“Opportunity Knocks.” It’s a controversial title as for most of us, opportunity doesn’t knock. It’s more elusive, especially when a crisis disrupts our lives. Our thoughts become clouded by doubt and fear. It’s difficult for us to do some hard thinking.
Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Now is the ideal time to dress our brains in overalls and get those brain cells working. As a country we need to make our economic recovery as successful as our Covid-19 elimination strategy has been to date.
Some business owners did the hard thinking and hard work as soon as the Corona virus was on their radar. One restaurant owner spent Alert Level 4 redesigning their menu, changing staff jobs, and updating their website, to become a food delivery service ready for Alert Level 3. Another company, specialising in pre-work training, was ready to change from in-house classroom training to online training as soon as Alert Level 4 was announced. It took hard thinking, hard work and good leadership to convert classroom training to an online environment, to change staff jobs and responsibilities and to reach out to clients to ensure they had access to their programmes.
To keep in business and to stay relevant, we must ask ourselves, “How can we deliver our products or services better within the current environment?” And if there’s nothing we can do, it’s time to ask ourselves, “What next? What else can we do?”
I remember when I first went into business, both my brother and my son, told me to read Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War.’ So I did, even though I didn’t think I was going into battle. But there is wisdom in Sun Tzu’s writing, including this quote:
“The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”
I started WritersInc after I suddenly lost my job as Deputy Principal. With a family to support and a mortgage to pay, I seized the opportunity to start a new career. What motivated me – fear? Yes, but I had to conquer that and get to the “I’ll show you what I can do” stage before I could truly move forward.
It wasn’t easy. There was so much I didn’t know. Thanks to Auckland City Council’s course on starting a small business, and Business Mentors New Zealand, WritersInc not only started up but survived.
And what have we done differently during the Alert Levels? Well luckily it has been easy for all of us to work from home. Our main change has been our technical writing training. We now deliver Write-on-Target: Effective Business Writing totally online, or as a modular course, using a combination of videos and classroom delivery via Zoom.
And, in case you are wondering, I am keeping my brain dressed in overalls, so WritersInc will continue to support our clients even when time get tough.