I am writing this piece from the valley of a Black Swan event. Coined by finance professor, writer and former Wall Street trader Nassim Nicholas Taleb in 2007, a black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected and has potentially severe and widespread consequences.

With every passing day of the Movement Control Order (MCO), an atmosphere of fear is slowly permeating. The economy is in the doldrums, like a stagnant lake emitting tendrils of low-lying fog that writhes about our legs, chilling, cloying, choking. Supply chains have been broken, retail shops shuttered, factory machineries lie silent, public events cancelled. Life, as we know it, is on pause.

Apart from daily necessities, consumers have stopped spending, frozen in stasis whilst events roil over us. Workers are anticipating unpaid leave as companies struggle to make payroll, salary cuts loom on the horizon, or worse, lay-offs.

Fear can be debilitating.

Enter, the professional coach. When I embarked on this journey late last year, my primary goal was to advocate and help other professionals like myself take advantage of the growing gig economy. That goal remains unchanged, but in the tatters that is 2020, we need to shift our focus to damage control for employees and business owners alike.

Now, more than ever, every single one of us will need a coach by our side. Someone impartial, objective and supportive to help manage the emotions, gain clarity and insight, co-create an action plan, and keep us on track on our journey of recovery.

Fear may be debilitating… but taking action can be galvanizing.

Even the smallest step can bring back a feeling of being in control, essential to our well-being when so much seems uncertain. Here are some small steps that you can take while you wait out the MCO:

  1. Research – use this time to learn more about existing and potential new markets that your services, products or skills can serve
  2. Advisors – build a board of advisors to steer and guide you through this challenging period.
  3. Core – focus on enhancing your core competency, look into ways as to how your offerings can be tweaked to serve a different market.
  4. Educate – emerging from the MCO with a new skill in your arsenal will lend you strength as you double down on your recovery plan.

And finally,nI urge you to reach out, to myself or peer coaches. I know you are strong. I know you are resourceful. But whoever said you need to bear this burden alone? Allow us to stretch and elevate your thinking, so you can find the opportunities hidden in the crisis. Let us hold up a mirror for you, so that you can examine the problem from the outside looking in, to find the best solutions for yourself, your business and the livelihoods that depend on you. Together, let’s hunt for the silver lining beneath those dark clouds and ride it to the rainbow on the horizon.

So reach for that phone. Let’s connect. You don’t need to go through this alone.

Photo by Trung Thanh on Unsplash

Author: Paulynne Cheng

A Business and Career Consultant-Coach who melds Chinese Metaphysics techniques with modern day Coaching to help you become the best that you can be. A lifelong reader who cannot imagine life without books; a 25-year Communications professional with an expertise in sports communications, sports marketing and broadcasting.


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