Karla Lopez-Martinez, co-founder of Beauty Backbone and co-owner of Gila Rut Salons in San Diego.
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Karla Lopez-Martinez, co-founder of Beauty Backbone and co-owner of Gila Rut Salons in San Diego.

COVID-19 has hit all of our salons in unexpected ways. From health and financial uncertainty to lives lost and business shutdowns, there’s no denying that this global pandemic has brought us much despair.

But while we have countless valid reasons to complain and be heartbroken, we must also recognize the many new discoveries, opportunities, and wins that a pre-pandemic world would otherwise never have unveiled. It is important to identify these prospects to understand that hope is not lost and that we still have ways to rise despite the current global situation.

We like to refer to these opportunities as “pandemic wins.” Here are four pandemic wins that we can celebrate. They’re silver linings in an otherwise gloomy situation.

Unwavering Leadership

We at Beauty Backbone are a community of passionate hairdressers who ventured into becoming business owners. Our passion for our craft helped us condense all the information fon what works and does not work in our industry. Through our leadership, we communicate this information to help build an effective culture within our teams.

Keeping our passion alive is what brought us to where we are. When the pandemic hit, our responsibilities as leaders were put to the test. On top of having to lead and communicate with our teams to keep an effective culture alive, we have had to lead our families and our businesses through this crisis as well.

The pandemic shifted everything, giving us a “new normal.” We had to dig deep to find our compass in order to navigate this new terrain with the same passionate attitude that brought us here. We had to innovate new methods for thriving.

One of the most remarkable features of our new normal was remote working. We had to develop new ways to remain connected with our teams, making sure everything was in place and everyone was happy and productive. This remote system challenged us to exercise our creativity.

We needed to serve our clients despite the pandemic. So, we looked for creative ways to remain in business. Of course, some things got in our way, but that was another opportunity for us to pivot at every turn and create even more innovations to keep our businesses healthy.

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Find the Money Under ANY Rock

When the reality of the pandemic’s effects started affecting our business operations, we needed to act fast. None of us knew how to apply for loans or grants. This was our opportunity to learn. Nothing helped us feel more like responsible leaders than laying out our options and figuring out how to get the support we needed.

We needed to remain in business despite the pandemic, so we looked up the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, or EIDL, for COVID-19 relief. We took our time in assessing our eligibility before getting support to keep our operations going. We also needed to make sure our team’s efforts got appropriate compensation. So, we looked up the Paycheck Protection Program and got a PPP loan to keep our workers on the payroll.

We looked under every rock, applied on every site we could click on, and embraced the pretty and the ugly of our financial reality. After understanding our situation, we found the money and stopped our financial bleeding. Just knowing we’d been through that ordeal motivated us to get things done, even though everything about this process was new to us.

We had teams and families who relied on us, so we had no choice but to forge onward. In the end, we came out financially healthier and more knowledgeable about our worth.

Mastered Yoga Breathing

Understandably, the coronavirus outbreak has left us confused and lost. The whole world was affected, some parts more than others. So, upon reevaluating our reality, we had the opportunity to take a step back, make space, strategize, and plan how we would approach the situation.

That moment of pausing to take a break for reassessment truly helped. We took a deep breath, held it in, and then exhaled as a refresher. We needed that moment of clarity to access our creativity, hit reset, and then relaunch toward the next best path.

When it comes to our creativity and our passion to keep our team alive, nothing is more harmful than choking on confusion. Deep breathing might not seem so important, but remember, we were people before we were business owners. We should take a breath when we need to. For us, this was that much-needed breath. We ended up mastering a yoga breathing technique that works in our favor.

Renewed Focus On What Matters Most: Community

The most humbling pandemic win we experienced was getting to practice empathy and genuine concern in order to form deeper connections with the people we care about. As business owners, we always met one-on-one to check numbers or job performance. Since the onset of the global health crisis, our one-on-ones include checking in on one another’s well-being, family matters, and financial stresses.

This shift has reinforced and strengthened the quality of our relationships as people, not just employers and employees. We realized that connecting will always matter. In the end, caring for our community is what keeps us going. It took a global pandemic to show us that community matters most, especially during times of hardship.

Conclusion

The pandemic has taken its toll on the world, on the business as well as the personal side of things. Still, we have wins to be proud of. From testing the limits of our leadership and understanding our new reality in relation to the pandemic, to taking necessary pauses for reassessment and renewing our priorities in life, we shifted our minds to meet this moment. We are stronger now, as business owners and human beings.

The best part about these pandemic wins is that we can now launch our new ways of approaching business operations. We already have wisdom and experience from years in the industry, but this pandemic seems to have doubled that experience. Despite the challenges, we continue to forge ahead and celebrate our many pandemic wins!

If you're looking to pivot to new and exc ity ways you can do buisness, Beauty Backbone invites you to join its virutal classrooms kicking off in June. Find out more information at beautybackbone.com.

 

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