Try this if covid-19 is starving your business

Thousands of years ago, there was a famine.

No matter how hard a people were willing to work, no matter how skilled they were at hunting or farming, they were up against global forces that seemed to overwhelm their individual effort.

Could we be in a similar situation now? Maybe, but there’s be a way out.

During those hard times long ago, someone came upon a cache of rotting food. Out of desperation, she chose to risk a tiny taste. 

The result? She discovered fermentation.

If you enjoy beer, wine, cheese, kimchi, sausage, kombucha, miso, or yogurt, you can thank that person who went against conventional wisdom. 

This is your time to make small experiments, to test out new ideas that would have seemed crazy or even toxic a few months ago. 

Do it on a small scale, so you won’t be hurt too badly if it fails. Send a brash but sincere email to 10% of your list. Test a new process with a single client, with their permission, and with the clear understanding that if anything goes wrong you’ll make it right.

You might discover a new trickle of income that could tide you over until the economy recovers. You might stumble upon a breakthrough that changes your industry and the world.

If you’re worried about what covid-19 is doing to the economy, here’s something else to consider. As soon as you start experimenting, you awaken a sense of adventure. This isn’t just some woo-woo fluff. It’s neuroscience.

There’s a part of your brain called the ventral striatum that lights up in response to novelty, experimentation, and curiosity. The ventral striatum triggers the release of dopamine and other “feel-good” neurotransmitters that can make you more creative and more resilient.

If nothing else, every experiment you carry out will make you feel better almost immediately. 

Someday soon, the quarantines will end. Economically, the picture will be pretty bleak in the short-term. A lot of businesses will be gone forever, and many will change beyond recognition. 

But all that pent-up energy has to go somewhere. The whole world is eager to go out and take action and work and seek entertainment. There’s going to be a resurgence, and the economy is going to grow in ways that are hard to imagine now. 

The leaders who took risks and tested their ideas early will ride this huge wave, and uplift hundreds of other businesses in the process.

If you’re suffering economically now, the best thing you can do is innovate, brainstorm, and keep trying. You’ll find a new way to not only survive, but to thrive. 

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