Checking my temperature daily, holding my breath for 10 seconds, thinking I'm feeling tired only because I know it's a symptom… this is my first time away from home and family for such a concerning event. At 24, I’ve gotten to experience many amazing things: travelling the world, working alongside management of a fortune 500 company, and a couple more experiences here and there. It wasn’t until the realization that I wouldn’t be with my family for these trying times that I felt the most anxious. To say I’m a ‘mama’s boy’ would be a mild understatement. Luckily, with advancements in technology, FaceTime doesn’t make me feel so far away. Knowing my home province of Nova Scotia and my current State of North Carolina are doing their best to mitigate the spread is a relieving feeling. On top of this, NC (specifically Wilmington, where I reside) and NS are some of the two least impacted locations in North America. With all that being said, all the uncertainty can still leave an empty feeling in your stomach. Something that has helped me greatly; is understanding the positives that can come from such a trying time.
My mentor always says to me: seek fear and pain, for on the other side is opportunity. COVID-19 is both of those things. Understanding how the business landscape is changing amongst all of this pressure and being able to adapt is essential. A good entrepreneur would not sit still and would use this time to create. I am lucky to have some extra time with this self-isolation period, where I have been able to put forth extra attention to my business plan. On top of being able to create futuristic ideas, predicting how the world will adapt once COVID-19 eventually leaves our land is key. CastleBranch understands this and has created a COVID-19 compliance product.
What does COVID-19 entrepreneurship look like? What does COVID-19 executive leadership look like? Last Thursday I pulled up a chair at the executive meeting table and listened in on this conversation. Sitting amongst CastleBranch’s founder and C-suite, I witnessed the creation of a new product they were (it is now live) about to launch surrounding the virus. This was an invaluable experience. I got to see how to control a room, connect and speak to everyone so people can remain calm through trying times, and how to hone innovation during a crucial turning point in a company’s lifespan. Being able to see the courage and vision of this incredible team first-hand was nothing short of amazing. Understanding tumultuous times are in fact major opportunities is a lesson I will take with me forever.
It’s experiences like that which have allowed me to stay calm and confident in an incredible next few months. Although I still miss my family and friends back in Halifax, my new family down in North Carolina has made this place truly feel like a second-home. While we navigated a globally challenging time, I’m optimistic about the innovation that will result from such dramatic change. Already, I have recognized that this experience of calm and adaptation to a crisis is building my skills for a more dynamic future.
Do not fear change, seek it.