Mastermind is perfect for exactly this, an amazing group of women learning to master their mindset, taking back control and smashing their goals in 2022! If you’d like to find out more, book a call here.