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by Mary Ann O’Brien | May 21, 2020

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During this time of crisis, it’s easy to go to a dark place mentally. But if you are a business owner, leader, entrepreneur or marketer, this is actually your time to shine. The responsibility is ours to be a ray of light that reveals new paths forward for businesses and communities.

Now is not the time to shy away from adversity, clinging tightly to what is slipping through our fingers. We are lateral thinkers and can’t let coronavirus change the way we innovate. Our proclivity to find the opportunity in every moment, including chaotic ones, is much needed in the business world right now.

Many of the clients and businesses you serve may be struggling right now to figure out how to survive. Your ideas can help them emerge from this crisis strong, but you have to share them. And, you may have to be prepared to share your ideas for free.

Give of Your Time, Talents, or Treasure

My dad is a driving force in my life and the life of my business. Although he’s passed on now, I still hear his voice in my ears daily, guiding me through business decisions. One thing my dad taught me was to always give back. When I worried I wasn’t giving back enough, he reminded me that we can always be giving of either our time, talents, or treasure. At various points in our careers, we will be able to give in one of those three ways. In instances when we are too busy to give of our time, we can share our treasure. When the purse strings are tight and we cannot share our treasure, we can give our talents.

Now is the time to share your talents with others.

Yes, you will need to give away things you would normally charge for. That is okay. I firmly believe the goodwill we show now will come back to us.

What Can You Give Away?

At my company, OBI Creative, we’re giving away resources right now.

Those resources are helping other companies communicate better and have a better chance of surviving this crisis intact. This act of generosity is for the good of our larger community and I’m happy we’re doing it. Also, I understand that crisis is the time for brands and businesses to build trust with clients by showing their true colors.

Help hard-hit clients by giving away some of the following:

  • Business coaching
  • Mentorship
  • Best practices that are getting you through the crisis
  • Referrals to professionals you trust
  • Strategic consulting
  • Ideation sessions
  • Tools and templates

If the idea of business coaching in a vacuum sounds scary, remember that the person you are sharing your ideas and experience with knows enough about their business to take the principles you’re sharing and adapt them to their particular situation.

A free, two-hour ideation session could help a business think about what they have differently. Help them think through how they can determine what their market needs and repackage what they have to offer in a way to meet those needs. Help them create solutions that might not be readily apparent because their vision is clouded by concern or fear.

It might look different than how you normally do things and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be forever. Normally, I wouldn’t give away my time or templates, but it isn’t a normal environment right now. If the economy goes into a depression, it will hurt you too.

Now is the time to reach out. Don’t be afraid to share your time, talent, and treasure with others. It’s how we will all get through this – together.

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