Mother’s Day 2020: What Mom Taught Me That Helped Me Through The Coronavirus Pandemic

Those of you who have read my content know that I’ve written blog posts for Mother’s Day since starting the Big Words Blog Site. As per usual, the links to my previous Mother’s Day pieces will be shared at the end of this piece. I thought of this piece, while driving back from New York State’s Capital Region as I was recently checking on my father. My Mom is quite cautious and wanted me to shelter in place as much as possible, but following her example, it was important for me to check on my old man during this Coronavirus/Covid-19 Crisis/Pandemic.

Before I get into the messages in this piece which I hope to keep short (by my standards), I want to tell any readers that while our country is looking to reopen shortly, and while infections by the Coronavirus are expected to fall off during the warm weather months, beware of a second wave. It’s predicted that when the cold winter months return, infections will as well. This blog post in some ways may in fact serve as a survival guide for some people who were unprepared for this first tsunami, and it may be helpful should there be future lockdowns and quarantines.

So in terms of Mother’s Day, as I drove back to Washington, DC recently, it occurred to me that my mother imparted some valuable nuggets in my life that helped me survive over the last two months since our country went into this lockdown. Among them are:

The Ability to Cook: In previous Mother’s Day blog posts, I discussed the home that my mother created for us. A part of that was the meals she prepared for us, ALL of which were prepared with her hands from scratch. Her ability to cook along with my natural curiosity resulted in my ability to cook. I often jokingly tell people that at an early age, I was in the kitchen trying to figure out how she made those scrambled eggs. In addition to picking up recipes of all kinds over the years, from other people and from cookbooks like those from Emeril Lagasse, there are quite a few of Mom’s recipes that I took with me when I left the house. There are secrets that I’m still collecting today, such as most recently how to steam the green beans and onions with enough flavor and succulence at the time of consumption. I’m saying all of this to say that when the lockdown started, I already knew how to cook, so I didn’t severely feel the bite of not being able to eat out. The ability to prepare your own food is a critical skill and if there is in fact a lull in the infections, I would encourage people to learn how to prepare as much of your own food possible. Also learn to prepare healthy foods that you can eat for days at a time and even store for later. That said, I’ve learned that not everyone can eat leftovers, but we learned to do so. Finally, cooking at home also saves you money and stretches your dollars out time-wise.

Personal Health: In addition to cooking, Mom was big on vitamins and even natural herbs and remedies. Likewise, as I was leaving Buffalo as our country was going deeper into the lockdown, she strongly encouraged me to start regularly taking Vitamin D which has therapeutic benefits for our immune systems. As I’ve been quarantining, I have in fact made Vitamin D a regular part of my daily diet and now Vitamin C as well. I shot videos on my science and technology YouTube channel about the benefits of both vitamins. Please check out those videos and my channel.

Education, Writing and Building: I give my mother a lot of credit for the blogging platform you’re reading this post on right now. Both parents stressed education at an early age, but it was my mother who insisted that me and my brother learn how word process with proper form at an early age. We also had a computer in the house when we were young, so she saw the wave of the future coming in the early- to mid-1980s. Social distancing and quarantining isn’t natural for human beings and hasn’t always been pleasant at times, but I’ve been fortunate to be able to be keep myself busy and my mind occupied, writing and publishing content. Just as my mother was able to turn her writing abilities into a business, I have as well, which I’ll describe shortly via written content here on the Big Words Blog Site and on my Big Discussions76 YouTube channel.

The Importance of Faith and Spirituality: Faith and spirituality can be a polarizing topic these days, but no matter how much you have or what you believe, it’s important to have it. Mom was always big on faith. When I go home to Buffalo, I try my best to get myself out of bed on Sunday mornings to attend her church’s services. Just before the lockdown set in, I was at home in Buffalo for two and a half weeks and I attended the last church service at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Buffalo where the members, like most churches, were able to gather for the last time in a while. Before releasing the congregation, the Pastor read Psalm 91 to us, which was very, very powerful for what was taking place at the time. That scripture is now forever etched into my memory.

So, as I have lots and lots to do, I’m going to stop this here. In the Black community we sometimes dwell on what we didn’t have when we were growing up . We can inevitably get caught looking at what our peers had within our community and in other ethnic groups/cultures. It’s natural in a way, but it’s also important to acknowledge what you were given from your parent or guardian. What did your mother teach that helped you through this challenging time? What might you use if this crisis or another one comes back around?

Oh by the way, fortunately I was able to craft this Mother’s Day blog post pretty quickly and concisely. Right on schedule, Father’s Day is coming up next month and I’ve thought of another really good money-related story involving my father and me which involves a very, very important lesson, so look for it. And in closing, Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there.

Thank you for reading this blog post. If you enjoyed this one, you might also enjoy:

Father’s Day 2018: Dad’s doctor and his lawyer and discussion on careers
Two well-behaved boys left to figure things out on their own: reflections on growing up ‘Blue Pill’
Father’s Day 2017: reflections on some of Dad’s money and life lessons
Mother’s Day 2018: Memories of my grandmothers
Mother’s Day 2017: one of my mother’s greatest gifts, getting engaged, and avoiding my own personal fiscal cliff

If you’ve found value here and think it would benefit others, please share it and or leave a comment. To receive all the most up to date content from the Big Words Blog Site, subscribe using the subscription box in the right-hand column in this post and throughout the site. Please visit my YouTube channel entitled, Big Discussions76. Lastly follow me on Twitter at @BWArePowerful, on Instagram at @anwaryusef76, and at the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page. While my main areas of focus are Education, STEM and Financial Literacy, there are other blogs/sites I endorse which can be found on that particular page of my site.

Your Business During Lockdown: How The Online World Could Change The Way You Do Business

Three of the focuses of my blog are Current Events, Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. During the Coronavirus/Covid-19 lockdown, many businesses have done okay because they’re doing business online which doesn’t require coming into personal contact with people. The following contributed post is entitled, Your Business During Lockdown: How The Online World Could Change The Way You Do.

* * *

We are in a very uncertain and unique time of our lives right now. With a lot of the world grinding to a halt, it can mean that you start to worry about your business. Running a business even in normal times can be quite difficult. Starting out, finding investment and launching your new business venture always seems uncertain at the beginning, and with so many businesses failing in that crucial first year you may think you are out of deep water, only to find that you are now in a period of time that seems more uncertain than ever. Especially if you rely on people dealing with your business face to face, such as providing a service or even having a shop that you would normally sell from.

So what can you do? Many businesses have had to diversify and change their processes, and this can mean utilising the online and digital world more than you have ever done before. It can seem daunting at first, but there are so many ways that you can enhance your business this way and this could present a whole new line of opportunity for your business to grow and develop in the future. With that in mind, here are some of the ways that the online world might start to change the way you do business moving forward.

Image source – Pixabay – CC0 License

A social media strategy

One of the first things to think about would be to develop a new social media strategy. More people are having to stay indoors and that can mean that more time is spent browsing their social media channels and platforms. So now more than ever your business needs to be relevant and visual online. Coming up with a new social media strategy is a great way to make your content relevant and consistent. You can also ensure that you use this time to engage with your audience and also reply to direct messages and comments. Humanising your business in some way will help you to appear relatable, especially in these uncertain times. You could also use social media to offer up content or even a freebie to entice people to look into your business and what you can offer in more detail. Many have offered free online resources or shared video content to highlight their business in a different way.

Updating your website

You may have had a basic website to get you this far., but now you can use the time to enhance your website and add different pages to it. This might be looking at your ecommerce shop and making it easier for people to buy products or order services from you. It might be that you create more content for the website, or improve things such as explanations for the products and services that you provide. This could be the ideal time to look at making these changes so that you can make your website more appealing when people click through to it.

Having an up to date CRM system

Another thing that you might want to sort now that you have some time is your customer relationship management system. Now more than ever you will want to look after the customers and clients that you have, as well as attracting new ones into your business. This is when you want to update your system and also correct any information that might be incorrect. You could use the time to contact these customers directly, be that on email address or calling them to ensure that you have the right details. This might also be the perfect time for some data capture, so if you don’t have email addresses, for example, which can be an excellent way to directly market your customer base, then you could try and find out this information and update your records accordingly.

Taking advantage of alternative marketing methods

Now that you have lost one of the main sources of marketing, which could be face to ace business, you may want to think about alternative methods. It could be that you look at prospecting and suing things like the Drop Cowboy Ringless Voicemail to advertise and make contact with customers. You could look at creating an email newsletter where you could keep existing as well as new customers up to date with your offers and what your business is doing during these unprecedented times.

Image source – Pixabay – CC0 License

Making the most of remote working options

Now that you are unable to work in your office or retail premises, you may have to start getting a little more investive with your remote working options. Things like video calling have proven really popular during the lockdown period. Skype and Zoom are excellent ways to create video conferencing and meetings and allows you to communicate as well as you could be doing physically. You could also look at things such as email communication as well as phone calls. You may still be able to operate your business, even from home.

Finding other ways to expand your business

During these times you may not be fully operational or able to provide a full service from your business, so you may want to seize the opportunity to try and find other ways to expand and diversify your business. This might be things such as a blog as an extension to your business, where you can collaborate with other businesses and create sponsored content. It might be that you create a product that can be supplied during this time, or provide a service in a different way. It is now time to think outside of the box and look for different ways where you can enhance your business and continue to make a profit and be successful.

Using the time to take on the jobs you wouldn’t normally get to

Finally, you could use this time to do things that you might not normally have done. It could be that you improve the content on your website and take more notice of things like search engine optimization. Sometimes these administrative tasks can take up a lot of your time, but now that you have the lockdown period you can really see it as an opportunity and not a hindrance.

Let’s hope these tips help you when it comes to your business in lockdown.

4 Things Your Business Should Be Doing While On Lockdown

Two of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. Many businesses are facing challenging times during this lockdown. During this time though, there are in fact things that you can do to assure the survival of your operations. The following contributed post is entitled, 4 Things Your Business Should Be Doing While On Lockdown.

* * *

Has your business been affected by the coronavirus? The answer is almost certainly yes. Whether the virus has disrupted your supply chain or the lockdown measures have forced you to close your doors, life is very different for your organization right now.

It’s easy to sit back and do nothing during this period as you feel helpless. Don’t do that. It’ll serve no purpose and leave you in a much worse state when everything clears. Instead, here are a few things your business should be doing while on lockdown:

Credit (CC0 License)

Plan ahead

Start by planning for the future and thinking about what you’ll do when you can get back to work. Naturally, things will be very slow-moving when the lockdown measures are lifted. But, with careful and strategic planning now, you can make a much better transition. Think about what you will do when you’re able to work full-time and create an action plan for your business to follow. That’ll help you get back up and running a lot quicker than most.

Clean your premises

All businesses should really do this to be extra certain that your premises are safe when you return. It’s known that the virus can live in a human for around two weeks. What’s not known is how long it lives on surfaces. Many scientists believe it can live for far longer than two weeks. As such, you need a coronavirus cleaning service to give your workplace a deep and thorough clean. This eliminates the virus from your premises, meaning you can return to work without worrying about catching it from surfaces and spreading it again.

Credit (CC0 License)

Manage your finances

You’ll be in a very challenging financial position while this virus takes hold of the world. Therefore, you have to try and save as much money as you physically can. Look through your budget and aim to identify areas where you can make a few savings. This might mean you have to take a pay-cut or limit your employee’s wages for a short while. It’s far from ideal, but you have to do everything within your power to keep your business afloat. If you’re not making as much money as usual, then action has to be taken.

Stay connected

Lastly, ensure that all of your employees stay connected. This is vital for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it keeps everyone in-tune with the business and makes sure all of your employees know what’s going on and what will happen. This deals with some of the uncertainty they might feel during this time. Secondly, it helps to maintain a strong bond between your team and provides some much-needed relief from isolation. You’re used to seeing each other for many hours a day, so taking that social element out of your life can be challenging. Host video chats and put on digital get-togethers, so you and your team stay connected and social.

I can’t promise that your business will be fine if you do all four of these things. However, it’s safe to say you will be in a much better position than if you sit back and do nothing at all.