No more business as usual, what does that mean for business owners?

For many, particularly micro businesses and start-up entrepreneurs, in the first instance, it means the wheels have come off. In the second, that requires us to repurpose, reorganise and respond differently. The resilience of the entrepreneur mindset kicks in, one way or another, to find a way forward. 

Reorganising comes with an acceptance that there is no ‘going back’ to the way things were before. This is THE call to action to be problem-solvers creating a ‘new normal’ designed around flourishing of communities and eco-systems.

The need for urgent climate action has not gone away. It’s clear that it’s more urgent than ever to keep our air, water and food clean and produced in alignment with planetary systems.  

What’s your business’s pivot story?

Imagine a year from today. What is the new story you’ll be sharing about how you ‘pivoted’ your business? Or didn’t? Or completely changed life direction?

How will you take the opportunity to invent or innovate so that your business solution is aligned with sustainability? Different paths that you didn’t think possible before, have opened up, as ways of working that meant negative impacts up and down supply chains are in an enforced pause. 

This is your time to adapt to the seismic shifts required in this new landscape. 

The value of virtual?

Right now, there’s an immediate rush for virtual spaces and digital solutions. We are staying connected, learning and reaching each other across the ether in online communities. 

Virtual is not the new normal though. It’s simply a tool in a toolkit, not a way of being. It provides an access point and when used for the greater good, it enables us to scale-up impact with solutions that empower people with access to education and finance. Used unwisely, virtual means the collection of our personal data for use in ways that shape our decision-making and reduce our freedoms. 

The rush for virtual has highlighted the emperor’s new clothes in tech start-up thinking, where securing the VC money was the end-game…rather than getting the solution actually working for the many not the few. 

All of our online activity has a cost to the planet in terms of the carbon emissions related to storage and usage! Impact on the planet shows up in different ways, we still need to be mindful of our own footprint.  

What role will women entrepreneurs play in defining the new normal?
What role will women entrepreneurs play in defining the new normal?

The rise of women as entrepreneurs

There’s a Chinese Proverb, which says, “When sleeping women wake, mountains move.” 

A business webinar I listened to over the weekend, was 90% attended by women ages 25+ years, seeking new ways to generate income. From yoga teachers, to wedding planners, to language teachers, to permaculture experts, financiers, lawyers, tech-preneurs, CEOs…they all were looking into their toolkits of experience and valuing it in new ways. 

They were looking at the now, to respond with immediate solutions; and they were looking into the future, adapting to an unfolding landscape, planning ahead.  

Women’s economic empowerment is a key factor in addressing poverty. Empower a woman, you empower a community. Now is your time to level the playing field and establish gender parity across your business. 

How do you want to be part of the solution empowering this rise of women entrepreneurs? 

Respond to the longing for community

I’ve also heard a common theme coming out loud and clear in the tsunami of webinars, emails and online advertising supporting people in confinement. The longing for community, to reach across divides and meet face-to-face. 

We are united in our longing for community, togetherness. Perhaps this is something to reflect on, to see the threads of humanity that join us together, across race and religion. And to judge less, the choice to leave unsafe places and risk everything to protect those you love, to live a flourishing life.

I’ve heard so many people say, “When all this is over, I want to travel to see family, friends. We’ll go on holiday. We’ll explore the beautiful places of the world…”

Virtual simply just doesn’t meet our insatiable appetite to be together. Or to be deeply and profoundly moved by Nature. Or to explore. 

We will have learned nothing though, if our ‘great escape’ from confinement generates more harm to the planet; and instead of supporting communities to recover economically and in tune with the environment, we show-up with a sense of entitlement and without a care for our impact.

Think ‘sustainability’ and design with the end in mind.

Where does that leave you then? This uncertain, unfolding new normal? 

What does ‘no more business as usual’ mean for sustainability and the social and environmental impact of your business on people and planet?

It means pivoting in a way, where you design with the end in mind.

In this space between two shores, change your business model. Adapt. Don’t just ‘dress your product up differently’ and hope for the best. Your best future can ONLY be aligned with designing your solutions for the flourishing of communities and ecosystems. It’s the only way to innovate. 

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Elaine France
Elaine France

Elaine has worked for 25 years as a change-maker and understands the challenges of taking action as a global citizen, growing sustainable solutions from within communities, rather than ‘doing it’ to them. She brings expertise and perspectives from across sectors, with tools and strategies that enable every individual to become an adventurer who dares to dream and has the courage to turn their ideas into reality. She works to create a circle of impact, empowering others so that they share and transfer those skills around the globe wherever they are, so that lasting change happens organically from the inside out. Visit for more information

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