I’d like to put it mildly, but there’s no mild to this putting: 2020 has already served up the most unprecedented moment of our lifetimes on a plate and handed it to us with a pair of latex gloves. 

COVD-19—or, as the kids are calling it, Coronavirus, has essentially shut down the world with velocity, fear and uncertainty.

“What’s happening to us?” the Instamoms post to their feeds. “That’s it, the world’s ending and I haven’t even been to prom yet,” tweet the teenagers. “The government’s trying to kill us! Head to your bunkers!” shout the zealots. 

Meanwhile, the entrepreneurial community looks like they’ve just walked out of having their heads caught in a salad spinner, posting dazed videos to their feeds, asking people to stay in, walking around their house in their pajamas (not that that’s anything unusual) googling coronavirus and checking the stock market thirty times a day, while wondering, Is this going to sink my business? And also wondering (albeit somewhat guiltily)—Is this going to help my business? 

Perhaps the most altruistic ones among us are consumed with much more selfless thoughts: How can I help the thousands of people who are in need right now from the quarantined safety of my home? 

A quick moment of truth:

Just a couple generations ago, people were experiencing horrors unlike anything our eyes have ever seen. During our grandparents’ generations, here are a few of the things people just like us experienced: 

  • Significant world wars with mandatory drafts 
  • Automobile factories doing government takeovers in order to build war vehicles
  • Food rations being distributed and enforced
  • Curfews being enforced by military presence
  • Epidemic outbreaks wiping out millions of lives

Even though we haven’t had a catastrophe such as a world war within our generation, our elders sacrificed greatly to fight in wars and preserve our liberty. That said, the least we can do is stay home and quarantine ourselves for a few weeks or perhaps a few months. Compared to what our ancestors suffered and sacrificed, it’s not too hard of a request. If you can, I implore you to do it. 

While this isn’t the Bubonic plague, COVD-19 is still a quickly-transferring global pandemic. It’s still deathly serious. We’ll all be better off overly safe versus devastatingly sorry. 

You might be wondering:

  1. Is it possible to maximize the downtime?
  2. If so, how do I do that? 

The answers are yes, and here’s seven reasons how. 

1. Dive into some deep learning.

Use the downtime to enhance your vocational expertise. Read some extra books, create some extra thinking time to work on massive opportunities and mindmap some create radical strategies. Go deep on subject matters you want to learn. This is your gift from the universe to experiment and to grow.

2. Create like you have all the time in the world. (Because you kind of do.)

During the Bubonic plague that spread throughout London in 1664 (which killed 25 million people, by the way) Isaac Newton discovered the law of gravity during his own type of quarantine. He used the downtime to experiment, think and create. 

What might you be able to create if you allow yourself the time to be curious and explore?

3. Connect professionally as well as socially.

While most of you will be automatically connecting with family and friends during this time, it’s also an ideal time to connect professionally with those you might not have had time for, or perhaps those you have been meaning to connect with, but haven’t been able to. 

Schedule Zoom calls, set up phone chats or use FaceTime to connect more deeply with potential collaborators. Do online workout classes. Set up a web-run mastermind. Host virtual happy hours. Setbacks can be set-ups if you allow them to be. 

4. Prepare for the great rush.

When this season passes, however long that ends up being, we’re all going to have cabin fever. And when that happens, a rush on just about every industry in ways unlike anything we’ve ever seen will take place.

The time is coming when people are going to be counting down the minutes when they can be out and about again; see the world again; spend money again. The world is going to come alive in a beautiful way. Energy and momentum will once again be coming to a town, a business, a demographic near you, so now is your time to get ready.

What lessons will you have learned during the down season? How will you structure your businesses to prepare better for any future crises? In what ways can you help the planet and your fellow humankind?

5. Make courage your best friend.

As depressing as it sounds, these times may end up looking similar to those during the Great Depression. But remember that there were more millionaires made during that time than during any other period in history. 

Even during the Great Recession, which wasn’t that long ago, many people lost much, but others had thriving moments of growth. The people who survived and thrived during that season expanded because they answered the call boldly. For me personally, my market share and real estate holdings expanded vastly during the Great Recession, giving me my best years up to that point because I did not succumb to fear. 

Regarding fear and whether or not we allow it to control us, my friend, Ashley Avinashi of Raising Humanity, reminded me that a heightened energetic vibration can affect up to ¼ million people. So if we each choose to surround ourselves with the positive energies of love, joy, courage and hope, we’re actually healing our surrounding neighbors and friends. 

6. Be generous. (There is always someone who has it harder than you.)

Even if we, as entrepreneurs, were already working from home in our sweatpants, there are countless others whose livelihoods depended on work that they can no longer keep because of the virus’ spread. 

For my hometown of Nashville, the virus arrives on the heels of a devastating tornado that demolished many of our residents’ homes. These people were already suffering, and now this

In your community, what are the needs that are arising? How can you help out? Can you donate to food drives? Can you employ a receptionist who was let go from her job as a virtual assistant instead? If you’re a property owner, could you give grace to your tenants whose rent payments will be a struggle? 

7. Be a hero: protect yourself and others.

Please, for the good of all that is loving and wise, don’t be stupid. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Don’t be the idiot Instagramming themselves partying at a bar tonight. Be a good example of self-care and society-care. 

Because just like the connected roots of trees who communicate to each other when they are hurting or in need of extra nutrients, so we too, as the human race, are all one. We can all be hurt by the same monster. And we can all be healed by the same rising tide of love. There has never been a more clearly defined example of this in our lifetimes. 

With that, I implore each and every one of you to care for each other and yourselves by waiting out the storm from the safety of your homes. We’re in this together for better or for worse, so let’s make it for the better.