Gathering and Leveraging Resources

by Elisa Balabram

Currently most if not all humans are facing stress, some are sick, some are overworked, some are unemployed, some businesses are closed or might close, some parents are homeschooling their kids unintendedly, some are mourning loved ones, some are worried about paying employees, some are in unsafe situations, and some are forced to learn new skills they never wished to know. All are impacted in some way, although at different levels.

I have seen recommendations to use this time to do something creative, to pursue that one project that has been in the back burner, to learn a new skill, or anything else that you have dreamed of. While others recommend pausing, feeling feelings, allowing whatever is coming up to surface. I recommend the latter first. You may need to rest, or to be productive, or to connect with someone over Skype, or to exercise, or to sit in silence on your own. Whatever it is that your soul needs, imagine the many ways you can provide it, give it to yourself or reach out for support. Once you fill up your energy tank, and are ready to get involved in a project, I recommend taking inventory and gathering the resources available to you.

What do you need to launch a product or service, to keep your business afloat and thrive, to create a virtual source of income, to pay your expenses, to keep yourself sane? 

Instead of closing your eyes, and hoping for the best, take a moment to be honest with yourself. You may need to look at your bank account, or piggy bank, and see what you have saved for a rainy day. This is the time to even more wisely utilize resources. 

I encourage you to list all the resources available to you:

  • Capital – Saved, coming in from your job, from unemployed, from your business, from accounts receivable, from a spouse or relative.

  • Shelter – Your own current living condition. Do you need to negotiate rent payments, or mortgage payments? Contact your landlord or bank, and discuss what arrangements are available, or how flexible they could be during this time.

  • Talents and skills – If you are not working, or have been furloughed during this time, and your job won’t return until shelter in place is lifted, what skills and abilities could you leverage to create a new source of income? Could you teach singing/knitting/language/cooking/homeschooling strategies/[insert skill] lessons over the internet? Could you host virtual meditation circles for a fee or donation? Could you provide VA services to companies who are moving towards a virtual business with no experience? 

  • Excess Stuff – What books, objects, artworks, would you be willing to sell? Could you sell some of them online? In order to save on fees from third parties, create your own marketplace, send the list of items to friends, and/or post them on social media, and then collect payments via PayPal, Square, or an option that takes the least amount of fees.

  • Excess Memberships, subscriptions, etc. – What are non-essential subscriptions you could pause on receiving at this moment? Consider the cost/benefit of them all, and if the benefits exceed the cost keep them.

  • Support system – Your family members, friends, colleagues who could: a) offer a friendly “shoulder” from a distance, b) buy something from you or for you, c) refer you to a position they know would be a good fit, d) offer a place to stay, e) allow you to use their Wi-Fi, f) barter, g) lend you capital to get through this time (with no or low interest rate, and a reasonable payment plan).

  • Loans – Low interest rate programs are being launched by city, state and federal governments, check out your region’s websites to find out what’s available and see if they make sense for you. Make sure to read the fine print, and understand the fees and payment plan.

  • Crowdfunding – Would you need funds to launch a home-based program/initiative? Consider crowdfunding options, and the gifts/services you can offer in return.

  • Social media – How is your online presence? It might be time to check and update all your social media profiles, according to the person you are today.

  • Government support – Learn about the CARE Act, and how it can provide some relief at this time. 

  • Offerings – Consider how you can contribute and be supportive of others, or make donations, or support small businesses.

  • Blessings – Take a moment to be grateful for where you are, who you are, and how resourceful you are.

If this list feels overwhelming, take a moment to prioritize the key steps you need to take. Which ones could provide immediate support? Which ones would take longer to develop?  Commit to taking daily steps towards leveraging at least one of the resources you listed every day, or every weekday. If you hear a no from someone, thank them for responding honestly, and move on to the next person on your list. In fact, you could also ask how you could be of service to them, or even suggest if they would be interested in bartering services/favors.

Stay safe and sane,

Elisa Balabram

Elisa Balabram is a lecturer, intuitive business coach, and the author of “Ask Others, Trust Yourself: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Key to Success” and “Mending a Broken Heart Lili’s Magic Journey”. She received the SBA Women in Business Champion of the Year Award in 2008. You can read a sample of her business book, and read her blog posts on self-love and business at ASKOTHERSTRUSTYOURSELF.COM

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