Back on February 4th, none of us could have imagined what our world would look like today. It was the beginning of 2020, the economy was good, and we were optimistic. Sitting down that morning with our coach Jaime Adam Taets (Keystone Group Intl), we set our goals for the coming year and defined what we would do in the next ninety days to achieve those goals. Then COVID-19 hit with a wave of challenges none of us expected or saw coming.
So what do you do when the goals you set just a few months earlier have been blown up?
We chatted recently with Jaime and asked her for some guidance and feedback, for us as a business and something we could share with you. Here are three keys she suggested…
Create Two Buckets
We’re dealing with two realities right now. We still need to have long-term goals, but we’re also dealing with some short-term realities that require immediate attention. As Jaime shared with us, “Separate your goals into two buckets. The first bucket holds the things you need to fix in the short term, the issues we need to solve right now. The second bucket is your long-term goals. When this is all over, what do we want to be working towards? Now is the time to get your internal house in order, so you are ready to run when things turn around. You don’t want to be caught on your heels when your competition is running in a sprint forward.”
Predict (As Best You Can)
Everyone wants answers right now. We’re all craving certainty, and frankly, that’s in short supply these days. Jaime’s response? “Don’t worry about having it all figured out. No one has a crystal ball for what will happen exactly when – but don’t use that as an excuse to do nothing. Predict with what you know now about your business and the needs of your market. Consider what they want from you today, and what they’ll want when this is over. Reach out to connect and ask your customers questions. Then, anticipate how you can help them best now and in the future, and keep moving forward!”
Focus on the Future
Right now, perspective is everything. Jaime captured that thought like this, “Leadership and focusing on long-term goals and strategies is easy in times of peace and abundance. They’re more challenging in times of war – and also more important than ever. When we’re in the war, which is what this feels like today, we need to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel and not on what’s right in front of us.” That simple act of maintaining a focus on the future may be the one thing that saves us all right now. We will get through this.
Our Story is a Lot Like Yours…
Here at OrangeBall, we’ve had to face this ourselves. Some of those goals we set back in early February are no longer realistic or feasible. Things have changed rapidly, and we’ve had to adjust just like everyone else – but we’re working hard to keep growing.
One of our goals was to expand the speaking side of our business, sharing our expertise on topics like brand messaging, connecting with customers, and living out your core values within your business. The plan had been to speak and present in larger group settings – the kind of opportunities that are in short supply today. And so, facing this new reality, we’re pivoting and working some new digital ways to share our content.
Another one of our goals was to expand our Brand Bounce Bootcamp offerings, and we had specific milestones in place to chase in Q1. COVID-19 has required some big shifts, and also created some great opportunities. Where we traditionally facilitated these bootcamps with teams in conference rooms, we’re now offering those collaboration experiences digitally all over the country. The greatest blessing? The technology exists to make this happen, and we’ve been able to pivot quickly to take advantage of it. We see this as opening new doors for us for years to come.
Our third goal was to prepare for some new additions to our team. We had just shifted our part-time designer to a full-time position, and we were wrapping up a job description for another role. We intended to start onboarding a new team member by the end of April – it was written in our goals. All of the shifts associated with COVID slowed that down… but hasn’t stopped us. We are re-inflating that effort now (an OrangeBall pun) and have reset new goals for making that hire happen.
“You have no idea what I’m battling.”
We’ll wrap up with this… That optimism the world was feeling in January has been replaced with closed doors for some, and a slate of new challenges for others. Emotionally, this has been a trying time for so many of us. As you’re reading this, you may be thinking, “You have no idea what I’m going through.”
We all need permission to feel in this moment… to be angry, to be sad, to be frustrated. Many just need time to soak this all in and figure out what their own futures look like and how things will be different on the other side. We just want to make sure that once each of you begins to find that vision for your future, you have the tools in place to help you get there. Thank you Jaime for allowing us to share this today!
The goals you set as you began this year may be impossible today, and that’s OK. Create your two buckets, predict as well as you can, and focus on the future. Feel what you need to feel, and then begin envisioning what a new, brighter future will look like for you.