I am still sometimes in disbelief about everything that has happened in 2020. So many lives were disrupted, and so many plans were canceled.
Driving around now, I see places that have had to shut down. At Celaque, we manage some retail commercial properties, and the stories we listen to can be very upsetting. Many of our clients have had to close operations, and watching it is hard.
It can all feel very overwhelming, even if you are fortunate enough to continue working in your profession or if your business is still operating. So how do we manage all of this? I do not have all the answers, but I understand how it feels. It is so unfortunate for so many people. In many cases, it has been the perfect storm.
Part of the reason why it is so hard is that so many things are out of our control. We cannot control when we will get vaccinated or when the economy will improve. We cannot control how others react to this great challenge. One of the greatest lessons of this situation is that 2020 was a master class on stoicism’s concept of focusing on what we can control.
What we can control are the actions we take to get to the other side. Some will find great unexploited opportunities, but just getting to the other side will be the most significant accomplishment for the majority.
How To Get There
So how do we get to the other side? The simple answer is any way we can. During this pandemic, I went through days and weeks where I would wonder when this would all end. At times, I felt afraid, but I decided to use that fear to help me find a way out. We ended up looking for new sources of financing. We also experimented with new sources of income. One of those strategies worked, and we now have a new product we are selling: construction services for the clients who buy office space from us.
I have focused on growing the company’s parts that I can improve, like our organizational structure and our teams. We have spent our time designing and building products and processes, and we have focused on limiting the negative impact that the pandemic can have on other parts of the business. I cannot conjure an invisible shield to prevent further adverse effects on the organization, so I am building up what I can to have a more robust cash flow in the places that I can control.
And that is it. Suppose we come out stronger on the other side because of this, great. Maybe all this extra work will be a worthwhile investment in the future. But I contend that getting to the other side operationally functional and ready to work in the economy will, by default, make companies stronger. That is the goal. If we can achieve more, then that is wonderful.