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Ostriches, Butterflies and Blinders: My Thoughts About the Corona Crisis



The ongoing Corona crisis is hitting the world incredibly hard - in terms of health, private and social life (#socialdistancing), emotions and economy. Even though all this is terrible, there are still some positive and interesting aspects worth mentioning. THE TREND INDICATOR FOR THE ECONOMY The economy is marching towards dark times. DAX and Dow Jones, for example, are suffering from massive losses. 9 March 2020 is called the "black Monday" among stock exchange traders. However, it’s interesting to see a very slow and hesitant recovery of the stock exchange market since many governments worldwide put drastic measurements like a ban on going out into place. Of course, the stock exchange is still miles away from looking positive again though. The commencing economic crisis is hitting particularly entrepreneurs, businesses and freelancers very hard. Ongoing projects are cancelled or being put on hold by clients, new business is breaking away altogether. Especially freelancers have it extremely hard these days, as they are often the first ones whose contracts get cancelled. Uncertainty is poison for the economy. And the longer the Corona crisis lasts, the worse. The mood among most entrepreneurs is somewhat like this: "If all this is over after three or four weeks, it’s no drama. If it lasts longer, however, we are running into a huge catastrophy." OSTRICHES, BUTTERFLIES AND BLINDERS What I find very interesting these days: I currently see three totally different moods among entrepreneurs. There are ostriches, butterflies and people with blinders - this is how I would call them. Let me try to describe this: THE OSTRICHES

There are the ostriches. Of course they are suffering from their economic basis of existence partly or fully breaking away. For sure a massive problem. A solution? Ostriches don’t want to deal with that. They are too much into their habits and into the things they have always done. Ostriches rather moan and bathe in their self-pity. They bury their head in the sand, bury themselves and, probably, their own business - if only temporarily (in the very best case). Ostriches bury their hand in the sand and leave it like that. THE BUTTERFLIES

Butterflies find themselves in the same severe situation like ostriches. However, they quickly learn how to fly and are flexible enough to adjust to wind flows. Butterflies are now investing even more into their own businesses and work on things that they might not have had time for in the past, in order to fully start back into business without (or with hardly any) losses after the Corona crisis. You want examples? Here we go: Where businesses used to have only personal contact with their clients, there are now coachings, consultings and meetings via video conference. Or look at fitness trainers live streaming their sport lessons via Facebook, Instagram etc. to the public or to existing online groups. They add dietary advice and offer recipes, put all that into a package and put a pay button on it for voluntary donations. This way, they are scaling up their business and offer their services to a wider range of potential customers for more profit in the long run - thanks to Corona. I see all this and more in my immediate surroundings. Butterflies are flexible, agile, innovative and keep their chin up. They will very much likely survive and be even stronger after the crisis. There is a word for this: evolution. PEOPLE WITH BLINDERS

People with blinders are (currently) not really affected by the crisis. Work continues as always as if nothing has happened. They just work from home at the moment, that’s all. No business is breaking away, there might even be more new business coming in since Corona. Take a look at IT businesses offering WIFI solutions for home offices. Bingo! WHAT IS POSITIVE ABOUT THE CORONA CRISIS? Some entrepreneurs and freelancers who are usually super busy enjoy the imposed pause right now to relax a bit. I have the impression, the mood is "wait and see": Finally there is some time to do things that you normally don’t have time for. I think this is good for many people. New business opportunities will come up. Just think about the daily balcony concerts. They might continue even after the crisis. A creative head will think about a monetization model, I’m sure. I guess more people will start their own business. Now we are forced to have a break from our daily routines. Creative people that have been thinking about starting their own business now have the time capacities and - most of all - the economic necessities for a new start. Change! Awakening! Yes! HOW DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? How will the world look like after Corona? Less CO2 emissions, less pollution, less toilet paper hoarding? More respect for each other, more satisfaction despite financial worries? I am convinced that companies will offer their employees even more likely to work from home after the Corona crisis. Simply because they see that it works - even though there is room for some adjustments and improvements here and there. This is good for the environment, saves money and it’s good for finding a better balance between work and family, as home office allows for a more flexible time management. The basic mood of many people is somewhat like: "The crisis will be short but fierce. Afterwards, it will go on even better." How this "better" will look like in particular? Futurologists like Horx or the Zukunftsinstitut are publishing their theses. And what about private life? The Corona crises (like any other existential crisis) sharpens our view on life. This is the good thing about the crisis for us as human beings. HOW MORE CREATIVITY CAN HELP US I work in the creative industry. Creative thinking is my bread and butter. This is why I simply know: creative thinking can help us all. Honestly. Beforehand: Creative thinking of course does not substitute a vaccine or other medicine, it does not fill up your bank account with fresh money and it does not take away your worries about your loved ones’ health. Still, creative thinking is the vitamin vaccine for the economy - especially for the time after the health crisis for which many experts are predicting a severe economic crisis. How about new business models? Can you sell my products and services online? Digitalization is massively helping us here. And who is falling behind in this aspect, has now even more valid reason to make up for it. As I said, there might be new business models, new products, new services coming up thanks to the Corona crisis. The current situation can bring as many great things. You just have to (want to) see them. There are certainly businesses that are not helped with digitalization or innovative and creative thinking because the economic basis of existence is really breaking away altogether. However, I’m convinced that this does not have to be the case for many businesses and many ostriches are making their lives only worse by moaning and not doing anything at the moment. I can’t hear all this moaning any more. Roll up your sleeves, actively inform yourself (Information is the best medicine against fear!), think thoroughly, make use of support programs your government might offer you - then many ostriches can become beautiful butterflies. This article is promoting creative thinking - and acting. Now more than ever before. Creative thinking allows for more flexible actions. This is an important ingredient for success in all areas of life, not only in the Corona crisis. And one last thing: Please stay at home. It can, and it will, save lives. Aaaand, I have something really useful for you: My 6 personal tips for making working from home a real pleasure.

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