It’s no secret that the coronavirus is spreading throughout the world and disrupting daily life for millions of people both personally and professionally. As an author and entrepreneur who’s already fairly germophobic, I’ve watched the developments with increasing dread about the potential impact this virus will have on people, society, and business. The one thing we can all agree on is that the spread of the coronavirus is hazardous to our health and our wealth.
To be honest with you, I’m scared. My heart goes out to the people who are suffering all over the world. The human spirit is indomitable and I’m confident that we will overcome this challenge. But I’m also worried about what might happen in the meantime and feel practical preparation is warranted.
I thought I would take a moment to share the things that my husband and I are doing to prepare in hopes that it might be helpful to our fellow authors and entrepreneurs in navigating this new era.
- We’re paying attention to developments in our local area and in the areas in which we’re scheduled to appear. I’m not normally one to ingest a lot of news, but I think this situation has global impact and is worthy of my energy and attention. Twitter, the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker, the WorldoMeter coronavirus outbreak tracker, and Dr. John Campbell’s daily update videos on YouTube have been the best sources I’ve found for the latest news.
- Washing our hands and using hand sanitizer … A LOT. I’m more mindful of every surface I touch in public and how many other people also touched it. I was already a frequent hand-washer, but now I’ve upped my game. I’m no longer hugging or handshaking, instead preferring the touch-free “Namaste bow” from a healthy distance.
- Stocking up on supplies at home. We typically eat mostly fresh foods and run our household pretty lean with a few trips to the market each week. As I watched the confirmed cases begin to grow a few weeks ago, we stocked up on canned goods, oatmeal, potatoes, beans, protein bars, rice, frozen foods, pasta, water, toilet paper, pancake mix, vitamins, etc. to keep our household running smoothly in case at any point we discover we’ve interacted with someone who is later confirmed to have the virus and we need to self-isolate at home for a few weeks.
- Purchasing cleaning and hygiene products including disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, Lysol disinfectant spray, hand soap, etc. to kill germs on hands and surfaces. My purse is loaded with disinfectant supplies and I use them as necessary.
- Keeping up our self-care routine (meditating, working out, getting enough sleep, etc.). It’s easy even in the best of times to let self-care go by the wayside. It’s even more important during times of stress to take care of ourselves so we can feel our best no matter what’s going on in the world.
- Using disinfectant wipes at the gym before using the equipment. It may look crazy and it not make a big difference, but it makes me feel better when touching surfaces in public that many others have already touched.
- Creating contingency plans for our business. If the coronavirus continues to spread, which scientists have predicted that it will, then there may be a time when a large number of people are at home, can’t go out to events and festivals, and may not be purchasing books. We have a plan detailing what we can do to reach our Fans in fresh new ways and bring the joy of reading to kids wherever they are in the world while keeping our business running and (hopefully) thriving.
- Temporarily limiting the number of events, speaking engagements, book signings, and special appearances we make. We’re currently honoring our contractual commitments and politely declining new opportunities that might put us at a greater risk. We’re reducing travel, conducting meetings virtually, and reducing social outings for now.
- Tweaking the ways in which we interact with Fans at events. We love our Fans and enjoy meeting them, speaking on stages, and signing books for people. This new development has us making a few adjustments to limit the amount of contact our Fans have with our books, products, sign-up sheets, and ourselves:
Instead of having everything displayed on the table and inviting Fans to pick books up and look through them, we’re holding the books and demonstrating them to them infomercial-style.
When a book is purchased, we pull it from our untouched inventory, personalize and autograph it, and give it directly to the Fan.
Instead of leaving a mailing list sign-up sheet on the table with a pen, we’re asking Fans if they’d like to join our mailing list and putting their contact information on their sheet for them. We then store the clipboard behind the table.
We’re providing hand sanitizer at our booth and using disinfectant wipes on our phone screens after each transaction where the Fan uses their finger to sign a digital signature to authorize their purchase.
- Connecting with loved ones and focusing on the future. I sometimes get bogged down with the enormity of what’s going on in the world and want to curl up in a ball under the covers and cry. At times like this, it’s helpful for me to connect with loved ones and to remember what I’m working toward. When I focus on something that really matters to me (like helping kids build their self-esteem), I regain my passion for my business and my writing and continue to move forward toward my dreams.
The world doesn’t end unless we allow outside circumstances to dictate our future. This is a time of great opportunity to be brave, take precautions, and continue to make a positive difference. The world needs us to shine more now than ever before.
I’m curious to learn how it’s affecting you and what you’re doing to prepare and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on your personal and professional life. Feel free to comment below and share your ideas and inspired actions.
About Sheri Fink
Sheri Fink is an inspirational speaker, a #1 best-selling author, a mermaid who believes in magic, and the president of Whimsical World.
Whimsical World is an empowering brand created by #1 best-selling authors and inspirational speakers, Sheri Fink and Derek Taylor Kent. Whimsical World’s mission is to inspire, delight, and educate children of all ages while planting seeds of self-esteem and high achievement.
Sheri loves to write (eleven books so far!) and travels the world inspiring audiences of all ages to believe in themselves, dream bigger dreams, and take action to live their best lives. She creates books, products, and experiences that empower kids. All of her children’s books were #1 best-sellers, including The Little Rose which was a #1 Amazon Best-seller for over 60 weeks, became the #1 Top-Rated Children’s eBook on Amazon, and was adapted into a stage play.
CBS Los Angeles selected her as one of the top 3 authors in her local area, a distinction she shares with Dean Koontz. Sheri’s books have been honored with multiple awards, including 3 gold medals in the Readers Favorite International Book Awards. She is a recipient of the prestigious Gold Mom’s Choice Award honoring the best in family friendly entertainment. She was selected as an inspirational beauty by supermodel Cindy Crawford’s “Beauties Give Back” campaign.