After War World two in 1945, Japan was in ruins; Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been wrecked by Atomic bomb; factories had been burned to arches; nearly everyone was jobless. How would a devastated nation, with no natural resources, and less than 10 percent arable land, feed over 100 million people?
As complicated and unfortunate as the situation was, the Japanese government resolved on a simple solution… to continually develop its capacity to add value to imported raw materials, and export them for profit. This among other factors led to Japanese economic miracle – catapulting the country to the second largest economy in the world, with few decades.
History has proven, over and over again, as you will learn in this video, that there is often a rapid recovery after a crisis whether from war, pandemic or economic recession. And the people who understand this, prepare and position themselves come out richer and more successful after the crisis. In today’s video, I’ll share with you some insights on how to recover rapidly after this COVID-19 pandemic and come out financially stronger and richer than you were before it. Of course there are no guarantees. Some things are beyond our control. But you can be better prepared for the inevitable uncertainties that lie ahead. Before we get to it, be sure to subscribe to After School Africa for more insightful videos like this.
- Reinvent Yourself with New Relevant Skills
Isaac Newton was in his early 20s when the Great Plague of London hit in 1665. Cambridge sent students home to continue their studies, including Newton. The year Newton spent social-distancing was later referred as his annus mirabilis; that is the “year of wonders.” It was in this period he wrote the paper that became early calculus. His bedroom experiment birthed his theories of optics. And right outside his window, an apple tree inspired him to come up with the theory of gravity and motion. Newton returned to Cambridge in 1667, with his theories in hand. The rest, as we say, was history.
Many people have already lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses have closed down for good. Unemployment rate is at all time high. The competition for jobs and in business will be more severe than ever. This is not the time for fanciness and bourgeois claims. The market will need people that can delivery valuable results. The people that will come out of this crisis stronger are those who have reinvented themselves with fresh relevant skills and knowledge. Strive to be in this category of people. It’s not too late to start updating your skill sets.
- Reroute Your Course
In the early fourteenth century, a plague known as Black Death swept across the entire world; from Europe, Asia to North Africa. The plague wiped out about half of the population of any area it infected.
Before the plague, Europe was governed by a feudal order; a system based on two classes in the society; the Elites and the Peasants, known as Serfs. The elites owned the land and everything else, while the peasants were forced to offer unpaid labor, pay fines and taxes.
So, after the plague, there was a massive scarcity of labor which shook the foundation of the feudal order. The peasants seized the opportunity to demand wages for their work instead of working as slaves. They got what they wanted. And it marked the beginning of the new class; the middle class.
What’s the moral of the story; the existing political and economic balance in society is getting disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When there is a disruption, it often presents an opportunity for people to start afresh and make better demand from life. As the saying goes, “he that is down need fear no fall.” If you have felt trapped in a business or career before this pandemic, this is an opportunity to make a change; this time with a clearer vision of what you want. If you lost your job, maybe it’s time to finally learn that new skill or start that business. If you have not been headed in the right direction, this is an opportunity to reroute and refocus.
- Provide alternative product or service
Apple wasn’t in good shape as it headed into the 2001–2003 recession. The company’s revenue fell 33% in 2001 over the previous year. In the wake of the Dot-Com bust, Apple brought the first-generation iPod to market. Though the price tag was not really recession-friendly, 600,000 people bought one by the end of 2002. That number rose to 2 million a year later. The huge sales were evidence of consumers looking for relatively cheaper enjoyment as they recovered from the recession. An iPod was cheaper than a stereo, going to concerts, or buying a TV.
Similar incident occurred from the 2008 financial crises. Lower savings and income compelled people to share assets in the form of spare rooms and car rides, giving Airbnb and Uber meteoric growth and popularity.
As the world moves through recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, people’s spending habits have adjusted significantly. People want to have their life back without spending as much as they used to. Businesses want to get a better result without spending hugely. What alternative services can you offer? For example, local tourism will be more appealing than international; farmers will need to get their products to buyers; people are getting more comfortable ordering items online. Those who figure out how to give people options of convenience, alternative,s and affordability will come out stronger after COVID-19.
- Leverage Technology
Alibaba eCommerce business gained massive adoption from the 2002 SARS coronavirus outbreak. People across China who were stuck staying home due to the outbreak started turning to the internet to buy and sell goods. The company benefited from the internet becoming increasingly necessary for doing business, as businesses and consumers were driven online to trade.
Technology tools and skills are at the center of the survival of businesses and careers today. When workers and students were forced to stay at home, everyone had the opportunity to interact with technology, including people who were previously skeptical. Tech is no longer an option you choose or not. It is now inevitable.
Businesses and professions that are tech-centric generally performed better than those that were not during the lockdown. As we move through the recovery phase, those that embrace technology will outperform and probably replace does that don’t.
- Ride the Wave of Growth
As you can see, history has proven, over and over again, that there is often a rapid recovery after a crisis whether from a war, pandemic or economic recession. And the people who understand this, prepare and position themselves come out richer and more successful after the crisis.
Most people during this crisis spent their time worrying about if this was a conspiracy theory or when this was going to end. About four months have passed since this crisis began. Some people sat back waiting for when the lockdown would be lifted so that things can go back to normal. What they failed to understand is that a wave is passing by. And for every downturn, there is an upturn.
Many people are being swept by the wave. It is those who are ready and position to ride the upward wave of growth that will experience prosperity after this crisis. The most successful people do more than survive a downturn. They position themselves to thrive during the subsequent upturn.
When most people are fearful and careful with their decisions; when most people spend their time either wondering when all this will end or escaping from the situation with entertaining activities; this is the same time the world ushers in a new breed of success stories. Reinvent yourself with fresh skills and knowledge, reroute your course if you have to, leverage technology to offer people real value. Hopefully, you will be better positioned to ride the wave of recovery. If you found this video helpful, we’ll appreciate if you’ll like and share it with someone. If you are yet to subscribe to After School Africa, now is a good time to hit the subscribe button. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!