12 May 2020|Crisis Management, Psychology
By Rosie Tomkins, author of ‘N-stinctive’. Right now entrepreneurs are having to deal with the major shock that Nature has given us. Covid19 and the lockdown may be making even the most optimistic entrepreneurs feel somewhat anxious and out of control.
You may also be feeling caged as you work remotely and miss the energy of the team you normally work with in the office. In this situation, how can you find some uplift or precious sustenance, for your ongoing entrepreneurial journey?
My view is that we have to look to nature. That unstoppable force that continues onwards through the cycles and seasons and despite our mind feeling like it is in bleak midwinter nature is celebrating spring in all its glory.
That’s the power of Natural Intelligence (NQ). NQ is the positive use of your instincts, insights, and perception. It requires you to be open to the senses, picking up invaluable information, by watching, listening, spotting patterns, noticing energetic transfer, and recognising boundaries – exactly like an animal in the wild. This translates into a dynamic combination of self-awareness, multiple intelligences and highly developed interpersonal skills.
Here are my five tips for tapping into your NQ and using it to fuel your startup or growth business through the lockdown period and beyond.
Finding inspiration from Nature
Each day animals in the wild wake up to face more daunting challenges than we do. Thanks to legendary television programmes and films, we can appreciate the tremendous courage as animals defend their territory, their food, and their young from danger.
We see animals adapting to new circumstances and surviving despite severe famine, environmental disaster, drought, bushfire, Tsunami, loss of habitat, migration, and man’s destruction.
Use these stories to inspire you, to help you feel motivated to tackle the current crisis head-on and for you to thrive through it.
Achieving a balance of work vs. rest
Many of us will have been risking burnout by working night and day – perhaps thinking that you have to do the same number of hours that you would do in the office. Your health, creativity and well-being are at stake.
In the wild, animals are expert at expanding or conserving energy as necessary. Healthy animals rest more than they hunt; they know how to moderate their outputs and ensure something is left in the tank, should it be needed.
For example, a cheetah, after an unsuccessful hunt, doesn’t leave herself open to attack by depleting all her reserves, she makes sure she has enough fuel to get to a safe place to recover. She has mastered multilevel recovery; sprint-break-sprint -break.
Let cheetahs inspire you. Work hard for a period, then give yourself a proper rest. If you work nonstop your productivity will drop, and your chance of burnout will dramatically increase.
During lockdown entrepreneurs need courage. It is relatively easy to start a company in good times when business and the economy are thriving. However, it takes a certain kind of businessperson to deal with a crisis.
The documentary film ‘March of the Penguins’ highlighted the toughness and resilience of the Emperor Penguin. They journey across frozen tundra in sub-zero temperatures to reach their breeding grounds, once the female has laid her egg, delicately transfer it to the male she makes her way to the distant sea to bring back food to her chick. Can you imagine the courage needed to do this?
What is extraordinary about animals is that they never doubt their personal power, not for a moment. What examples of courage in nature might inspire you?
Dealing with stress
You will be stressed, possibly without realising it, and a stress animal doesn’t always help itself. For example, a stressed sheep which gets stuck a wire fence will struggle against its rescuers. Logic and calmness disappear and what should be a relatively easy release becomes a battle of wills serving nobody.
We can get entangled in the metaphorical barbwire, and panic so much we simply can’t extract ourselves, even if we’re offered help. So, take a breath, learn to manage yourself, stop and think, pause, take another breath. Stay balanced.
Biologically we are balls of vibrating energy. We need to be aware of our own personal energy and how to increase, preserve, nurture and protect it. Help increase awareness by observing nature.
While acknowledging how powerful the use of high energy can be, we must also recognise there are times when it is vital to use slow energy – to stop, reflect and regenerate our minds and bodies. Covid19 gives us a chance to stop, contemplate and engage with our energy in a different way.
So, take a moment to think about your natural energetic state; are you a fast person, always moving, never stopping? Or are you slower, finding it difficult to do anything at speed, more comfortable relaxing than doing? Recognise which you are, and then consider how you can shift your energy along the spectrum a little. I am not suggesting a wholehearted shift; rather just a little tweak. Maybe you need to slow down a little and nurture yourself, or perhaps you need a small nudge to use your energy to make a change. Imagine the animal that will inspire you to make the move in the right direction.
I hope you will use NQ to support yourself and your startup or growth business during Covid19 right and continue to use it when the period of lockdown finally ends, and we can return to a semblance of ‘normal’.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rosie Tomkins is founder of the Natural Capital Consultancy and author of ‘N-stinctive’, an inspirational book that introduces better ways to lead and deliver a competitive edge in today’s fast-moving, increasingly disconnected and uncertain world.As an alternative to traditional leadership training, Rosie unlocks the power of the natural world to provide strength and confidence to people who are shouldering huge responsibility. Rosie is passionate about taking leaders and individuals out of their comfort zone and challenges their deeply held beliefs in a way that makes them stronger, more confident to initiate new ways and ideas.Her clients include the GB Olympic hockey and England rugby teams, the NHS and multi-national companies in the airline, engineering and pharmaceutical industries.