Disclaimer: This is a guest piece from Patrick Mahoney, CEO of We Are Nations
First off, I hope everyone who is reading this, along with their families, friends, and colleagues are doing well. In what I was describing last week as a “slow-motion 9/11” in terms of life disruption, the changes have certainly sped up this week, all over the world. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit this is all somewhat unnerving, and it’s clear that others are unnerved as well.
But here perhaps comes popular opinion #1: Some of the nervousness comes from the fear of being inconvenienced. I know this is somewhat the case for me – I mean, I’m the kind of person that likes to do what he wants when he wants and doesn’t like to take no for an answer. It’s a quality that in other contexts (like entrepreneurship) is usually considered to be a good, if not a slightly annoying quality. But the Newton/Mahoney Third Law of “Stuff” is that every action typically has an equal and opposite overreaction, thus in this case currently making me the victim of my own personality. So I’m working on adjusting, and there are definitely some things happening that are helping me do it.
One of the things that I am trying to take advantage of is that the daily roar of urgency has died down. There aren’t nearly as many last-minute deadlines to contend with, people are a little slower to respond, and the general pace of the day has become a little more relaxed. I know this won’t last forever so I’m using it to my advantage now. I keep a list of ideas and other “wouldn’t that be cool if?” projects that under normal circumstances don’t get a lot of attention. But now they are – I’m vetting them, narrowing down the list, and creating a new list of action items that our businesses will start to implement going forward.
I’m also getting a lot more people reaching out wanting to pitch new ideas. Of course, I’ve never been one to ignore a personal introduction, but these days more people are reaching out and I’ve got the time. Half of my calls next week are talking to new people about new ideas. I’m really looking forward to going deep on these calls with more time and clarity of mind that I might normally have.
I don’t remember who told me this, but years ago someone said that “the best time to start a business is during a downtime.” I think there is some additional context to this that I’ve long forgotten, but let’s dust off this concept for a minute. I think it applies here, either literally or in spirit. It’s likely we all have some extra time on our hands. Esports is also a very creative industry. It’s time to make 1 + 1 = 3. Let’s apply the extra time we have exploring our “bucket lists.” It doesn’t have to be all about commerce.
Ever think of writing a book? Learning to play that guitar that’s sitting in the closet? Do your own podcast? Well, now is the time.