This week I've been fortunate enough to attend two events in two different settings. They were both suggesting to businesses a means to survive Brexit.
I have felt reassured by these speakers that there is another way to act and feel. We don't have to follow the panic, shock and horror that has been the norm for the last two weeks.
Having seen people act with disdain to other Europeans in unforgivable ways, I needed this other view. I am sure a lot of others do too. So I thought I would share with you some of the lessons that have been part of my week.
1. It's all about Clarity
The biggest agenda item on all three speeches was about clarity. Nigel Botterill from Entrepreneurs Circle, Kriss Akabusi and David Taylor from The Naked Leader all voiced the importance of being clear.
Be clear about what you are doing, why you are doing it and what you need to achieve now and going forward.
Now is such an important time to be able to voice what you do and why you do it. It helps you to be sure you are investing in the right activities. That you're focused on the right market, that the numbers add up and that your message is clear which leads me into...
2. Be Authentic
Simon Sinek often talks about knowing your why and how having clarity leads you to tell your story well.
It helps potential clients connect with you.
Society seems to have had enough of the lies and misdirection (quoting 'Monsters University'). We have had enough from so called experts, politicians and bankers.
It feels like we are on the cusp of something new where real values are far more important than the next set of lies. We want to hear real stories about real people with passion, drive and a plan. Oh my goodness a plan.
3. A Plan
For most businesses, the government and individuals, the plan for post referendum was blank. No one thought for a second that when we woke up two weeks ago today that the news would actually say that the UK had opted to leave the EU.
So when leaders, staff, volunteers and family turned to ask what do we do now, most were faced with a blank piece of paper.
That just led to more panic and confusion. What do you mean, Boris, of course you have a plan. Come on Nigel, you are going to stand by your shit storm aren't you. What do you mean no?!
They had no plan. There was no contingency just a great big dose of complacency.
So two weeks on there have been three routes:
Panic, sell up, close down or move out of the UK
Sit dumbstruck and wait for someone to tell us what to think
Start a plan
Well business owners, if you haven't already, it's time to start planning.
I'm not talking a big three year plan, nor a years worth. Things are only going to change again come September when the new Prime Minister is voted in. But think about some of these things and put them into a plan:
where might you lose money?
where might you make new money?
are you communicating with those you risk losing?
are you doing everything you can right now to be sustainable?
do you need to negotiate new suppliers and deals?
We touched on my final point there...
4. Communicate and share the love
Knowledge is power and we gain knowledge through communicating with others. So it's time to get communicating.
In a time of unrest and uncertainty, people panic. We have seen restaurants closing (allegedly due to Brexit). How crazy is that? Won't we all still need to eat?
Better, right now, to talk to people. Let them know what you are doing to cope with the uncertainty. Make offers, be strong and show yourself as a leader. Be confident that things will settle and at worst you have done your best.
Keep customers close, make them feel special and there is no reason to think they will go anywhere else.
No one knows what is going to happen next. I know some will truly suffer, I am not naive. But we can't predict it, we can make good guesses, we can build contingencies, we can weather the storm.
There will be a minority that will plan, communicate and be clear about their path and they will show the way and lead the rest into the next stage.
Will you be in that minority?
Brexit is the result and now, for me, it's Brexit Schmexit time. Time to just get on with the day to day.