I believe the worst of the last 5 years is behind us. We have absorbed an unprecedented amount of loss, stress, market reversal, health challenges and geopolitical shocks. To be more specific, since 2017, we have been affected by the following crisis and shocks:
- President Trump trade war with China which caused prices raise for basic products across the globe
- Global pandemic that killed over 6.5 million people and caused $9 trillion of GDP loss in 2020 (10 % of global output)
- Russia war in Ukraine killing thousands of people and threatening peace stability in Europe for the first time since WW2 and energy security globally
- Skyrocketing inflation at a 40 year high at 8% in the EU and the US eroding welfare of people particularly the most vulnerable
- Global recession which in 2022 alone has wiped out 30-50% valuation of stocks and companies inflicting grave pain to investors and households
While several of the above crises are not fully under control, we have managed to absorb the worst consequences of these shocks, and we have built resiliency and risk management both at societal, and at the enterprise level. What we have also built is a higher level of risk awareness and readiness that will allow us to be better prepared for future unexpected events, be it a climate disaster or an unpredictable economic shock.
How to leverage a crisis?
First, no matter how exposed you are personally and financially, do everything to control the crisis as opposed to being controlled by it. Use this tough time to re-assess how you allocate your finances, who you partner with and become as selective as possible in your decision making. Here are my 10 rules to be become more successful and happier:
- Focus on what you have absolute control over and let go of other distractions and the noise that derail you from your core.
- Learn to delegate, automate, and outsource. As entrepreneurs for instance, we are often on a firefighting mode and do everything that must be done to keep the business going. Instead, learn to delegate, empower, and help those around you shine and help your problem solve.
- Invest in strategic partnership. If you don’t have sufficient capital to pay for your staff, offer the company equities to keep the essential staff
- Share your problem/challenge with others, this person will reciprocate and help you find a solution. If what you need is capital, ask for money from 10 new people every day. This will make you stronger no matter what the outcome is.
- Become comfortable about being uncomfortable. Learn that being rejected is market feedback that will teach you how to be more effective on your next request.
- Most deadlines are artificial and in 99% of the cases they don’t lead to any of the consequences they threaten to cause.
- Continue to learn and invest in your knowledge particularly in the areas of your expertise and passion. Nobody can ever take this away.
- Take risk and think big. While you test new solutions and products. Fail fast and fail forward and surround yourself with people that compliment you and that bring happiness and positive outcomes for society.
- Don’t waste a minute. This is the most philosophical action, but when you truly realize that we have only 1440 minutes a day, you should use them smartly to accomplish your objectives.
- Become 1% better every day. Learn to be more grateful, help others, stay healthy and improve the environment. These are simple actions that taken everyday will compound themselves and make you unbeatable and happy.
Crises are times where change is possible if we stay focused. These are times when we should channel all time and energy towards what is most critical and what we can control. This is the time to act as we have built an unprecedented level of mental strength, and risk awareness. Eliminate all the noise and start building a plan. In doing so we can convert the accumulated stress into fuel for growth.