How West Orange Chamber of Commerce members have shown courage in the re-invention of their businesses during this time.
The past couple of months have taught me a very valuable lesson: Whether I like it or not, uncertain times like this warrant change. The way I work and the way I interact with people, while at work or at home, has changed. Things that I used to do, and perhaps even took for granted, are things I can no longer do.
In order to cope, I figured out ways to do things differently, and I find myself saying, “It’s OK!” I may not like it, I may not feel comfortable with it, I may not even think it’s up to my expectations of how or what I would normally do, yet it’s truly OK.
Others are experiencing the same feelings and the same concerns. With that understanding comes a feeling of comfort and a sense that I’m not in this alone. No one should judge what we need to do to get through this pandemic.
Now is the time
Now is the time to say “it’s OK” to doing things differently. We should embrace ingenuity and invention because that’s what leadership is all about. Also, it takes courage. Entrepreneurs and businesses owners are very courageous when they venture out to start businesses. Keeping them going takes even more courage.
They, too, are now saying, “It’s OK.” They’re not sitting back, hoping things will get better. They’re realizing that their best-made business plans went out the window when COVID-19 entered our world. They’re not making any apologies, nor explaining themselves to anyone on what they need to do in order to stay in business. They’re making things better by re-inventing and re-imagining what their businesses could and would have to do to survive the pandemic.
There are so many examples of chamber members adapting and saying, “It’s OK.” One chamber member, a manufacturer of salon products, faced the loss of his regular line of business overnight. He adapted by developing a new product line that includes hand sanitizer and disinfectant soaps. Another chamber member, a seamstress who would normally be working on her bridal business this time of year, started making custom masks. A cupcake business created take-home kits for families to enjoy while the kids were home from school. This is re-invention at its best.
I’m so proud of all our members and other businesses in our community who are working harder than ever, especially small businesses, to stay in business. You are the backbone of West Orange County and we thank you.