Did The Pandemic “Expose” You?

In Mental Toughness
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Someone at a group dinner last weekend remarked that the pandemic had “exposed a lot of people.” 

They went on to share anecdotes of people who are in a tough financial spot since last year. 

My friend wasn’t the first person to make such a statement. People have been saying similar things ever since the first shutdowns nearly a year ago; usually in a condemning, you-should’ve-been-ready way. But this weekend was the first time I really thought about what was being said. 

“Exposed” in this sense denotes that you’ve done something wrong, or were negligent in some way that could’ve been reasonably expected and handled ahead of time. 

The pandemic does not qualify. 

If the main way you earn money is taken away from you, and then you don’t make money, the situation didn’t “expose” you. 

Fucked you up? Yes. 

Cost you money and opportunity? Also yes. 

Highly inconvenienced and annoyed you? Surely. 

But, “exposed?” No. 

If I drive a car without insurance and get in a wreck, I’m exposed. 

If I neglect to put storm shutters on my floor-to-ceiling windows in South Florida and a tropical storm comes through town, I’m exposed. 

If you have a business that depends on people physically gathering together, like a restaurant, club DJ, or live events manager… and all of a sudden, you’re not allowed to bring people together for a year-plus. 

That’s not being “exposed.” 

Perhaps you’re guilty of not having a “plan B” for if/when people weren’t allowed (or didn’t want) to congregate and had to stay in their homes. 

That’s not a reasonable, be-ready-for-this! situation. You still have to deal with it, yes. But there’s no negligence involved. You didn’t set yourself up for failure by NOT planning for when people wouldn’t / couldn’t come to a restaurant and sit in a booth.

Let’s say I play basketball, and one day I go to the gym and hear that all the balls and courts in town have disappeared. My basketball skills erode over the subsequent six months. 

Was I “exposed”? No. The very thing that I was doing was taken away from me, and there was no way I could have seen it coming early enough to change my whole approach. And even if I had seen it coming, there may not have been an alternative. 

The only people I see saying the “exposed” line are those who were seemingly unaffected by the pandemic; i.e. they didn’t lose their jobs or most of their revenue (yet). 

My business is mostly online. I did lose several speaking gigs last year and this year. Even the now-virtual events are paying 25% of in-person fees, if that. But the shutdowns didn’t destroy me. 

Yet, who expected there to be a ban on people coming together? I certainly didn’t. Last February, I was at a conference with 5,000 people pushing and shoving to get the best seats in a filled auditorium in Nashville. Guess when that will ever happen again. 

The equivalent that I offered, back in Spring 2020 was this: what if the internet went away for a year-plus? 

No email. 

No social media. 

No sales funnels.

No online courses, workshops or influencers. 

Your smartphone rendered mostly useless. 

Your only contacts would be those who you actually know in “real life.” 

Who’d be “exposed” then? 

That’s how I see the pandemic for mass-gathering-dependent people. 

The only thing it really exposed is that we can’t predict the future. And that we only feel smug about that unpredictability when it hasn’t yet touched us. 

Speaking of predictions, my free book The Mirror Of Motivation is designed to help you predict your life by starting with the most important question: Who do I need to BE?? 

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