Since the 3rd of March when I wrote this article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/disaster-just-opportunity-hiding-peter-syme-/ to try and help tour operators with the coming disaster, I have been working the video calls as much as I can to assist tourism operators in between addressing my own business challenges. After over 60 hrs of calls to operators in nearly 40 different countries the overriding sense, I am getting is one of fear. In simple terms, these, mainly small and medium-sized business owners are scared. Scared for their families, scared for their businesses, scared for their employees and scared for the future.
I want to address this because all the practical tasks and projects that need doing both to rescue tourism businesses and to give them a fighting chance to survive in the future will not get done well if the leadership cannot manage the fear of our current situation and the fear of the unknown future.
Let's be perfectly blunt here; it is okay to be scared.
I have been unlucky enough to work with people in the past who had no sense of fear. They are dangerous. If you come across these people, do not include them in anything that involves high risk, you will regret it.
Learning to overcome and manage fear is no different than from learning to run a marathon. Your body can better handle a marathon, the more you train before the event. Your mind can better manage fear the more you expose yourself to it regularly.
I have been privileged to have lived a life of doing what many class as dangerous things. Not because I am brave, the complete opposite I am easily frightened. I am scared of heights; I bloody detest sleeping in jungles, and the emptiness of the deserts can terrify me at times.
Since my teenage years, I have gone out of my way to do anything that would test me both physically and mentally. A simplistic solution, but one that works, to develop confidence and ability to manage the fear of the unknown is to say yes as often as possible to things that scare the crap out of you.
So in these strange times, you are going to be scared, and that is fine, it is okay. However, you have to say yes every single day to deal with the many tasks that need doing. Your priority is to try and rescue your business and secure a future for your family and your employees. Do not let natural fear stop you doing what needs to be done. This experience will build your ability to manage fear.
After this crisis is over, and you are back to some form of normality, start preparing for the next kick in the teeth as it will only be a matter of time before it lands. Search out all the things that scare you. Say yes to them and do them, you will never regret it.
If fear is currently stopping you doing what you should be doing to rescue your tourism business reach out and I will help where I can. https://calendly.com/peter-syme-1000-mile-journeys/help-operators-2020