There is so much truth to the saying “it takes a village to run a business.” As business owners, many of us were panic stricken when COVID emerged, and with reason, as recent studies show that women have been the hardest hit during this pandemic. Fearing the demise of our livelihood, we signed up for one too many online “meet ups”. We turned panic into overscheduling and over doing it. Sound familiar? It’s like we almost cracked the code of our over-scheduled lives. Now that our new normal has set in, we have pivoted. I sense a virtual calm has set in.
To be clear: I am only speaking of a very privileged subset of people who can continue to work from home. As women, we need to continue to advocate for each other during these unprecedented times. I always say a woman alone has power; collectively we have impact. The truth is that raising each other up and channeling the power of collaboration is truly how we’ll change the equation of our future.
We need each other more than ever right now. Many of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are hitting women disproportionately hard. Like me, many women across the globe have been juggling a lot since the Covid-19 crisis started. We all have varying views about how to live our lives, how to run our businesses, and how to manage our relationships, but at the core of each of us, we are seeking connection and fulfillment. These connections have changed considerably as social distancing has become the new normal. Many of us are not only struggling to keep up financially, but we are feeling isolated and alone. Let’s face it, video calls just don’t give us the human, in person connection we seek.
So how do you maneuver COVID during these unprecedented times? Find an online community that speaks your language. As a founding member of FemCity, I have felt connected despite the disconnect we are all feeling right now. FemCity swiftly created a space that allowed us to maneuver around many of the challenges we have been faced with during this pandemic.
FemCity’s list of resources for businesses and business leaders that have been affected by COVID have helped me realign my priorities. I believe you will find these small business resources valuable as you navigate the impact and uncertainties of COVID-19 measures. You need to consider what happens not just today, but tomorrow and beyond. Remember, it’s ok to not be ok. And although I don’t really believe we are all in this together because of varying socio-economic realities, I am of the opinion that we cannot go through this alone.
I encourage you to seek out support both from local and federal agencies. There are many resources available for women in business. Now is not the time to have too much pride or let your ego stand in the way. You have worked too hard to only get this far. The difference between going to bed feeling content or disappointed at the end of the day has a lot to do with the expectations we set for ourselves. Shift your thinking from perfection to good enough. Better yet: use this moment to become more reasonable with your expectations of yourself and of others. So many situations are out of our control. But we do have choices about how we approach each day and the expectations we set for ourselves.
A lot of us can identify with — and have benefited from — the desire to be perfect. But we often take it too far. Even before the pandemic, women especially struggle to match unreachable ideals. Instead of aiming for perfection, let us aim for happiness. I remind myself that this is the goal every single day
Remember, fall back on your support system. Have a conversation with someone you may have met at a pre-COVID network event or call a long-time friend. Trust me, we are all experiencing so much of the same feelings.
The entrepreneurial path is not always easy, and COVID sure hit us like a train truck. But as entrepreneurs, we have only one end game, success. By looking for opportunities to support and advocate for our female peers, we can help propel them to new heights, even when we cannot be together.