When I graduated Williams High School (NC) in June of 1986, my class rank was 144 of 288. The definition of “average,” academically, socially, and with just enough aspiration to put me in the middle of the pack. College was simply the next step for me, and I certainly had yet to think about the rest of my life.

34 years later, with miles of experiences behind me, I now find myself the description of “entrepreneur.” Dictionary.com interprets the meaning as, “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.” In the spring of 2020, my business turned 10 years old. Much to my amazement, that eighteen-year-old “C” student has come to realize a few lessons.

While I spent the first decade visioning 2D’s collaborations and performing the work asked of me and my team, the influence of the world’s pandemic has driven me to think immediately about how I need to adjust my approach in my outreach and ability to generate projects that inspire and motivate me. The operations of the day are not as they were when I first hung my shingle. Business is now much different. I’ve got to work and think outside the norm.

I feel certain that fellow entrepreneurs wonder about the hours, weeks, and months ahead. While we’re confident about where we’ve been, there exists great doubt about where we’re going. We certainly want to maintain our “initiative” while mitigating as much “risk” as possible.

Five points to consider each morning when you put your feet on the floor to win the day:

Think Forward

Structure your calendar to give yourself time to be strategic. Don’t set so many tasks that involve working in your business that you don’t have time to work on your business. You must dedicate time to open your mind, to let your creativity breathe in an environment that is unencumbered by the trappings of the office.

Take Your Desk Elsewhere

Be very intentional about moving about, leaving your traditional workspace and shifting to another environment that is (hopefully) completely different. While “stay at home” may be the term for the month, find a place with sunshine, fresh air, grass, or trees that could kick start a few new notions and an adjustment to your attitude.

Avoid Being A Hostage to Opportunity

Pre-pandemic, it may have been part of the practice to wait to have your phone ring in from properties, agencies, and institutions that wanted you to be of service. With corporate and non-profit dollars as tight and spending reduced, you need to retool so that you’re not waiting for others to offer you. In your thinking forward under the cover of a blue sky, explore how your overtures allow you to be in control of your success.

Stay True to You

You’ve spent years developing you. Don’t let the pressures of the first few months of the virus change that. While you may need to tweak your business, do not adjust the personality that people have come to expect.

Don’t Apply Force

While thinking forward, in an inspirational location, one that gives you a great chance to set the pace, while maintaining your personal brand, avoid the temptation of rushing to the phone or crafting an email immediately as the next best idea strikes you. Allow that idea to stir in you, ask for feedback from a few trusted colleagues, shape it, add to it, and make sure you put just enough structure to it, and bring it to a point where you are comfortable in sharing with a larger audience.