This blog outlines the reasons I’m hopeful, even optimistic, as well as 3 things entrepreneurs should be focused on *right now.* First, let me acknowledge the difficulty and pain so many are facing during this pandemic. Unemployment and bankruptcies will reach uncharted record highs, and hospital systems are now overloaded, having to make unconscionable decisions about who lives and who dies. Uncertainty is plaguing us all, and the worst is still to come.
Yet there are reasons for optimism in the long-term. Additionally, I want to share the 3 things you can do right now as an entrepreneur to push forward and leverage new opportunity. These have helped me hone my focus, stay positive, and build value on the other side of this crisis.
3 Reasons Why I’m Hopeful, Even Optimistic
1 The human race has never before faced a SINGULAR enemy. And we are responding, in unison, in record numbers!
By my estimates, somewhere between 100 - 200 million physicians, scientists, nurses, technologists, engineers are all taking aim at this pandemic. They are running tens of thousands of experiments in parallel and sharing information with a transparency and at speeds we've never seen before. These advancements may seem deceptively few at the moment (as we are only hearing about the earliest treatments), but thousands of additional impromptu experiments and therapeutic approaches are being initiated globally, across hospitals, doctors’ offices and research labs. As these experiments bare fruit and yield data, I have little doubt that we will experience a tsunami of solutions that will disrupt and decimate this pandemic.
One snippet from a recent NYTimes article encapsulates this optimism perfectly:
“While political leaders have locked their borders, scientists have been shattering theirs, creating a global collaboration unlike any in history. Never before, researchers say, have so many experts in so many countries focused simultaneously on a single topic and with such urgency. [...]
Normal imperatives like academic credit have been set aside. Online repositories make studies available months ahead of journals. Researchers have identified and shared hundreds of viral genome sequences. More than 200 clinical trials have been launched, bringing together hospitals and laboratories around the globe.”
United by urgency, scientists are casting aside nation-specific territorialism, research secrecy, and academic publishing politics. At the same time, government approval processes for clinical trials are now expedited at a historic pace. And online archives of pre-published academic research, such as medRxiv and bioRxiv, are being flooded by scientists from every corner of the globe.
New diagnostics, antivirals, vaccines, and therapeutics are rushing towards society at exponential speeds..
2 It could have been MUCH worse — we’ll be prepared for next time.
Imagine if the COVID-19 virus had the mortality rate of Ebola (25% to 90%), or even SARS (11%+), while maintaining its high infectious rate.
A lot of people treat this virus today as if it’s a death sentence. Yet it’s not for the vast majority of people. For many, it is a severe cold.
When Bill Gates and a multitude of scientists (e.g. Dr. Larry Brilliant) warned us about pandemics over the past decade, the majority of society ignored these warnings. We didn’t prepare… at all.
I think of COVID-19 as a “practice pandemic,” making us brutally aware of the failure points and weak links in our economic system, healthcare complex and communication channels.
Next time — and there will be a next time — we will be ready. A slew of exponential technologies, ranging from AI, networks & sensors, to CRISPR and gene therapy, will be there to detect it immediately, creating solutions and distributing them globally at lightning speeds.
3 There are compelling opportunities ahead...
We are in the midst of a fear and virus-driven economic meltdown, yet once we make it through to the other side, there are going to be incredible opportunities for entrepreneurs. These opportunities take three forms:
First, countless outstanding employees are losing their jobs (and my heart goes out to them), and the faster we digitize, the sooner one can harness this extraordinary talent, newly available in the near future;
Second, multiple assets are fast becoming available, many of which can be re-focused on higher-value applications; and,
Third, the stock market will soon be ripe with the best buying opportunities we’ve seen in a dozen years! You can see here a US-wide prediction engine (launched by FutureLoop.com) that shows when experts predict the Stock Market will hit its lowest point.
Bottom line, after the economic crash of 2008, what followed was a period of economic growth. What also followed was the birth and boom of revolutionary business models and startups (Airbnb, Uber, Groupon, WhatsApp, Venmo, Slack, Square...)
We may well have another “Roaring Twenties” coming our way (once again), one that uplifts all of society.
So what do I recommend as an exponential entrepreneur?
The 3 Things to Do Right Now as an Entrepreneur
In the midst of this global pause, during which many of us are under lockdown in our homes for likely 60 days, this is a perfect window to:
1 Reinvent Your Business:
There are two key pieces of advice here: First, if you haven’t digitized your business yet, now is the time! Figure out what processes, assets, products or services you (or your company) currently implement in an analog fashion and figure out how to digitize them. Once you digitize them, you’ll be able to dematerialize, demonetize and democratize your products and services. What does this mean?
- Think: The Digital Camera digitized film;
- Think: Netflix digitized Blockbuster;
- Think: Google digitized the library;
- Think: Zoom is digitizing in-person meetings.
Second, if you’ve got a product or service that is not doing well, now is the time to kill it. Once you bury it, you can then take these resources — cognitive, monetary, and human capital — and focus them on a digitized version of what you’re delivering.
2 Create New Habits/Traditions:
60 days (of “sheltering at home”) is enough time for you to create new habits that will stick with you for the rest of your life.
Consider habits that serve your health, which in turn aid in strengthening your immune system (now a global focus in the epidemiology limelight):
- SLEEP: Maintain a regular sleep schedule, whereby you’re getting at least 7 hours and targeting an optimum of 8.
- Exercising every day. One app I highly recommend is the Johnson & Johnson 7-Minute Workout, and it’s free!
- Meditation: For meditation, I often use Sam Harris’s app, or Calm. By creating and maintaining a meditation practice, you’ll see a considerable reduction in your cortisol levels, thereby reducing stress on your immune system.
- Diet: Right now, I’m heavily focused on intermittent fasting, focusing my eating between about 4:30pm and 8:30pm, and fasting the majority of sunlight hours. I’m doing this 5 days per week, but even doing this one or two days a week is highly beneficial. The data is clear: intermittent fasting increases vitality, energy levels, and your mental clarity.
- Family Traditions: How about creating traditions with your family? What conversations have you never had with your brother, your daughter, your spouse, or your elderly father that could teach you something new about them? Craft new traditions, engage in storytelling, and be intensely curious…. Odds are, you’ll uncover surprising experiences, opinions, and wisdom you never knew someone had.
- Quit Smoking: Finally, if you’re a smoker (or vaper), now is the time to quit. There’s never been a better excuse to hunker down and stop the habit (particularly as it increases the severity of a COVID-19 infection).
3 Learn New Things:
It always stuns me that the vast majority of us let years and even decades pass without ever discovering subjects or hobbies for which we have a natural affinity.
Whether it’s architecture or astrophysics, learning new things isn’t just a temporary activity. It’s an invaluable ritual that keeps us cognitively sharp and turns us into lifelong students.
So pick 3 books that you’ve had on the back burner to consume.
Or dive into an online course that covers a technology you know nothing about (if you’re a member, the Abundance Digital portal spans everything from 3D printing to virtual & augmented reality, and includes digital coaching from me).
Or find a docuseries on a totally foreign subject matter.
The Vital Importance of Mindset
Your MINDSET is everything!
A negative mindset will never lead to a positive life.
The human brain is wired to look for danger. And when we see danger, it puts us on red alert, clouding our mindset.
So consider taking a diet from the news (or viewing it in moderation), and focus on the positive things, both gratitude and your ability to reinvent your business and build new skills.
We live in a time wherein we can solve any problem, and our collective action in tackling this pandemic is giving rise to tremendous resilience.
In the weeks ahead, I hope you maintain your safety, health and an abundance mindset. I truly believe we are heading towards a hopeful, compelling and abundant future for humanity.