At the beginning of the pandemic, I taught a Master Class in Crisis. It was March 20, 2020, and already so many news outlets were predicting to financial catastrophe. It felt important to help ground entrepreneurs in their vision, their financial planning, and their opportunities for growth during that turbulent time. And here we are again. And as experts debate whether we're in a recession or not, I wanted to share how I'd think about the slowdown that almost all entrepreneurs are feeling at this time. 


Two weeks ago, Shopify laid off 10% of its workforce. If you've only read articles about this, I encourage you to read their actual announcement of how they got here. It's an interesting case that should be studied in future MBA programs, though I know it will likely not be. During a once in a lifetime global pandemic, Shopify used the increase of users to justify an accelerated 5-10 year leap into the future. It is easy for me to be an armchair quarterback on this one, but something tells me Shopify wasn't using the cautious, likely, optimistic guidelines to plan their growth trajectories. They dove head-on into the optimism. The chart within their memo shows exactly what happened over the last two years and how dramatically the shift to pre-covid consumer shopping habits is in 2022. Consumer behavior is now shifting. Liquidation Warehouses are busier than ever (even Glossier is at TJ Maxx!), and with interest rates rising, we're less likely to buy that new home or put that splurge on our credit card. 


In December 2021, I ended the year with four weeks of advice on how to think about this year. I recently read those, and they feel more relevant than ever, so I am linking them here.
Week 1 Overview
Week 2 Financial Planning & Goal Setting 
Week 3 Marketing & Sales
Week 4 Leadership & Growth
I am especially leaning into the financial advice of being conservative about projections, knowing your cash burn, and having cash on hand. 


But aside from the technical aspects of planning, a quote from Robin Wall Kimmerer in her essay The Serviceberry has been sticking in my mind the most. She writes: 

It is manufactured scarcity that I cannot accept. In order for capitalist market economies to function, there must be scarcity, and the system is designed to create scarcity where it does not actually exist. Because I have not thought much about economics since my introduction to it in high school decades ago, I realize that I had just been accepting the principle of scarcity as if it were a natural fact, not an economic assumption.

Recessions are all about scarcity. We feel the lack of sales, the lack of cash flowing in, and the lack of engagement from our customers. These times, we tend to take those experiences as a green light to constrict. Now, more than ever, it is important to stay open, or as Alex Daly said in her interview, fluid. The future depends on creative thinking. And I have found the book we are reading for fall book club, Imaginable (see below), to be an invaluable resource during this time. We can be conservative with our cash and open to creating new possibilities simultaneously. One without the other is lopsided planning. 


As we look towards the next 10 years, we’d love your feedback so we can continue to meet and exceed your expectations and guide you through these rapidly changing times. This survey takes about 10-15min to complete. We are grateful for your time looking forward to hearing from you.


This fall, we'll read Imaginable: How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything by Jane McGonigal. This is a free event and will be hosted on Tuesday, September 20th at 7PMEST via Zoom. Please email me to register. 

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