In the blink of an eye, the world around us has changed dramatically. Events that we thought only could happen in the “future” are becoming circumstances we have to adapt to, and the new norm is slowly settling in. The world as we once knew it has shifted to a virtual phenomenon that can be both exciting and frustrating. How many of us were actually prepared for a global pandemic? How many entrepreneurs were prepared to make drastic changes in order to adapt to what has and is happening in the world today? People were scrambling around grocery stores grabbing essential items, while other people were trying to figure out how they were going to survive this pandemic.
Both small businesses and big corporations worldwide hit a brick wall when governments ordered immediate quarantine to their citizens. There have been start-ups that have suffered tremendous consequences and others faced closure due to lack of resources, capital, and simply because they were not getting any business. All different types of industries were affected. I often ask myself, who would have thought that something like this were ever to happen? How are businesses that solely relied on customer interactions making it through these hard times?’
I, currently a senior in college, studying Global Business Leadership, aspire to one day become an International Social Entrepreneur. Everything that is going on in the world right now has truly scared me because I want to establish a business that gives aid to impoverished communities and individuals. Next year, I will be graduating, and I need to have a plan for after graduation. It was so easy to think that before, although the future has never been certain, to make plans left and right. I was talking to my mentor the other day and he was telling me that although things can seem very uncertain right now, I should not start to back down on my dreams and goals. He also told me something very important that many people who are looking into starting a business should know - “You should not start to try and build your business with the events that are happening today because it may be 20 years before another global pandemic occurs. Today, we are facing a global pandemic, tomorrow or next year we could be facing different circumstances.” This is so true because if you build a business that tries to adapt to the events that are occurring with the COVID-19 pandemic, then you will not be prepared for different challenges that come your way. It is important to build a business with a strong foundation, have savings, learn to adapt to the everyday challenges, and surpass whatever the world throws at you.
When I attended the all-day X-Culture Global Virtual Symposium on May 29th, 2020, I was able to listen to different international entrepreneurs from many different industries. There was a business owner who worked in the Wine Industry and he was reforming his entire business plan because his winery made money by customers entering the winery to taste wine. He said he needed to find a new way to reach out to clients and loyal customers in order to succeed during this time. There was one gentleman from Google who was particularly inspiring. He said that regardless of the challenges every industry is facing right now, we need to teach ourselves to want to learn new things every day. We need to teach ourselves how to work with new software and how to use new technology.
With that being said, it is important to stay globally aware because we can acquire new skills that businesses are developing in order to adapt to everyday changes. Having an open mind to learning what the world around us is doing in times of COVID-19, is key to opening new opportunities.
Author: Markelle Torres