How to be an Entrepreneur During a Pandemic
I am a full time wedding planner and designer, and have been for over 6 years. I started LLG Events when I was 25 years old. It was my first company and within 2 years, I expanded it internationally, became a 6 figure company, started a PR and digital media marketing firm, traveled the world, got featured in over 300 publications worldwide, and then one day it all stopped.
February 29th 2020 is a day that forever changed me. I knew some difficult choices were coming down the pipeline. The writing was on the wall, this was no normal virus, my international clients were getting scared, traveling was slowing down, and I knew the business was about to take me for a tailspin. I’ve enjoyed great success for my first 5 years and every entrepreneur talks about the time when your business puts you through your first test. Many before me experienced the housing market crash of ’08, 9/11, and the optics of having an event after these times. However, this was my first major test, especially after I made some crucial investments in staff, office space, a new company, and event technology.
The life I knew, the business I grew, everything was over in one week. No more glamorous affairs, no more incredible workcations, no more weddings to execute, no more business period. Everything postponed until 2021.
Being an entrepreneur during a pandemic is hard. I’ve had to let go of what was, of the dream I once realized and manifested for myself. The team, the office, the travel, even the way I knew how to do business was changing and I resisted the change every step of the way.
It took all summer, actually 6 months, for me to find my groove again. I had to grow an appreciation for what this pandemic really meant as an entrepreneur, it meant forced growth. It meant pivoting when I wasn’t ready. It meant letting go of what I had when I didn’t want to. It meant changing my old habits and beliefs when they were working for me for so long. It meant ending the lease to my first office when I worked 3 years to get one.
Growing is tough. Learning something new is tough, especially when you did not want to learn it. But this is the life I chose. I chose not to have set office hours, set vacation days, a specified salary. I chose disruption from the very day I signed my official business seal. But with disruption comes challenges, even when you’re not ready for them. It means constant learning, always improving, recognizing when to pivot. And being an entrepreneur in a pandemic is no different than being an entrepreneur every day. This pandemic reminded me that I became complacent in my ways and in my thought process. I stopped learning about the market, I stopped learning about new tools, and I took for granted my drive that got me here in the first place.
Every day is a new opportunity, to learn, to grow, to pivot. COVID didn’t change that, COVID reminded me of it. The kick in the butt I needed to learn about YouTube, Tik Tok, push forward my event technology app, EVY, get out of an insanely over priced office space, and focus on the most important thing, loving myself. Giving myself time to feel my feelings, get angry, sad, grieve, and to invest in new ways of recreating myself and to find strength that I didn’t even know I had.
Being an entrepreneur is an incredible journey. One that is not to be taken lightly. Every day is a curve ball, every day there is an unknown, but it’s how you approach it that makes or breaks the day. Prepare yourself adequately for the challenges by putting your mental health first. Give yourself 30 minutes to get in the right mindset so you can approach each day with the attitude that you can conquer anything.
Learn to embrace the challenges and see them as opportunities, be agile, adaptable, always keep yourself abreast of your industry, and be open to learning something new everyday. That is what will get you through — day in and day out, Covid or no Covid.
Because being an entrepreneur during a pandemic is really no different than how you should be acting everyday.