Almost five months ago, America was experiencing high employment rates, record-setting stock market numbers and businesses were thrilled to be heading in a positive direction. Fast-forward to the month of July, and everything has been turned completely upside-down. The global pandemic has led to an unprecedented job-loss crisis and the entire country is slowly coming back from a total shutdown.

It has been nearly impossible to understand what has happened in such a short period of time, and the uncertainty remains for all who experienced it. With no definitive end to the pandemic in sight, it’s easy for business owners, or anyone in the workforce, to get discouraged about the future of their career. Success stories during the pandemic have been few and far between, but it isn’t too late to take these tumultuous times and create a positive outcome.

Success or failure during a difficult period of time almost always depend on an individual’s mental strength, confidence and the support around them. Following are the three most important key points that I learned while navigating my latest venture, Airzai, through the pandemic and creating success out of an extremely tough situation.

Change your Perspective

The most important challenge I faced during the pandemic was maintaining a positive mindset, even when the outlook was grim. It’s very easy to fall in the negativity trap as everything seems to be working against us. It is crucial to always think of a difficult time as an opportunity to grow and get valuable experience that you can take with you for the rest of your life. Although times are hard and you have to incur many losses and make some tough decisions, these are all situations that are contributing to your life experience and will without a doubt make you a stronger person.

The popular saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” could not be more relevant than right now in 2020.

Respond, Not React

It is always crucial to stay put and remain calm no matter how bad of a situation you think you might be in. Especially during a widespread crisis, it’s critical to respond to the situation rather than reacting to it. Take as much time as you need to come to terms with a new reality and think through building your strategy around it. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, our company Airzai lost production in China as factories shut down, which in turn deeply affected our revenues and our quarterly forecasts. Since we were put in this position because of matters not in our control; we took our time to analyze the situation at hand deeply and decide how to respond to it. Rather than panicking and reacting to the drastic impact, we were able to utilize our resources to develop a new product in order to cater to the crisis and make up for the lost revenue. 

Seek Out a Mentor

Lastly, one of the most beneficial things you can do is seek out a mentor who has been through a similar crisis before. Most likely, they have been through the trenches before and can provide both emotional and strategic support to get you through the rough waters. Building a solid professional network, both online and offline, is important regardless of the situation you are in, because once you inevitably go through hard times, it proves to be much easier to identify those that can provide guidance.

The Takeaway

Whether you are just starting out in your career or are at a crossroads in your current position, it is still possible to turn this crisis into a prosperous experience. By maintaining a positive mindset, remaining calm and clear-headed and actively seeking guidance from a mentor, we can all benefit from tough times.