February 25, 2021 9 min read
This article has been translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.
The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.
The battle to gracefully overcome the coronavirus onslaught has become an endurance race where speed has taken a back seat and where getting to first position is no longer of the utmost importance. The simple fact of staying safe implies an important victory.
And while it may seem harder to take focus off the finish line than the race itself, the reality is different for entrepreneurs.
From the minute we decided to work alone, we had to learn to live “one day at a time” in order to stay calm and not stay halfway.
You may be wondering how I came to this conclusion. Let me put you in context.
Since studying journalism more than 15 years ago, I knew that I wanted to make a living from communication.
From presenting sports news on television to working in the marketing and communications department of a bank, I believed I had what I needed to feel professionally fulfilled.
However, the difference of opinion took shape and began to occupy me.
“Want to work for others all your life? Why are you settling for an average salary when you can make more? How the hell can you commit if you weren’t prepared for it in college?”
Without thinking too much about it, I ventured into my first experience as an entrepreneur.
And as you would say in baseball, I beat their home run.
The first lesson wouldn’t be long in coming though …
Some are lime and some are sand
In the world of the entrepreneur, small wins are just that, and in any situation it’s better to have a plan B.
In my case, the unstable situation I lived in Venezuela led me to move to Spain and start all over again.
As a journalist and completely unfamiliar with the system, I decided to start a food company because I thought it was the only company that could work anywhere and because I already knew what to do I thought, “What could it go wrong? “
As expected, it went bankrupt.
And when it comes to entrepreneurship, having the will and the courage is not enough.
Trying to break through in an unknown market without understanding its nuances and without a strategy behind it is the chronicle of a predicted death for any project, only without the recognition that García Márquez’s famous novel had.
And just as great and far-fetched these days is not having a contingency plan.
Currently, there are a large number of companies that are about to close their doors because they did not know about the wave of COVID-19 or they could not surf.
According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), this pandemic has plunged the world into absolute chaos and plunged Latin America into the most abrupt recession in its history.
It is estimated that the cessation of productive activities due to COVID-19 will result in the closure of 2.7 million formal businesses in Latin America, which will affect micro-entrepreneurs to a greater extent.
For Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of Cepal, “the impact of the crisis will vary widely depending on the sector and type of company […] The crisis underscores the need for a new development model. Emergency policy and implementation of a strategy to overcome the structural weaknesses of economies and societies “.
And today, more than ever, the digital transformation is a lifeline to alleviate the crisis.
Experience resilience in the digital opportunity
Resilience is the ability to overcome adverse situations and save their most positive aspects.
In an emergency where we are faced with thousands of situations such as economic, health and social changes, the first decision is based on finding the formula that will help us canalize the waters.
At the time, when I found myself in a bankrupt business and astronomical debt, it was logical that fear, frustration, and emotional downturn would lead me down the wrong path.
So the revelation came and with what I’d earned in a couple of temporary jobs, I decided to go back to training.
In the process, however, I came across hundreds of vacancies calling for job profiles similar to mine, with expertise in the age of the internet and new technology.
And so I found communication again from a perspective that hadn’t crossed my mind before.
The digital one.
Because reinventing yourself is sometimes just about finding an alternative to what we already know, or the solution to an existing problem from a point of view that others have not addressed before.
Just like Amazon when the problem was getting shopping in a mall.
Maybe like Google to give you answers to people’s questions without having to send them to the library.
Or Uber as an option for people who don’t feel like eating but also don’t feel like cooking.
This approach enabled me to apply all of my marketing and communication experience to the needs of business in the digital age.
And so I started working with projects that, like me, believe that:
- It is possible to influence people without resorting to hard sales. capture, convince and convince through words; give a brand personality and show its different values.
- Without a strategy at the corporate, content and communication level, there is no business model that can survive the disaster.
- The main thing is to understand that everything is about what the market needs and not what a company expects from the market.
A clear example of the importance of understanding what audiences want is this one from Netflix, which shows how it invites its subscribers to leave after being released from detention in Madrid.
And it is that all types of businesses now have the opportunity to show a different face
Like Engel & Völkers when they asked me to improve the copy of their recruitment campaigns and emails to make their offer more attractive to potential real estate agents.
Or like those smaller projects or companies that asked me to help them change the texts on their website, ads or sales pages to adapt them to the new needs of their potential customers.
To reinvent themselves like me, all of these companies understood the importance of tailoring their action plan to meet the demands of the new consumer living on the internet.
The report of the Latin American Economic Outlook 2020 (LEO) states: “The digital transformation can help to address the current socio-economic situation.”
This is why we see so many restaurants displaying their menu via a QR code to avoid contact.
Or consultants, auditors and trainers who offer their services via a zoom room.
Even comedians are making their stand-ups digital.
What is shown today as new professions is in reality the same as always in a different packaging.
The key to becoming a resilient entrepreneur: common sense
Leaving a job for someone else, living a migration, facing a pandemic …
As you can see, the only lasting thing is change.
The most important thing, however, is to recognize when the time has come to make decisions and act accordingly.
And while Voltaire once said that “common sense is the least common sense,” it is not possible to overcome the adversity of entrepreneurship without knowing the difference between logical, acceptable and irrational knowledge.
For example, imagine you have a restaurant and you can only work in delivery mode due to restrictions.
It makes sense that you’d want to implement a plan of action on social channels to boost food orders. It is acceptable that you want to apply discounts and specials to promote your offer. But it’s irrational for you to do this on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google just because someone told you to be everywhere. Dealing with all the noise that exists is as complicated as it is to face complex circumstances and learn positively from them.
However, he believes that COVID did not differentiate between gender, age or country of origin to wreak havoc at all levels. The new possibilities didn’t make it either and they are there for small, medium and large traders.
Thanks to the doors the internet has now opened, they are for you and me.