31 Mar Putting friendship first in these uncertain times
I opened up Google Hangouts and watched as the gorgeous faces of three of my favorite Queens appeared in boxes on my screen. Crazy Cathy, Lightworker Laurie, and Mama T are three strong-as-hell women business owners whom I am proud to call my friends. It was amazing to be able to look them in their eyes and feel their presence, even in the midst of social distancing.
We laughed, talked about the state of the world and our businesses, and acknowledged the uncertainty of the future. For years now (ever since we met as part of a Goldman Sachs program), we’ve been working on, in, and around our businesses with each other’s input. We’ve been working smart and hard while also making the time for each other, family, and friends. It’s never been a question of IF a struggle would come up for us, but WHEN – and whenever the struggles come, we’ve weathered the storm together.
In her infinite wisdom, Lightworker Laurie asked why we didn’t communicate this way before social distancing. We realized that we’d been taking it for granted that we would see each other at some point, and be able to toast at a restaurant to our continued successes and small victories.
There were no complaints during last night’s conversation – only gratitude expressed and the sharing of lessons learned. I wasn’t shocked to hear that my friends had had to let employees go over the past few weeks. Nor was I shocked when I found out that they handled those situations with elegance and grace. During a period when corporations are closing doors without consequence or consideration, small business owners are fighting to keep their people going. While of course tough decisions need to be made, if the focus was kept on the people, not the profit, compassion and respect would be the values upheld, even if the outcome (a layoff or furlough) ended up being the same.
Corporations can learn a lot from small business owners! Don’t be afraid of us. 🙂
As I write this post, MMD is open for business. I’m the Chef, the Cook and the Dishwasher, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know my people are at home safe and will return to work knowing that their boss cares about them. I speak to them every other day.
Right now, our customers are a priority, so I developed a system for picking up orders that keeps them safe. All deliveries have been postponed until our team feels it’s safe to return to work. Our customers have been very patient during this time.
That being said, I urge anyone who shops at a small business, or knows a small business owner personally, to reach out to that person today to see how he or she is doing. Just hearing from my customers this week has given me the fuel to keep our engine running.
Keep positive. Keep going. That was my takeaway from my conversation with my friends on Google Hangouts – and that’s what I intend to do. I feel an overwhelming sense of comfort to have these inspirational women in my life, and I’m going to honor my motley crew!
If you need a laugh check out my morning warehouse dances, they are keeping my mind in a happy place: MMD YOU TUBE
Our forever motivator: Solid Digital