From the Desk of the President – Business in the Age of CoronaVirus

In mid-February, my wife and I got to spend some time in Barcelona Spain.  This has become a regular trip for us that we look forward to each winter. This year’s trip had a bit of gray to it…. the growing threat of the Corona Virus seemed to be consistently looming in the corners of my mind.

Upon our return to the US, we watched in disbelief as we saw Northern Italy get overrun by it, then Spain followed. It was difficult to process and a sense of fear seemed to permeate our home for a couple of weeks.  Our home recently has felt like Corona Central, with the TV tuned to the ever increasing flow of news, while I am catching Facebook updates on my phone.

Last week, National Grid essentially closed their programs, and this week, Governor Charlie Baker instituted a “Shelter at Home Advisory” which mandates the closure of all non-essential businesses.

This is a time that none of us have lived through, and won’t soon be forgotten.  The Dow was at 29,551 on Feb 12th, as of this writing on March 23rd it has plummeted down to  18,946 (about 35% drop in about 6 weeks).  Most of us have suffered major losses in our investment accounts, and the losses don’t seem to have an end in sight.

My business partner Dalton Ling and I have spent many phone calls wondering how best to handle the situation, and how to foster an environment of health with this sense of fear at our door.  I am sure that you can relate.

I suggest 4 points on how to handle this in your business:

  1. GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) principle  If you train your mind on the fear that the news is pushing right now (no matter how true it is), fear will be the result.  I suggest limiting the amount of time that you watch the news.
  2. Use this time to sharpen pieces of your business or job  – when we are busy we get into triage mode, now that we aren’t so busy we can use our energy for continuous internal improvement (Great insight Dalton!)
  3. Taking walks can be a great way to get some exercise and clear the mind (as long as we are allowed!)
  4. Stay connected.  Living on an island with all the money in the world would be a very lonely place.  Fostering connection is a great key to weathering storms of life.  Check in with your family, friends, vendors and even your competitors.  We are all in this together!

Thank you and God Bless,

Gabriel Andreson

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