The phoenix must burn in order to rise. The intense heat from the novel coronavirus has burned the business landscape like nothing we have seen before. Once thriving businesses are now scattered across the country in the ash of this pandemic. We don’t hear the story of the cinema operator in rural East Texas or the travel agent in Montana. The tour guide operator in Arkansas will never make the national news. There are burnt corpses of business that most people will never hear or read about. You are real none the same. You are legitimate. You matter. The entrepreneurial gamble is taken by so many people who risk everything you own on the chance of free enterprise. In the book, E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber calls it the entrepreneurial seizure. After coronavirus, how do you recover? How do you rise from the ashes?
“As long as there is life, there is a potential; and as long as there is a potential, there will be a success! You will sprout again when cut down! You will rise again even when you fall!” ― Israelmore Ayivor
Present reality is holding you back. The past is holding you back. This virus is holding you back. Today is day one. Get up, get your confidence up, and prepare to rise up. Covid-19 cannot take your dreams. A day one mindset is an intentional break between the past and the future. It is an inflection point in the brevity of your existence. Now is when you start moving, shake off the ashes, and decide to rise out of the past. This is your day one.
Every business started as an idea, a concept. Jeff Bezos reminds his employees that they are at day one. If you go to Amazon headquarters, there is a building named Day One. Bezos keeps his office in that building to remind every employee to have and maintain a day one mindset. Day one businesses are quick and nimble; devoid of the bureaucracy in older institutions. Day two is the beginning of entropy, death, and decay. The business has lost is entrepreneurial spirit on day two. Every day is a new day, every day the world changes; we must look for change, create change, and adapt to change. It's a lesson for every manager and leader at Amazon. It's the meaning behind Forever Day One.
Blockbuster movies like Independence Day and War of the Worlds (2005) depict a time when invaders destroy the Earth as we know it. At the end of each movie, there is a day one; the first day of rebuilding. Covid-19 has invaded humanity and taken a toll on our sense of normalcy. At some point, you will rebuild. It may be the same, it may be different, but it will be new. This time you have the experience to do it again.
From the ashes of your business, a tiny little sprout will push upward and rise. Don’t be afraid to start over. This is your opportunity. There is no such thing as backwards after day one. You are trying again with more knowledge, strength, and power than you had before the pandemic. Day one means your journey was not over. Day one means you have found your journey again. Day one means you suddenly realize it is time to start something new in your mind and trust the magic of a new beginning.
When Jeff Bezos started Amazon and didn’t have much money; he would buy smooth, unfinished doors that could be stacked on objects and serve as desks. The convenient hole where the knob would normally go becomes the hole for computer cables. The door desk, as they are called, is still seen on the campus of Amazon to reinforce the day one mindset. CS Lewis opined the betterment of days ahead when compared to the past. A day one mindset is a growth mindset. Difficult times, like the pandemic are what make life interesting. However, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. You are responsible for the mindset you choose. You can choose day fifty-two of the pandemic mindset or you can choose day one of your rise.
Metacognition is thinking about what you are thinking about. If you know how you are thinking, you can choose to change your thinking. You can be a victim of the past or you can be the champion of your future. Some business sectors have been destroyed by our response to this virus. They are in pain and suffering. At what point will you say enough? At what point will you stop mourning the past? At what point will you decide it is day one?
There are things about your business that you need to change or improve. Now is your chance. Whether starting fresh or restarting, you can recreate the enterprise better. You can recreate your customer base. You can create or recreate your success.
I am convinced the next Amazon is being born as you read this. The pain and screams of birth may not be heard by many, but they are real. Your tears of agony are flowing while you fill out your PPP loans or have the difficult conversation with that long-time employee whom you can no longer afford to pay. Day one means you are starting over today. A day one mindset means you are starting in your mind. A glorious chain of hair salons is in the birth canal. A new trucking company is breathing its first breath. An amazing chain of restaurants is in the cradle of someone who fell in love with cooking during this pandemic. It is day one for the new business life. It is screaming to fill its lungs with the first breath of air. Can you hear it?