Every day has its little snippets of happiness, of connection, and if we look hard enough, even a positive accomplishment. It does sort of comfort me to know that if I narrow my focus from the big picture to my immediate present, I can still find pockets of normal. Other than that observation, it feels like most days I am trying to stuff 6 lbs. of crap into a 5 lb. sack. There is so much uncertainty right now, and everyone hates uncertainty.
A Startling Perspective
Here is something to put into the back of your mind. The Great Depression that started with the stock market crash of 1929 lasted for 10 years. Ten years. Our current discomfort has been going on for 5 months. How would we be handling the Dust Bowl (1930-1940)? Are we tough enough? How did our nation survive those brutal years? How long will our own Grapes of Wrath last? It is that uncertainty that continues to keep many a small business owner awake at night.
Things were going so well. We were growing and developing, enjoying the process of strategic planning for taking business to the next level. Eyes were on the prize. It was a textbook healthy business environment. I don’t think anyone had deadly virus pandemic and the subsequent shutdowns on their business bingo cards. So—a screeching halt to, well, everything for a couple of months, then the irrepressible urge for community and commerce was too strong to keep shuttered. We went from still to stirring, dusting off our hands, and thanking Providence that the worst was over. Except that it wasn’t. I find these extremes exhausting. “Wanting” has no power over a highly transmissible and potentially fatal disease. We want it gone, but we can’t get our heads around doing the work to make it so. Extremes stink. I’m a steady-in-the-middle-of-the-channel guy.
Getting Back To Those Snippets And Those Pockets Of Normal
I like to relive the “things were going so well” days. I can still work on strategic planning, based on what day-to-day needs are for people who require information technology management (which is everyone these days.) I can try to inventory my resources and my possibilities. I can keep asking businesses if they need help. I was doing all those things before; why should I stop doing them now? I can stay alert to the needs of my community. I can connect with others to ask how they are coping. I cannot imagine what 10 years of our immediate misfortunes would be like, as I’m sure people back in the 1930s could not—but we have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
I hope that small business owners will stop hating the uncertainty and once again put their heads down to find what will work, and what avenues might open for them if pursued. I’m going to continue to walk that walk myself and to look for every positive accomplishment I can find, moment to moment until this crisis has passed.
If your business could use an assessment of your information technology, give Aptica a call. It’s free, and we might be able to answer questions you have about your business’s potential.
Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.