THREE ENTREPRENEURIAL SURVIVORS OF COVID-19 AND WHAT THEY’VE LEARNED

We are now half way in the Year 2020! And my God, what a half-year this has been so far! Can we all agree and say: These… have been… the longest... 6 months.... of our... lives... ?! 2020 is the first year of a brand new decade, and we all had major plans for this year. And some of us even thought of taking that mighty leap of faith and finally start that business or side hustle. But then… BOOM! COVID-19 literally rocked our world, and everything came to a halt.


And it’s far from over! There isn’t a vaccine yet, so technically we are still in a worldwide pandemic status. And we’re still trying to define what our “new normal” is with the seemingly permanent guidance of social distancing and wearing masks out in public.


Overall, 2020 is like a really bad dream we can’t seem to wake up from.


Besides people losing their jobs or being put under furlough, there were many businesses that barely survived these past few months. Major corporations that have been around for decades suddenly closed their doors and declared bankruptcy. And some small businesses ended before they even began.


But not all businesses experienced tragedy. I spoke with three business owners who took advantage of the short quarantine period we had and came out of it with new strategies for their businesses and new insight for themselves personally.


Below is what they learned and the advice they offer:



THE BUSINESS CONSULTANT

“There’s no reason for you to sit and suffer and be in a slumber place.”


The good thing about having a consulting business is that it has the potential to be recession and quarantine proof. This is what happened to Evan Brown, the founder and owner of Vision Birthers. “I am just as busy as I was before!,” Evan says.


Vision Birthers is a consulting group offering personal and business coaching as well as graphic design, flyers, websites, book design covers, and so much more. Basically, if you have big plans in life or a life goal such as writing a book, starting a business, creating a conference, and you need help fleshing it out, call Vision Birthers. It is designed to be a one-stop shop for a person with a dream.


From a business perspective, COVID-19 did not affect Evan at all. But personally, Evan says the pandemic forced him to be in a place to adjust and reset his 2020. So he used this time to recalibrate to be sure and certain on what he should be focusing on in this time. He didn’t want to be in a place where he is just merely scrambling to make money just because, but he really wanted to focus on what God really wanted him to do in this season.


I asked him what advice he would give to those struggling in their businesses due to COVID-19, and he says, “Get creative. Businesses today are suffering because they are one-tracked. What else are you good at? What else could you be doing? What else is on the inside of you? There’s no reason for you to sit and suffer and be in a slumber place.”


You can find more information about Evan at www.coachev.com.



THE FOOD TRUCKERS




“God gave us a plan for this business, and it worked. We’ve been blessed!”


Restaurants and other food services took a big hit, and they are still feeling the affects even after the country reopened. But Melvin and Teresa Pearson, owners of O Taste & See BBQ Food Truck, figured out ways to survive. “We’re still operating, but COVID has affected our volume. We have a meat shortage, the prices of meat went up, and even our suppliers aren’t fully in stock.” The Pearsons had a rough time getting everything they needed to operate like they used to.


But from the outside looking in, you wouldn’t think they were experiencing any issues. They had no time to rest during the pandemic and were still making sales. What was their secret? Thinking outside the box. “You have to start thinking and seeing differently, and come up with new inventive ways, '' says Melvin. And that’s exactly what they did. Because of the brief quarantine period we had, many people are now working at home, staying at home, eating out less, and cooking more at home. So, instead of setting up shop near workplaces as most food trucks are accustomed to do, the Pearsons went out to the neighborhoods and subdivisions, where people were quarantined and teleworking.


Melvin says he came across other food truckers who haven't been going out to neighborhoods. They are waiting for things to go back to normal or at least close to it where they can operate as usual again. And his response to them: “Adapt or you’ll no longer exist... You can’t sit back and wait for normal to return. But when you’re willing to adapt, your phone rings more, you get more messages and requests. That’s a good problem to have.”


But overall they felt they were always prepared for COVID. “When you stay in God, He always prepares you - when you’re really paying attention. I don’t think God will really let you get caught off guard.” The Pearsons feel like they’ve been prepared for COVID three to five years before it even started. “We always lived below our means and made sure our house and finances were in order. We are a debt-free business. God gave us a plan for this business, and it worked. We’ve been blessed!”


Check O Taste and See BBQ’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/otasncbbq/. Be sure to support by liking their page. There you will also see their latest schedule and menu for the Huntsville, AL area.



THE HAIR STYLIST



“When you’re constantly on the go, you don’t really get to enjoy rest.”


As hair stylists nationwide were panicking and wondering what’s going to happen and when they’ll return to the salon to work, Michal Logan, owner of Sheer Glory Hair Salon, was in paradise. “I enjoyed my time off! I slept, relaxed, and rested. I needed the rest. When you’re constantly on the go, you don’t really get to enjoy the rest.”


But of course, Michal did much more than slept. She also used the downtime to focus on her YouTube channel, revamped her salon website, educated herself more on her niche - natural hair, and oh… she launched a second business Honèko Naturals, a plant-based (100% vegan) skin, body, and hair care line.


The idea of Honèko Naturals came from her years of experience working with her clients and her own disappointing experience of mainstream beauty products. She focused on the biggest issues all of her clients and herself had: dry hair and dry skin. And as she was browsing through her own stash of beauty products, she figured out the culprit of the chronic dryness. She saw nothing but alcohols in the ingredient lists - alcohol after alcohol. So Michal started to do research on moisture retention and hair growth, and it took her no time to produce her own line. As a matter of fact, it took her about a week during quarantine to create the Jovi Coconut Wash, the KoKo Body Butter, the Lai’lani Hair Butter, the Camille Camu Facial Mask, the Naomi Face Cleanser, and the Sasha Whipped Body Butter.


Michal is very proud that her 100% vegan line has very little chemicals in it - unlike the mainstream products that rely on chemicals for a long shelf-life. “Shelf life is not a goal for Honèko. You’re going to use up my products because it works!”


And while the world is still waiting on the definitive “new normal,” Michal has already established one for her business. Before COVID, people are just hanging out in her salon as a social spot. But now, she will only allow one person at a time. And she and her clients love it. She likes that her customers now can have that one-on-one time without any interruptions.


You can check out Michal and her new natural beauty product line at www.honekonaturals.com.


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