We are living in epic times. Billions of people and companies are taking on tremendous shifts from their day-to-day routines. As a result, millions of companies have downsized or gone out of business and millions of people are now unemployed (or about to be). However, amidst all this economic uncertainty lives opportunity. Warren Buffett said it best “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” Now that the world is fearful, it is the ones with the entrepreneurial creativity who will thrive. Let’s look at how we can make the most out of a terrible situation.
1) Consider the industries and companies that are doing well in this COVID-19 economic crisis. Esports companies, online streaming companies like Twitch and Netflix, and home delivery companies have actually seen a boost in revenue the last few weeks. Also, consider industries like Health and Wellness, EdTech (online education and remote learning) and even remote collaboration tools to keep staff and teams aligned (i.e. Zoom and Slack). Can you provide services to companies in these industries? If so, go to LinkedIn, find a human resource manager working for companies you are interested in, and send them your resume.
2) If you’re a consultant, freelancer or agency struggling to find work because your clients have put your contracts on hold, or even cancelled them altogether, consider utilizing what I call the PML technique. PML stands for Pay Me Later; this technique works well with clients you enjoy working with and trust. You simply offer a deferment in payment. The work you were doing most likely still needs to get done, it’s just that many clients are feeling a cash flow crunch now so all non-essential work is on hold. The PML technique mitigates the cash issue and allows your clients to keep working with you. You’ll still get paid, just not on a regular schedule as you expect.
3) Remember that book you always wanted to write? That’s right, that one in the back of your mind that you always said you would write if “only you had time”. Well now is the time. Commit on your calendar one hour a day to write that book. Start by just creating the table of contents, you’ll find the book will write itself after that is created. The book itself most likely won’t be a source of cash, but it positions you as an expert for bigger and better things. Among other benefits, my books have landed me higher paying consulting gigs and tons of media placement. The strategy here is not to think about cash coming in the door, but to think about raising your overall value.
4) If you’re a business owner, think about the opportunity to take your business online. For example, if you’re a fitness instructor, think about how you can stream your classes online. If you’re a wedding planner, try and create an online course and share with others your knowledge. Online courses are hot right now, some are even selling for a few thousand a pop.
5) Take your knowledge to Upwork – Upwork is the largest site in the world for freelancing and you most likely have a skill that others need. Even if you’ve never freelanced before, simply create a profile and think about how you can best serve clients. You will find getting started as a freelancer is easier than you think and it’s actually a really fun job. Personally, I found it to be so much fun I wound up quitting my job and doing it full-time. Remember, even though we are living in troubling times, it is your attitude and perseverance which will determine how well you create opportunity.
Mike Volkin is a best-selling author, lead instructor at FreelancerMasterclass.com and an expert panelist at Forbes. As a fractional CMO marketing leader he has worked with over 400 companies in 20 countries.