Hope and Transformation for Small Business Success
– Double Rainbows and the Perpetual Cycle of Change
You’ve likely seen them. Double rainbows appear in the sky after a rain shower, often when the sun is low in the sky, early in the morning or late afternoon. It’s a delightful sight where two spectacular displays of nature appear for the price of one. They have a certain captivating mystique about them.
Recently, I was sharing information about the change cycle with a group of small business owners. Envision a circle and start at the top. The Cycle of Change begins with a Precipitating Incident. In our current environment, the Coronavirus certainly qualifies as a precipitating incident! It began as a global health crisis crossing from continent to continent and created a catastrophic blow to health and economic conditions worldwide.
From there, moving clockwise; those impacted by the incident shift to Recognition or Resistance. They recognize or resist the necessity to do things differently as a result of the incident. As the second stage of change unfolded at the beginning of the pandemic, acceptance and rejection of facts and information existed side-by-side. Some jumped on board immediately, embracing the data. Others resisted.
Then, the narratives started rolling in about recommended Behavior Change. Wash your hands for 20 seconds. Socially distance. Don’t travel. Wear a mask. Don’t wear a mask. Before our eyes, behaviors we had never done before were frenetically accepted. And within short order, there was significant Momentum toward adopting these behaviors. Suddenly, we found ourselves in Immersion where millions were acting and interacting in new and novel ways on a regular basis. The behaviors became embedded into our lives.
The Coronavirus cycle of change has been a near perfect example of the process in action. So, what about the double rainbow?
Small Business Has Been Adversely Impacted by Rapidly Changing Business Conditions
Well, a second wave of change started as millions found themselves unemployed because businesses were being affected so adversely by behavior changes initiated in the first wave. Rapidly changing business conditions and unemployment introduced another precipitating incident. Experts quickly recognized the impact this second incident would have on those who lost their jobs. The long-term viability of untold numbers of small businesses became a genuine reality as customers, consumers, and clients began staying home and social distancing. Business was forever changed in that moment.
Small business owners either recognized or resisted the reality. Some became frozen in fear and have struggled to act. Others took action and applied for one or more of the many government loan programs put in place for survival. If employees were spared from unemployment, work-at-home became the norm. This radical behavior change was widely implemented by businesses nationwide. Action created momentum and suddenly we were immersed into yet another significantly transformed routine related to work, health, and survival.
As I was contemplating these change cycles, I visually placed the second circle of change over the first one and suddenly, I envisioned a double rainbow. It took me by surprise that such dark and ominous events could inspire such a beautiful image. But upon further reflection, I interpreted it to mean that out of dark and ominous storms come rainbows when the sun returns. It actually filled me with hope.
From a spiritual perspective, a double rainbow is all about new beginnings and transformation. In Eastern cultures the double rainbow is believed to be a sign of good fortune, luck, and prosperity.
Businesses and Services Across the United States Have Endured Multiple Cycles of Change
Let’s come back to these interpretations in a moment; because, as I write this, we’re actually experiencing a fourth change cycle. The third cycle occurred with the ongoing lockdown of businesses and services across the United States in an effort to “flatten the curve” of those being infected with the virus. In this fourth cycle, we’re now re-emerging from the lockdown and re-opening America.
Each cycle started with a unique precipitating event and has required recognition, behavior change, momentum, and immersion to navigate the challenges. I anticipate we will go through a few more iterations before we settle into a new way of working and living together.
In all my years of business consulting with companies and organizations, I’ve never witnessed these rapid, repetitive cycles of change, one after another, in compressed timeframes. It’s no wonder so many are fatigued, burned out, frustrated, and angry.
Hope and Transformation Will Pull Your Business Out of Chaos and Confusion
So, what’s the point? As a small business owner, you’ve been challenged like no other time in history to rise above the chaos and confusion. You’ve been challenged to tap into resources you’ve never used. You’ve been challenged to find your creativity. You’ve been forced to defy the odds by defining and implementing innovative ways of conducting business, retaining clients, and saving your companies.
This is likely one of the biggest struggles you’ve ever faced in your career, maybe even in your life. For many, it’s taking every ounce of fortitude one has to get through it. Now stay with me. Right about now you might be thinking, “So then, why is Joanne talking about such obscure notions like double rainbows? It seems completely nonsensical in these trying times.”
Well, actually, let’s return to the interpretations of double rainbows. New beginnings, transformation, signs of good fortune, luck, and prosperity.
Your mindset, along with your behaviors and actions, will help you triumph. That vision of double rainbows, or whatever vision of hope and belief you can muster, can fuel your every step. Your hope and belief in the sun coming back out, as it does after every rain storm, will inspire you to generate the behavior and momentum needed for business survival.
Anticipate that the rainbows will appear. When you reach momentum in the change cycle, you will see them. Not in the literal sense, of course. But you will visualize them or sense their power, just as I did in that startling moment when I overlapped two circles of change. In a split second, I realized the energy of such positive imagery would help me, my clients, you, and others overcome inevitable roadblocks and barriers, even during the worst of unanticipated setbacks. How? Or, why? Because that energy ignites the very action needed to conquer today’s challenges.
You Have Extraordinary Capabilities
These are unprecedented times. But your capabilities are equally extraordinary. Be sure to tap into them with conviction and confidence. It will help you win today’s economic, social, intellectual, and emotional battles. A bright future awaits.
Send me your double rainbow stories. I’ll be sure to publish them over the months to come.