By Dr. Sarath Buddhadasa
BA (Pera) MBA (SriJ) PhD (KL)
CEO – Business Consultancy Services (Private) Limited
What to do now, and how to come out or escape? is the simple on the surface, but actually the grave question that has devastated the mind-set of most of our entrepreneurs today in this disastrous Covid 19 context. Let me see how this could be addressed looking at it from an attitudinal point of view.
My own research on specially SME entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka revealed that they hold a negative view towards the macro environment, employees and support services even in the normal circumstances where there is no crisis. Predicting based on this finding, I can reasonably imagine how far the attitude and motivation of these entrepreneurs have fallen down in today’s crisis situation and become psychologically destabilized. It’s a common believe that if your motivation, intent and self-confidence is low, you tend to averse risks and succumb to catastrophes and get diluted leading to producing negative behaviors and outcomes that will have a disastrous impact on the business.
The question therefore, is how to meet this challenge that we are facing today as entrepreneurs whilst keeping your head straight and attitude up, to be able to cruise through the constraints successfully ensuring business stability, growth and sustenance. If this is achieved, the rest is mostly automatic and you will be an achiever.
In finding a solution to stabilize the mind-set of our mostly fallen entrepreneurs or those who have become panic, excited and eagerly waiting for a solution, my mind goes to the most powerful subject of psychology where this perspective recommends effective psychological solutions to be used at a time like this.
One such approach is where they compel you to think as an “positivist” which suggests that you have to believe that you can ‘change the world’ and through your self-motivated strategies you will be able to meet any challenge on your way to achieve your aspirations. Such people, always concentrate on finding solutions to their current issues and shatter the negative status-quo in finding effective solutions to break through the barriers. For this, you must understand your current situation in its proper sense and not to panic, over react or be chaotic. Opposed to this approach where rest of the people who are called “negativist” perish in the face of external threats and they are mostly pessimistic people who do not develop internal capacities to enhance or boost their morale in the face of difficulties. They don’t see opportunities in the changed world. So, if you go by psychological perspective, you will always keep your attitude up and think as a positive personality which will make you an achiever.
Hope this will help our entrepreneurs generally and specifically the SMEs to stay positive and motivated prior to strategizing their businesses for future.