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Own A Business & Stuck At Home for Quarantine? Here’s What I’m Doing! Want To Join?

Folks who are 10 X-ing, hand sanitizer, hoarding face masks to sell in the black market. When I see opportunity, I’m talking about people who really look at what’s available to them in this moment and say, how do we serve? How can we help our community? Where can we step in and give back?

Hey everyone, this is Shama Hyder here, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the old Chinese curse slash blessing, which says, may you live in interesting times, and that definitely seems to be the case right now. We are living in some very interesting times. Hope you all are being safe out there, washing your hands plenty and keeping your social distance. We’ve definitely been doing the same. And this is I think a challenging time for lots of people, and as a company and Zen Media, we’ve actually been doing pretty well given circumstances. The most important things being the team is healthy, everyone is doing well. I’m knocking on wood here. And we’ve been remote for 11 years, so the remote part has not been as much of a jump for us as it’s been for some other folks.

And so we’ve always had a great suite of tools. Google Plus. Not Google Plus, God that’s been gone for a while. But Google Premiere, G Suite, Slack, you name it. So it’s been pretty interesting to have all these tools now and to see other folks perhaps recognizing the value of remote working. So, I found myself talking a lot about what’s going on right now with friends, with many of you who’ve sent messages and you’ve asked for my thoughts and what’s going on in with the current situation and how we’re dealing with it. So I’ll share my personal and I’ll share their professional, because I just know so many of you are curious. So like many of you and most of us, I have a young kid. So not everyone has a young kid at home, but you understand that lots of us have families and obligations.

So I have a seven month old son, and working from home is not necessarily new for me. Remote work has been par for the course for 11 years now. So that’s not necessarily new. But it’s definitely different because there’s not a place to go at all so we’re all in the same home. And my husband is also an entrepreneur, so he goes to the work, his staff is really minimal right now, and comes right back. We’re all taking precautions and doing the smart thing. What I think is interesting when stuff like this happens, again on a personal note, is people go either towards paranoia or they go towards recklessness, which always surprises me. Maybe it shouldn’t. I feel as human beings, those are the two extremes on the personal front. Either people get really paranoid and just have refused to even go outside their apartment doors to get some fresh air, which I really don’t recommend. I think the idea of social distancing is keeping away from people at a healthy distance. But by all means, I hope that we’re all embracing nature right now.

And so I just see a lot of people getting very paranoid. And even more than the physical distance, the toll it’s taking on their emotional wellbeing, the anxiety, the anxiousness, the fear. And I just don’t see that being healthy in any capacity whatsoever. And on the other hand, we have folks that are honestly being quite reckless. We live in Miami, and it was amazing this weekend how many people were in South Beach and lines around popular clubs and hotspots of folks wanting to get in. Of course Miami is a big spring break destination, but I was surprised to see that. Little saddened because I do think it’s reckless to be out like that, out and about with lots of crowds. Because unlike the flu or unlike other diseases, what we’re hearing from the CDC and verifiable sources is that the incubation period for COVID-19 is just longer.

So you might be a carrier and not show symptoms for three weeks, and then you got around and spread it to people, some who might be more immunocompromised, elderly, so forth. And so it’s just funny because I see people being paranoid, I see people being reckless. And then there’s the middle ground of what I hope you’re doing, which is just being smart. I think this is a time to make smart decisions. If you’re washing your hands twice a day, do it four times a day. You make good choices. Obviously distance yourself. Don’t make unnecessary plans if you don’t need to go out. And I think it’s funny because smart seems to be so hard to do. But I really think in our personal lives that’s the approach my family and I are taking, and I hope that you are too because paranoia never served anyone.

In fact, I think if anything, you could probably lower your immunity from all the stress that you put your body under and your mind under. And then just being reckless is frankly not good for society in general, and definitely not a virtue that you want to cultivate for yourself. So that’s what’s happening on the personal front, and we’re very much in the same boat as many of you where we’re limiting our interactions, which I guess also feeds into my professional. I’m usually not home this much. I keynote a ton, so I’m usually traveling all over the world. And of course all of that has been curtailed. So that’s our bridge into the professional. All my keynotes have been postponed. None have been canceled quite yet, but postponed to next year. So for the foreseeable future, there might not be as much travel involved. And I’m okay with that because we’re keeping plenty busy at Zen Media.

And I wanted to share a couple of things with you on the professional side, because I think it’s important, I think it’s stuff that people don’t think about. So just like on the personal where folks fall into these categories, they fall into paranoid or reckless, not smart less so, I think what’s happening in the professional world is very similar. You see people get very excited, very scared, and sometimes within the same couple of hours those feelings come and go. But professionally, what generally happens is you have two groups of people. You have one group that is the panic group. So these are the folks that pull back on everything. They turn off business drivers like marketing, they hoard, they just freak out and they actually hurt the market more than anything, I think environmentally because they just react out of fear.

And then you have the group that really looks at it and says, let’s own the moment. This is the group that says, within every cloud there’s a silver lining. Where is the opportunity in this? And let me be very clear, when I say opportunity in this, I absolutely do not mean taking advantage of a very sensitive time. There is human tragedy here, there’s no doubt. In fact, I’m rather a sensitive person. I’ve asked my husband not to share certain stories with me because it really does break my heart when I hear people who are really suffering, and make no mistake there are people truly suffering. And when I say, taking advantage of an opportunity, I’m not referring to folks who are 10 X-ing hand sanitizer or hoarding face masks to sell in the black market, these are practices I absolutely do not condone, and I don’t think we as a society should.

When I say opportunity, I’m talking about people who really look at what’s available to them in this moment and say, how do we serve? How can we help our community? Where can we step in and give back? And then they share that message with folks across the board. And I don’t see anything wrong with that. I think the media could frankly do with some positive stories, some folks stepping in and helping out. In fact, I did a whole Forbes piece that’s been really well received on my column around coronavirus champions. So brands and companies that are really acing it right now. And I’ll share with you two of our clients that we’ve been so hard at work on this past week and have engineered in many ways virality for them because they are doing amazing things, and they deserve the press, they deserve for everybody to know who they are.

So whatever clients is Forbes8. And Forbes8 has a wonderful app for entrepreneurs. They’re very much like the Netflix for entrepreneurs. They have lots of great content, but they serve entrepreneurs. They understand entrepreneurship and what it takes, because it’s not easy, it’s not for everybody. And so when South by got canceled, I reached out to Forbes8 and I said, listen guys, South by Southwest has been canceled. Every business conference practically has been canceled, yet all these folks that really were relying on the learnings from these conferences and all these speakers who were excited to share their talks and messages, now they don’t have a home. So what do you think, can we give them a home? And I love that Forbes8 said, yeah, absolutely. Let’s give them a home. Let’s put together a summit on business resilience.

I can’t think of anything more exciting than helping people, especially business owners right now in this climate. Nothing makes me happier because I feel like it’s something I can do. I’m not a doctor, I can’t go out and save lives, but I can definitely help save brands and businesses, and I feel good about that. So I think in a crisis, it’s good to find places where you can help and you feel empowered and you give back. So with Forbes8 it’s been fantastic. We had speakers come together, we put this together. By the way, if you’re watching this and you haven’t registered, definitely check it out. We’ll have links down below that you can take a look at or you can look at any of my profiles and catch a link to register. It’s completely free for entrepreneurs. And what an amazing give back I think, and to really serve the community in a time where it’s very necessary.

So I love that. Another client of ours during all this crazy time, believe it or not actually works with restaurants. So OneDine is a guest facing innovative technology solutions company. They create amazing technology to serve restaurants. And as you can imagine, restaurants have been really hard hit across the board, especially here. I see it locally, but I know in Europe lots of restaurants are closed. Here in the United States, most states have closed down restaurants. And just the restaurant business is such a big industry. Did you know that one in five Americans works in the restaurant, in the hospitality industry? That’s absolutely huge. So OneDine had this amazing idea and he said, well, we have our technology, and what we can do is turn every parking lot of any restaurant into pretty much a drive through, so like Sonic.

And so really it’s a touchless takeout. How awesome is that? And last I checked, the tweet that I sent out about that had 800 something retweets. If you retweeted it, thank you so much. So that went out about 48 hours ago. Since that time, over 1200 restaurants across the United States have raised their hand, have signed up, we’re going to be rolling it out across the country. People are working weekends, nights, whatever it takes to make this happen. And it’s free. They’ve made their technology free to be able to help in this moment, and have received tremendous press for it as they should. It’s an amazing time when you look at the positives. They’ve had folks that would have traditionally been competitors come out and say, this is amazing. How can we help? How can we partner?

And I love seeing things like that. Again, as a business owner myself, as someone who feels deeply responsible for my employees, for our community at large, I love when we can step in and use our talents for good. So I guess in all of this, that’s my message to you. Where can you apply your talents for good? And when you do, talk about it. I think the more positivity that we can cultivate, the more positive stories we can put out there. It’s good for the soul, and whatever’s good for the soul, it’s got to be good for the body, right?

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