Episode 124: How to Prevail in Uncertain Times: 5 Tips to Keep Your Business and Your Life on Track

I hope this podcast finds you and those you love doing well — physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. 

In my ongoing effort to bring you practical, real life help while we all navigate these strange times, I’m really excited to have a great business owner and colleague, Mary Baird-Wilcock with me to talk from experience about pivoting your business and growing our businesses in uncertain times. 

Mary’s got some great insight into how to not only weather this storm, but come out of it on the other side stronger and more focused than ever.

Before we dive into the interview, let me give you Mary’s bio so you know a bit more about her. 

Mary Baird-Wilcock, CSEP has one goal with her company… to help people simplify their lives. With over 16+ years experience in running her own company, she coaches creative entrepreneurs on how to simplify and optimize the operations side of their small business, including sales mastery, shifting towards a thriving mindset and how to do less to accomplish more. Ultimately, helping them become a hero.

Mary is the host of The Simplifiers Podcast, where she takes topics in business and in life and SIMPLIFIES them. Her podcast has thousands of devoted listeners in over 108 countries around the world. 

An international public speaker who's been published in Forbes magazine, Huffington Post, MSN, Metro and featured as one of the “Top 25 Young Event Pros to Watch” by Special Events Magazine. Also, Mary is on a mission to share the gospel of what a Texas breakfast taco is all about.

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Here’s What Mary Had to Say:

  • Maslow's hierarchy of needs suggests that at the very base level of humans are our physiological needs. Some people may still be at that base level of ” I need to make sure my family and I have food, water, warmth, shelter, and rest.” Until you get that established and settled, you won’t be able to effectively deal with everything else going on. 
    • And that's okay. Take what you need from today's conversation, scrap the rest, and maybe even think about coming back and re-listening to this episode in a couple of weeks from now when you’ve got the basics covered. 
    • After physiological needs, food, water, shelter, all that, the next need is safety. And that's simply a feeling of safety and security. Is your home safe? Is your business safe? Is your bank account safe? All the things, are those things safe? 
    • When you move up from there, it's belonging and true love needs. This relates to intimate relationships, feeling like you're connected to your friends or your neighbors, really feeling like you're banding together with other colleagues, even competitors in your industry. 
    • After that, it's esteem needs. Maslow talks about this as the feeling of really contributing out into the world, or a feeling of prestige or accomplishment, or accepting that new normal and helping more people through your business or the work you do. It’s also just going and knocking on doors with your neighbors and putting care packages on people's doors if it's safe.
    • The last bit of the pyramid (which you're probably not at yet unless you're a Buddhist monk) is self-actualization, and that’s when you’re calm. You're achieving your full potential, including incorporating creative activities into your life, and feeling a sense of oneness in all things. Think about where you're at. Are you at the physiological need level, the safety need level, belonging, esteem? Or are you at the very, very top?
  • Self care is critically important, like genuinely getting deep restorative rest. This is NOT about getting a mani or pedi, or going to the spa, because those are not currently options for social distancing.  Right now, it's down to a base level of three deep breaths from the belly. It's standing outside and looking up at the sky and grounding yourself if you're feeling a little bit anxious. It's drinking a big glass of cool, crisp water because you're dehydrated. It comes down to something as simple as that, that really makes a profound difference.
    • When you're calm, nourished, and getting that deep restorative rest, you’re able to make better decisions with your business, your family, with yourself — and that ripples on. That's how we change our current reality.
  • Simplifying down not only applies to what we consume, but also how much we're working right now. On The Simplifiers Podcast, we talk a lot about doing less. And with how things are right now, this is truly the point where we're all going to have to do less. That starts by changing expectations of what you can accomplish in a workday.
    • When you change the expectations of what you can accomplish in a workday, you’ll have to communicate that with your clients, vendors, and anybody that's expecting things from you. And remember, when you communicate it with them, they're in the same boat. They are also grappling and struggling with their new normal. Likely, they're working from home before and they've never had to do that before. They're trying to homeschool their kids, no clue how to do it. 

Actionable Tips from Mary: 

  • Tip #1: During the very last 20 minutes of the workday create a little list for the following day. 
    • Only focus on the top three things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Yes, there are 80 bazillion things you could be doing right now, but focus on three high yielding tasks. 
    • Ask yourself: What tasks will push the needle as far ahead as possible?
    • Write it down, throw that post it note onto your laptop and then shut everything down for the day or the night. This takes discipline and discernment, but it comes back to the idea of simplifying what you consume. If you've constantly got your laptop open,  reading your Facebook feed with your friends, or consuming the news you're constantly consuming and focusing on the fear and panic. You're taking that in whether you know it or not and that's changing your energy levels, vibrations, and mindset.
    • If you normally work in an office setting, consider a daily check-in call so each of you can share what your priorities are for the coming day. This can help everyone feel more accountable. 
  • Tip #2: If you don’t have clients expecting deliverables, this is that perfect opportunity to do internal work with the team. 
    • Go back and review your business plan and figure out where you may have opportunities to pivot your products and services. Use this time to create solutions for your clients and your business. 
    • Identify the fears or pain points that your clients are experiencing. What can you offer to be of service to them or address their needs? 
    • If your brain is stuck and you're thinking, “I don't know what a solution could be.” do a journaling exercise. You're going to journal three things. 
      • What are my clients’ projected future negative fears? If they’re in a panic state (base level of the pyramid) what are they freaking out about right now? 
      • What pain points are they experiencing right now? Either they're super overwhelmed, or they have too many tasks on their plate, or they're hitting a massive cashflow issue. What is it that’s waking your client up at 2:00 in the morning? Jot that down.
      • What are their hopes and visions? This is their projected positive future reality that they hope to get to. If they're in point A right now, it's point B that they want to get to with your help. 
  • Tip #3: Extend yourself some grace! 
    • Things are rapidly evolving and it’s okay to not feel okay. When you begin to feel overwhelmed, ask yourself: “What do I need right now in this moment?” 
  • Am I thirsty? Go drink a big glass of water. Am I anxious? Get outside in the sunshine, or sink your feet in the grass in the backyard, just to get grounded. It's truly taking that time to nourish yourself, to renew your strength mentally and physically. It helps give you a calmer mind so you can make better, calmer decisions.
  • Tip #4: Revisit your business plans and content. 
    • You may have scheduled social media posts months ago and now in the current climate those posts may be completely inappropriate. Or if you’d planned a large scale event, people may still be getting reminders. Whatever you’d previously planned may need to be scrapped for now — and that’s okay. It doesn't mean it's gone forever.
    • Go back and look at your marketing campaigns, any places where you have scheduled Facebook ads or whatever, and make sure that the message you're putting out still is relevant to this day and age. 
    • Look at what you have scheduled for the next month and see what can be pulled back, rescheduled or repurposed. 
  • Tip #5: Choose love over fear. 
    • Five or ten years from now, when we look back on 2020, I have this great hope that we’ll be a community who's remembered as the ones who knocked on neighbors' doors and asked, “What do you need, medicine, food, water? I have extras in the pantry.” When we serve our clients, we will be seen as that rather than people who are profiteering on the weaknesses of others, or any of that stuff. 
    • As business owners, we're thought leaders in our circle of influence. We need to be rippling out love, hope and kindness instead of fear, more scarcity, more panic — because that's not going to be the right way to talk to your clients and to your audience. They don't need more. They just need to feel love from you and that you're taking good care of them if they're your clients. A sense of belonging right now is really important. 

Create Profit Without Worry – one system at a time. I’ll show you how to attract a steady flow of buyers without all the hustle with this free download →  5 Steps To Profit Without Worry.

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