When you read the endless negative news these days, it can make you want to crawl under your blanket and wait out the craziness. But that’s not who I am.

Entrepreneurs sign up for uncertainty from the get-go. While no one wants the current situation, it’s here and we need to face it.

Amid all the current social and economic upheaval, here are some of the questions I’m asking myself and areas I’m focusing on to stay motivated and focused on the future in these unusual times.

What am I learning from this?

Business owners are constantly looking for new ways to deliver value and stay connected in difficult moments and beyond. The fact that we’re facing an incredibly challenging time right now means there are also incredible opportunities for learning and growth.

When the restrictions are lifted, will you be ready to come out of the gate at a run?

It starts with commitment. While there’s still plenty of work to be done, many of us have at least some extra time in our day now that we’re working from home. What can you do to improve yourself during this isolation period?

From taking courses and conducting industry research to enhancing your marketing capabilities, there’s plenty of legwork you can do now that will help you kickstart growth once we emerge from this lockdown.

Am I rising to the challenge?

When facing challenging times like this, you can sink or you can rise. And if you need extra motivation to help you decide which way you’re headed, remember that people need you. Always keep in mind that someone looks up to you and you’re someone’s example, whether for your children, your team or your peers.

It’s completely normal to have not so great days, but you have to pull yourself together – both for your own sake and for those for whom you are responsible.

Where are the opportunities?

It’s difficult not to be distracted by the upsetting news that’s bombarding us every day, but I’m training my eyes on the future.

Going forward, I believe that traditional financial planning and insurance will change. I’m seeing a flight towards security with a need for more comprehensive planning and stronger relationships with advisors. Even more than before, we need to be constantly asking ourselves as a team: how can we create value today? Answering this question will reveal valuable opportunities.

I also see great potential for more and better communication in everything we do. Like many others suddenly thrust into working from home, we faced a steep learning curve in figuring out how to communicate effectively using video conferencing apps and other tools available. We’re still getting better at it, but our team is now meeting more often than before and benefiting from this increased communication.

We’re also ramping up communication with our clients. We want to help our clients feel confident and cared for while providing clarity about their current situation and options for the future. The current circumstances have also forced us to show a more human side of ourselves, exposing more of our vulnerability and empathy, which has allowed us to connect with our clients on a different level. We are checking in with our clients simply to know how they are doing and how they are navigating this new normal, and this authentic interest is appreciated.

What am I grateful for?

Rather than dwelling on sadness or frustration of the current situation, I’m channelling my energy toward gratitude. As a society, we have an immense respect for frontline workers and their families. The already deserved enormous gratitude before all this began, and now this is infinitely more apparent.

From a work perspective, I have a reinvigorated sense of gratitude towards our network in general and our clients in particular. Without their trust, understanding and support, it would be difficult to press ahead. I am also unbelievably grateful for my team. Their dedication and understanding are helping us pull through this together, and they’re helping me focus on the fun times we’ve shared and the ones we look forward to once this is over.

Personally, I’m thoroughly enjoying time with my children instead of being stuck in traffic. I’m embracing the opportunities to grow closer with my family and gain clarity on what’s really important to me. Meanwhile, my kids are discovering what it is to have parents at home all the time (most of the time it’s great, but the level of discipline and expectations have definitely gone up!).

I’m also loving the opportunity to reconnect with so many I hadn’t been in touch with for ages. Both now and once this is over, I’m looking for people who add to my life – those whom I admire, those whom I can laugh with, those whom I can cry with but who will quickly whip me into shape, and those with contagious positivity.

Back to basics

It’s easy to lose perspective amid the stress of uncertain times, so I find it helps to focus on the fundamentals.

As advisors and as individuals, there’s only so much we can do and control right now. By getting back to basics, simplifying our lives and our businesses, and staying focused on the better days ahead, we can remain motivated and optimistic during these difficult days.

We don’t have time to hide under a blanket – there’s work to do.