by Jennifer Kem
COVID-19 is impacting the individual and collective experiences of communities around the globe. With many Shelter-in-Place or Stay-at-Home orders being practiced, some are celebrating the permission to be a little more introverted, while others long for the illimitable social structure built into an office ecosystem. Some express gratitude for the constancy of their income, while others fear and mourn the great financial losses imminent if not already present. One pattern, however, that I am finding so many have in common during this global pandemic regardless of if they’re in a position of pain or privilege is a lack of motivation.
Motivation acts as the initiator of minute daily tasks such as getting out of bed every morning and brushing your teeth, to hustling your team of children out the door, to innovating new protocols in your business’ operations to ensure client attention and retention. It can often be threatened in times of stress. So, as the rhythms and routines that keep us so connected to the consistency, community, and creative efforts that literally and figuratively keep us moving are strained during the pandemic, so many of us are feeling lost, lethargic, and lazy.
As a serial entrepreneur and brand futurist, I strongly believe that we must not only creatively work to maintain stability during the pandemic, but also begin to ponder what post-pandemic growth will be available to us at the end of this challenging time. Therefore, if we want to not just survive this, but thrive through it and after, it is imperative that we stay motivated. Below are three strategies that I’m certain will help to light a fire under you to keep you stretching instead of stagnant in this time of limitation: one, find an accountability partner; two, research brand models; and three, deepen your emotional intelligence.
FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
An accountability partner can be anyone from a good friend who needs something else to do, a coach, a superior, or a mentor who you can communicate your goals and check-in with weekly to keep you on track. This person will serve as an anchor. Seek people who are managing competently, but honestly during this time. Someone who acknowledges the severity of the situation, as well as stays solution-focused on strategies to move through it. If you don’t have an overly available friend or boss who are modeling this form of honest and qualified leadership, then look to sources like LinkedIn’s Career Advice program, which connects you to leaders in your industry willing to volunteer their time to offer experiential knowledge to help you to succeed. Score is another great organization that connects professionals to mentors to keep them motivated.
RESEARCH BRAND MODELS
People aren’t the only inspiring resources that we can connect to in times of energetic drought. Brands can also serve as bustling and beautiful archetypes that can encourage renewed attention and action. Make a list of brands that you admire because they are modeling resilience, courage, and connection during the pandemic. Ask yourself: What do you like about what they’re doing? How can you borrow those skills to show up as a more competent, curious, and impactful person in this time of crisis?
DEEPEN EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
All instances of suffering can either be used to bring out the worst or the best in us. The choice is each of ours to make. There are a lot of people creating free content right now: offering self-care services like donation-based yoga programs, online tutorials that teach viewers anything from crocheting summer socks to mindfulness exercises. There is also a plethora of articles being published with updates about COVID-19 and how to cope from individual, business, and communal perspectives. The risk here is information and content creation overload, but the opportunity is far greater. Find the tools that speak to you and create a schedule that integrates physical, mental, emotional, and social expressions to keep all of your important faculties engaged. At the end of the day, you are your best life strategist. How can you live your fullest life during COVID-19 and set yourself up to succeed when this season is over?
Regardless of how COVID-19 is impacting you, your family, your business, or your community during this time, it’s imperative that you keep your energy levels high, your focus fixated on hope, and your goals aligned with the success that you want to create in the future. Finding an accountability partner, researching brand models, and deepening your emotional intelligence serve as three ways to keep your internal fire lit, your heart centered, and your mind open while so many other things are shut down. Shelter-in-place doesn’t mean to stop seeking and it certainly doesn’t mean to stop serving, it simply means that we must do both differently. I invite you to be endlessly creative during this crisis for your benefit and the continued and conscious improvement of the human collective.
Jennifer “Jen” Kem is a San Francisco Bay Area-based branding and marketing expert who gets entrepreneurs seen, heard, and paid – for being themselves. She’s the creator of the Master Brand Method: a framework to develop powerful brand archetypes that win customers’ hearts. She has provided digital strategy coaching for emerging entrepreneurs, celebrity brands like Oprah Winfrey Network, and major corporations including Verizon. Recently, she launched her legacy project, Femmefluence, a platform to increase women’s affluence and influence. To date, her proudest creations are her three children.