I’m in the Arena and I’m Not Leaving

By Liz Elam On October 12, 2020 In SustainabilityCOVID

Photo of GCUC neon signage

When this all began in March, I thought for sure we would be done with this outbreak by July/August.

In May I realized we wouldn’t be done by the fall. Around August I was disheartened to come to the understanding that we wouldn’t be able to meet in person this year. In September it became clear that this may not be behind us by January as many were hoping. Recently, I realized that we may not be able to meet in person until the fall of 2021.

This is devastating for so many reasons. Our community needs to meet. Our economy needs to come back or we will continue to shutter businesses, along with the hopes and dreams that built them. Behind every small business there is an entrepreneur that has put everything that they are into that company. It’s crushing.

I know. I’ve run a few small businesses. It’s so hard and the work-to-reward ratio is often skewed toward non-monetary reward. Entrepreneurs are a hearty group but this, this continued delay in reopening, is devastating.

Many of us are having our day of reckoning. My Dad recently asked me a question that stopped me in my tracks: When do you stop? When is it no longer a good idea to operate?

That idea never had occurred to me until that moment. It was a gut punch.

For about 48 hours I let it ruminate in my brain. I talked to some friends. I cried. I took a hard look at the numbers.

Then I remembered who I am.

I’m a warrior. I’m not going to make foolish decisions, but I’m not going to give up. Like everyone, I’ve battled in my life, personally, professionally and health wise. I didn’t come this far to stop now. When we come back, the coworking world will need us more than ever.

Maybe this is exactly what I needed. I need to step back and understand where I’m spending my time. What do I need to focus on? How much money do I have? What is my burn rate and at what point do I get a loan or raise some money? What is working? What is not? Where can I make improvements? Where can I make cuts?

I don’t need a pivot, I need a full blown overhaul. I’ve stared down much worse situations and overcome them. I’ve always prevailed and this is not different.

Am I scared? Yes.

Will I stop? Hell no. I’m in the arena and I’m not leaving.