Sunday, January 10, 2021

Negative events as a fuel for action


[Light bulb*]

2020 was not a great year for most freelancers, to put it mildly. For many entrepreneurs, the private news was as bad if not worse than the public news. The year was filled with negative events of all kinds to one degree or another. Yet, while the word negative may have connotations of failure and retreat, in practice, negative events can be the engines of positive changes.

It is clear the extreme reductions in business activity, lockdowns, bankruptcies and outstanding overdrafts have had a catastrophic effect on both salaried employees and freelancers but the latter generally had less help available to them, depending on the country. The immediate consequences include firings, crises in paying the mortgage, extreme loss of income and even hunger in same places. Entrepreneurs, who often make a living on “luxury” projects, found themselves with no customers or government support. In the short term, most people strongly felt the downward effect.

However, many impacted workers harnessed their frustration and anger in order to make positive changes whether in the nature or manner of their work. The negative energy, like the electrons in an atom, can create the momentum to make important life changes that will ultimately improve life quality. In practice, without a good kick in the rear, people often do not do what they want to or should do, including in regards to choice of livelihood.

[Finger flicking man]
 For example, many technical people were fired, an   experience that may be even more emotionally than   financially stressful. Regardless of the reason or manner   in which it is done, the act of being informed that you are   not good enough or superfluous hurts. For many, the   immediate reaction is paralysis and depression. However,   being shoved out of one door can be a shove into a better room, one where you really wanted to go but were afraid to try. Many mid-level managers and salaried programmers have claimed for years that they know better than their bosses and hate the “framework”’. Without the golden cage of a salary, they are free to test their wings and check their true worth. The desire to prove the boss wrong is a very strong motivator.

[Collapsing bricks]
Many freelancers found that their major customers stopped or severely reduced job orders, with dramatic consequences on income. The immediate reaction is distress and worry. It should be noted that it is always poor business practice to be overly dependent on any single client. The entrepreneur can use the involuntary free time to seek additional customers in the same area and consider other areas in which to expand. Most entrepreneurs know that these marketing efforts should have been done a long time ago but necessity is the evil stepmother of invention.

[Collapsed road]
 If your industry is likely to be permanently affected by   events due to developments in technology and medium-   term global financial instability, the immediate reaction   is  consternation and long-term doubts. This fear can fuel   the effort to conduct a new self-inventory of skills and   market survey in order to find a new niche to enter.   While  the fear of the unknown is strong, the thrill of a new challenge can easily create an energizing force. There is ultimately great satisfaction in changing careers even if you did not choose the moment.

[Bored man]
Finally, faced with the too much free time due to temporary closures, many previously busy people struggling with boredom and a feeling of a lack of usefulness. This idleness had led many to take courses and even start degree programs in areas that they only dreamed of. The free time has now become an important asset, not an emotional liability.

Entrepreneurs clearly do not have complete control of outside events nor can generally predict them. Thus, while it is easy and natural to consider certain events negative, we have the choice to render them positive, at least in the long term, and harness them to make productive and emotionally beneficial changes in our careers. I personally have experienced each of these states in my life and not only survived but eventually thrived. Even when challenged, as Perry Como sang, you have to accentuate the positive and thus eliminate the negative, whether that be in 1958, 2020 or 2021.

* Integrate the blind by posting with picture captions. Pictures through Pixabay.

No comments:

Post a Comment