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Your Turn: Making the most of a crisis

Winston Churchill is credited with saying “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

For me, the last year has been just such a good crisis. In some ways, it was an absolute disaster. Beyond the deaths of half a million of my countrymen, political strife, and a breakdown of the basic primacy of truth, there were many personal crises.

The business I had been building for three years came apart. I had to become a kindergarten teacher for my daughter using untested teaching tools while trying to build a new business. It was a challenging time.

It was also a transformative time. We often put off the changes that are necessary to move from mediocrity to success because the mediocrity is comfortable. The need for change is not urgent, so we muddle on from one year to the next.

For me, as 2020 rolled on, there was no more comfortable mediocrity. Everything had to be re-evaluated. The way I ran my business. The way we raised our daughter. The way I networked. The way I socialized. The way I lived.

It was all changing anyway, so I might as well find a way to make it better.

The disruption of my old business gave me the impetus to make a break from working in someone else’s business model to finally go whole hog into the coaching business that I’ve been wanting to pursue for half a decade.

Everything going online actually made me more connected rather than less. My social circle is spread from Boston to Denver. Between the demands of business and family, I was rarely able to see these friends. In the new world of Zoom, I am connecting with far flung friends on a weekly basis.

Many of these exciting changes were funded by government stimulus money. Between PPP, PUA, and various other acronyms, I was able to finance new training and certification, marketing, and even put a down payment on a new house.

Not everyone could do all or even many of these things, but everyone had the opportunity to reevaluate everything. New and exciting opportunities for work are proliferating. The push to online shopping and delivery has created a plethora of gigs delivering everything from food to electronics.

Businesses are discovering the power of remote workers, expanding the opportunity for great people to get great jobs in great companies. More new businesses were started last year than ever before as people realized that they might as well try something, and many will thrive.

The world will never return to exactly what it was before the pandemic, and that is a true blessing. This new world will be much more exciting. Will you seize the new opportunities?

Michael Whitehouse is now a mindset and business coach living in Groton. His daily Morning Motivation podcast can be found free at motivation.guywhoknowsaguy.com.

Your Turn is a chance for readers to share stories and commentary. To contribute, email times@theday.com.

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