The COVID Pivot
BLOG BY AMY DAGLIANO
Let’s talk about The COVID Pivot. Rewind to the start of 2020: Rowan Tree was a thriving, active community of mainly women and some men, filled with openness and lovingness. Members were growing their business, nurturing their lives, and forming strong business relationships.
Jump to March 2020 and you know the story: coronavirus hit hard, businesses were shut down for 14+ days, and everyone had to do what we call The COVID Pivot in order to survive.
We are defining The COVID Pivot as a time that all businesses had to reassess daily business operations, business goals, growth metrics, and use creative thinking along with flexibility in order to remain operational.
Nevermind thriving, we had to focus on just surviving.
We’ve had to apply for countless loans and grants to help stay afloat. It feels like our business trajectory has moved from a smooth cruising Cadillac to a cramped hamster wheel. We find ourselves fervently running, trying to keep it all moving, and yet, we can’t help but feel that we are in the same place we started prior to our January 2020 goals.
But we are not the only ones on this hamster wheel. Other local business owners share The COVID Pivot challenge. Indeed, most businesses are experiencing this adjustment; this need to pivot in order to survive.
So, in this frozen environment, you would think we would say yes to any and all income. But we are not. Why? Because we care about doing the right thing.
We were recently approached about hosting a private event for 25-30 people (at the time of the request, the Governor’s orders were up to 250 people). Logistically, 25 people in a 3,000 sq. ft. space is quite reasonable. We love our space; we love when events bring it life, and honestly, we would really love the income from hosting a full day event. It would help make our extra large rent payment just a little bit easier next month.
Before COVID, this event would have been an immediate yes.
Today, our Rowan Tree heart palpitates at the thought of a large social gathering. Even with masks, distancing, extra-cleaning, liability and self-certification waivers, there is still a chance that our event would not be 100% coronavirus free.
Safety is our number one priority and our values outweigh the income we would get. It’s a really difficult decision as a business owner. So, we run the hamster wheel a little longer because Rowan Tree will continue to prioritize the health of our local community and reduce the opportunities this virus has to spread.
Knowing where we stand now, we find strength looking towards others who have embodied resilience to succeed. American attorney and author, Elizabeth Edwards once said, “She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” It’s time for Rowan Tree to recalibrate and find another way forward.
Sending a special thank you to all our members for weathering this pandemic storm with us! To learn more about who we are, what we value, how we have reinvented work, and what makes our community of women different, checkout workrowan.com or join us. Both online and in person memberships are available.