Never let a good crisis go to waste

In the mid-1940s, as the end of World War ll approached, Winston Churchill said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” in reference to the opportunities that were created in the midst of a crisis. Mis-attributed to Einstein, is the much quoted, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Between the lines, these wisdom-heavy adages hint at how now, many individuals, small and large business are revisiting their “Why?”

As many small-business owners struggle to find balance and fulfilment in life, the Japanese concept of Ikigai, “reason for being,” offers a useful framework for thinking about your “Why”. Ikigai’s premise is that life-balance is found at the intersection where your passions and talents converge with the things that the world needs and is willing to pay for. With introspection, most people can identify their passions and talents; however, the “what the world needs” and “what the world is willing to pay for” has shifted forever.

As a small-business owner, how you approach finding your ikigai will stem from your mindset. Are you primarily of a Fixed, Growth or Benefit mindset? People and organisations with fixed mindsets are resistant to the possibility of growth and change, focused on reproducing that which is familiar to them and stay within the boundaries of known structures.

Growth mindsets tackle problems with an open mind, are keen to learn and grow with a focus on how to do so with intentional effort, and embrace change and challenges to reach higher levels of ability. Compare the teacher who has been teaching the same lesson for 20 years and the teacher who has taught the same lesson for 20 years injecting new insights each year.

The benefit mindset has an open heart with a drive to serve the wellbeing of all, focuses on who we are being and why we do what we do, and contributes as an authentically engaged global citizen. This is the mindset from which social entrepreneurs emerge and the concept behind B Corporations like Intrepid Travel and Danone North America. There are currently 3500 B Corps in 70 countries, which represents seven-fold increase since 2014.

COVID has taught us that when “what the world needs” and “what the world is willing to pay for” changes this rapidly, we need to change more rapidly to survive and ultimately thrive. A combination of the growth and benefit mindsets are undoubtedly the best to equip you for such a journey. How can you cultivate Growth/Benefit mindset and embrace the constant of change?

Viktoria Darabi, Founder, Savvy and Successful and Business Connect Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre