How to thrive in a crisis, according to the world's greatest entrepreneurs
Bumble could help entrepreneurs break the pandemic gridlock
It’s day 1,305 of the lockdown, you’ve forgotten what jeans feel like and your strict meal plan has evolved into an Olympic-level snackathon. Everyone has their own ways of coping with the unprecedented gift of social isolation that 2020 has given us.
For entrepreneurs around the country, the past few months have felt like trying to walk over an oil spill. But when the going gets tough, the tough make the first move.
Learning to adapt to a crisis is vital to determining your company’s future.
So who can you turn to for advice?
How about those industry leaders who’ve proven their resilience by successfully captaining their companies in challenging times. Their street smarts and hard-won experience can help us navigate through choppy waters.
From veterans like Indra Nooyi to disruptors like Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, here’s your real-world guidebook to thrive in a crisis from some of the smartest, most successful minds on the planet.
Networking is the hero among soft skills
Personal finance advisor and bestselling author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich Ramit Sethi says, “The best jobs are not found by sending resumes to the ‘black hole of doom’, but through networking and relationships.”
But networking can be tough when you’re stuck at home without a conference or industry seminar in sight.
That’s where apps like Bumble Bizz can connect the missing dots, allowing you to forge meaningful connections with contemporaries who you might never have got a chance to meet in a banquet hall full of people.
Bumble Bizz also presents an opportunity to look for the ying to your yang, finding collaborators who can complement your skill set, or whose companies have a you-sized gap they need to fill.
In an environment where women are empowered to make the first move, you can finally go after what you want fearlessly.
Use technology to your advantage
When the work-from-home chorus began, many of us wondered how we would manage to stay productive while still in our pyjamas.
But like Indra Nooyi, the smart ones changed lanes fast.
“The digital revolution has made my job much easier. Communicating with our associates around the world, getting real-time updates on our operations in every country, cultivating a global sense of family and community that makes people proud to work here – that’s a huge advantage of technology.”
Even if you don’t have a full-fledged home office, Bumble’s video chat facility helps you stay connected with co-workers, clients, even potential collaborators.
Finish that group project, host a town hall for your team or even just celebrate a work anniversary with cocktail hour beginning at 5 pm. It’s called the ‘Martini glass half full’ approach…
Look for the right investment opportunity to help you grow in tough times
Everyone who’s ever watched an episode of Shark Tank (not that it’s possible to watch just one) knows that the right investment from the right partner could turn a home business into an international brand.
But the current global crisis has caused some blockages in the investment tap. It’s an unenviable position for small businesses that are already bootstrapped.
And given how women-led businesses face a steeper slope — even on a good day — when finding investors, the pandemic could spell the end of a dream run.
That’s where the Bumble Community Grant programme could change lives. The fund has committed to financial support for 150 local businesses around the world, with the US, UK and India among the main markets.
The businesses were nominated by the app users, who could even push forth their own worthy brands. As with everything Bumble does, the winners emphasise the focus on women founders, with an additional effort to include non-binary entrepreneurs as well.
“What good is success if you can’t pay it forward… what is the point of all of this if it can’t have a catalytic reaction or effect on the world,” asks Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder of Bumble.
“The world would be a different place today if we would find a way to really empower girls and women globally. It is the solution, and I’m definitely not the only person that thinks that.”
Build your own mentor programme
When asked about her biggest career achievement, Sheryl Sandberg talked about creating tight knit communities of women supporting other women.
“They’re self-organizing. They are getting raises, changing jobs, practising negotiating with each other and going into the world and claiming what’s theirs. I think about these women who are coming up in those circles and what they do every day to support each other.”
In times of crisis, having a professional support system could help you navigate job stress and an uncertain future. Bumble Bizz allows you to gather an army of peers online, who share your life experiences and whose strengths and knowledge you can benefit from.
This allows you to find role models in otherwise male-dominated industries. Like Oprah had Maya Angelou, you can find a mentor (or many) who understand gender politics and can be your GPS through the corporate maze.
As Sandberg says, “None of us gets through anything alone.”