The disruption that hit the world since the Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic went global transcends social, economic, racial and religious demographics. Young and old, black and white, Christian and Muslim; we are all forced to take refuge in our homes till it blows over.
Despite being on lock-down, our minds keep wandering; a thousand “what-ifs” pop in our thoughts every day. Whether we are willing to accept this fate or not, it is time to look inwards to find the answers that we seek.
How am I going to survive? How long can I live on my savings? What are the things I can do to generate income? How do I strike a balance between killing boredom and being productive?
The questions never stop. The best part of everything is that somehow, we are adjusting.
All over social media, people are sharing their Stay-At-Home experiences, parents are spending more time with their children, siblings are bonding, old friends are catching up, couples are falling in love over again and people are giving generously to the less privileged. It is bittersweet to think that it took a virus to show us all how to be human again.
Now more than ever, we are forced to pause and reflect – to ask ourselves those tough questions that have been swept under the carpet as a result of our busy schedules and our rush for survival.
Who are you when you do not have an audience? What are the things that matter most to you? What is your life’s story? What are you willing to die for?
Two weeks ago, we launched an Instagram Live series interviewing entrepreneurs whose businesses have had the worst hits due to the Covid-19 pandemic. They shared how the pandemic was affecting their businesses and how they are pivoting. Despite the fact that they are operating while being on lock-down, they each had different stories to tell.
The Managing Director of a travel agency shared that he was using this time to re-strategize with his team since business is currently on a stand still. Another entrepreneur in the manufacturing space pivoted from manufacturing clothes to making face masks. A ready-to-wear fashion designer we interviewed said “I had to stop assuming that people are not buying anything because people actually are.” The most striking thing about all the entrepreneurs we interviewed is their positive mindset while dealing with the chaos and operational disruptions resulting from the pandemic.
Are you looking inwards as a business owner? Who are your customers? Are you putting yourself in their shoes? What matters most to them right now? How can you tweak your product or service to alleviate their boredom, allay their fears or at least bring them hope or even joy?
The opportunities are right here, you just need to look inwards.
The global economy is undergoing a major shift right now. Businesses like Netflix who have embraced digital, is now churning in profits and is worth more than Disney who has a more traditional business model.
With countries like the U.S.A. and Canada now paying people to buy their oil, what does this mean for the Nigerian economy? – an economy that relies on oil exportation for 90% of its Foreign Exchange.
With the Nigerian population already over 200 million and estimated to be 450 million in the next few decades, how are we going to survive as a nation if we do not start sourcing for our needs locally? How did we go from being one of the world’s largest producers and exporters to spending trillions of Naira on imports? What steps can we take to become self-sufficient in terms of food production, job creation, healthcare and globalization?
Perhaps, this experience will inspire more African innovators to look inwards and proffer solutions to our indigenous problems.