If you own a business, you can definitely relate.
Being forced to shutdown was a major eye opener in so many ways. Let me just say this, we learned a lot more about people and human behavior!
For me, it was very liberating and freeing and I’m a better business owner and person because of it.
Here are three takeaways about people from this shutdown (the first two will sound sad but the third is positive and hopeful):
#1.People will leave you in a second.
There’s nothing wrong with this. It is what it is. In dire situations people will look out for themselves first, and rightfully so. I don’t blame anyone. But it’s why you need to look out for yourself too.
At the beginning of this shutdown I told my wife to brace herself, this was going to become survival of the fittest.
Some people didn’t even hesitate. They cancelled their memberships immediately, asked for refunds, they just bounced! Peace out, see ya later—-their abrupt actions spoke loud and clear!
And I know some say, “be careful assuming anything, you don’t know their situations.” Oh stop that! Yes you do. You know certain people. You know the communities and status of the people you work with. You know their situations. And again, it’s fine. Even if they lost no income and their situation didn’t change at all, they have every right to bounce. No pity parties please. It’s just real talk 100! You pay for what you value. “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” (Matt 6:21)
Some people will straight up dip out on you in life when you technically need them most and there’s nothing wrong with it. Just know that it will happen and accept it. Jesus needed his disciples more than anything during his last days. They all ran away in fear and denied him while he was being nailed to the cross. Why do we think it shouldn’t happen to us?
As much as we think this is a family, it’s still a business. Over the years we have given out so many discounts and deals and help so many people. Interestingly, the ones that asked to be catered to the most are typically the ones that will leave first. Remember that.
You can still give out deals. You can and should still help people when it’s absolutely needed (like our single moms, teachers, police officers, etc). But pray for discernment over whom and when you help. Don’t feel bad if you can’t do it either. You can’t do it for everyone because if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to take care of anyone.
#2. You see people’s true colors.
Wow, when fear and panic kick in you will see true character shine! It’s like people say whatever they feel like saying and things just spew out of their mouth. No filter. No empathy. No seeking first to understand, before then being understood (Prov 4:7).
We saw it in their opinions about the situation and their lack of openness to a different viewpoint. We saw it in their desire to get what they wanted instead of putting themselves in other people’s shoes. Again, real talk 100, some people got nasty! It is what it is.
We were the only couple in our network of a lot of people at this gym who both lost their income. 90% of people were not phased income-wise. A handful had one spouse lose a percentage of their income or all of it. How do I know this? Because I surveyed people regularly. My intentions were to see how I could help membership-wise, if it was necessary. Most people responded with “no help needed.”
Yet, it seemed like some just didn’t understand the massive impact the shutdown had on businesses. When you lose your business it’s a double whammy. Not only do you have personal expenses, but you have business expenses that still need covered. Who pays for rent, payroll, utilities, websites, maintenance, etc. And then you have to deal with the collateral damage of the following months!
Once again, no pity parties here. It was just eye opening to watch how empathetic some people were vs others. Some never even thought twice about cancelling their memberships. Some never even asked for an online workout or for something in return. Some had no expectations whatsoever! They just wanted to serve and it was refreshing to us.
Others on the other hand, wow! The things they would complain about or expect and the things they would email or text! I won’t get nit-picky or go into details, but it’s like they had no clue that we just lost our jobs and our company got flipped upside down! Thankfully for us, it was only a select few. God provided some wisdom and we moved forward without letting the few noisemakers bring us down.
Fear and panic revealed some true hearts, but for those that didn’t fall into mass trepidation mode, they inspired us to keep moving! And that’s the best part about this all…
#3. You realize who your core people are.
It was a weed out program y’all. This whole situation weeded out the people that don’t share the same values and principles and for whatever reason aren’t supposed to be here right now (I’m not talking about the genuine people who had genuine reasons to leave). And once again let me repeat this, I’m not saying there’s any animosity towards the people who did!
The cool thing is the shutdown strengthened the people who are in your business or life and do truly believe in the investment they’re making to be there.
And it opened space to attract the new people who want and need to be there, who have the same heart and mindset, and who will help continue to make your life, business, & community stronger than ever.
You realize you do not serve everybody.
You realize your in-depth circle is smaller than you think.
You realize God is bringing you back to the basics, beginnings, and original plans for a reason.
You realize you don’t need to appeal, appease, accommodate, and attract everyone.
You realize you need to be authentic and do you, and it’s on God’s time that someone will be ready to receive whatever it is you’re putting out there.
And you realize that the more you invest in your small core, the more they’ll invest in you, and the more power there will be in that small group of people than in big numbers any day.
I’ll finish with this..
Jesus said you can only serve one master. (Matt 6:24)
Peter said we must obey God first not human beings. (Acts 5:29)
Yes, God commands us to love and serve His people.
But we are to serve and love and obey Him first.
So even if we lose followers or see people’s true colors shine for the worst, we keep moving forward with our convictions because when we’re called, we follow, no matter the outcome.
His opinion is the only one that matters and it can never be about us. So start using this time to #re-invent yourself and make a #comeback in 2020 today.
And it may just be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.
*I did not edit this post. Please excuse any grammar errors or mistakes. I’ll change them when my wife reads it!