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Can You Guess the Day the Earth Stood Still?

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March 18, 2020

I’ve always been a fan of SciFi movies.  Maybe it’s just me, but our current state of affairs feels like we’re living in a this-is-too-crazy-believe late night SciFi movie (or an episode of Black Mirror). 

You might recall the 1951 cult classic (and the 2008 Keanu Reeves remake), The Day The Earth Stood Still. As we shift to a period of self-quarantine, isolation, and social distancing in an effort #flattenthecurve of the projected impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic and global health care infrastructure, much like in the film, we find ourselves at a tipping point.

If you’ve been more preoccupied with social media than usual — as have I– you might notice an interesting dichotomy between posts focused on fear-mongering and gratitude with the unanticipated pause in the speed at which we live our lives.  This of course, excludes the increase in hilarious coronavirus theme memes and parents who are attempting to balance remote work with distance learning (the struggle is real).

Merriam, and her dear friend, Webster, define fear as: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. 

In favor of the former, we’re briefly exploring a few alternative definitions of FEAR in hopes that the variations on a theme might inspire innovative action in your now inextricably intertwined personal and professional lives.

Since VCM’s goal in cultivating greater connectivity among innovators is to reduce anxiety or mounting tension, and because fear only begets fear, consider the fear acronyms in this week’s blog post for an alternative perspective.

F.E.A.R. 

Also known as False Evidence Appearing Real.  While operating in fear often prevents us from doing our own detective work, the cost of doing nothing because of fear is greater.   Fear has this nasty habit of limiting us from taking actions and settling for avoidance.  Often, the best hack for eliminating fears is to differentiate between true and false.  Consider the “fear list” technique which suggests: “write down the challenge’s worst-case scenario, how you can prevent it, and how you’ll respond if it comes true. Creating a plan for a bad outcome can give you the courage to move forward.”  The act of redefining our fears as new opportunities to learn, strategize or pivot, carries with it the added side effect of keeping us calm, cool and collected.  And, would doesn’t need an extra dose of tranquility ?

Focus. 

More specifically, Focused Energy on Adopting Resilience.  Uncertain times call for more certain measures.  Despite the many challenges of remote work, pre-COVID-19, the work-from-home environment was a standard operation for at least 5.2% of workers averaging about 8 million people ( a number sure to change after the 2020 census) .  And, on average, those who work from home earn more.  The value of telecommuting and other remote work enhancing technologies like Zoom, Asana, Slack, Loom,  G-Suite, or Canva are becoming even more apparent.

Many entrepreneurial leaders often ask is: how can we make the most of today in preparation for the future?  That questions is remains equally important today.  Perhaps you’re saving time on your daily commute, or are grounded form business travel.  Consider taking time to evaluate how much time you spend  on the three strategic business horizons:  (1) maintain core business, (2) develop emerging business, and (3) create new business.  Learn more about this McKinsey framework in Baghal’s Alchemy of Growth.

Fund.

No, really. Use your Funds to support Entrepreneurs, Artists & Restaurants. Sure this is fun one, inspired in large part by our friends at Support Local, this IG post sums up a few ways to contribute to a community driven micro-bailout for small business owners:

Courtesy of Common Deer

While I’m totally devastated that the Hamilton’s Miami run was cut short, my disappointment pales in comparison to the anticipated economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the arts & creative industries locally and nationally.

Though we may not realize it, but the arts is a substantial economic driver, contributing more than $763.6 billion to the U.S. economy and representing 4.2 percent of GDP.  This, according to recent findings on the economic impact of the arts, breaks down into a $20 billion trade surplus, lead by movies and TV programs as well as adding 4x more to the U.S. economy than the agricultural sector and $200 billion more than transportation or warehousing. 

Given that Miami ranks 24th among large U.S. metros on its share of arts, media, and design workers, which is 3 percent larger than the national average, let’s explore ways to continue patronage for our cultural institutions when they need it the most.

Finally, Uber Eats has cut it’s delivery fees to $0.  ’nuff said. While takeover is rarely on my personal menu, I’m excited about the prospect of trying new restaurants from the comfort of my home, plus my OG staples like Half Moon Empanadas, SIPS Eatery, and  Lil’ Greenhouse Grill.

Cheers,

Leigh-Ann / Venture Cafe Miami

P.S., @ Us Next Time:  we’re kicking off a series of social media challenges because, well, boredom is real.  Please share your favorite  #VCMVirtual  Gathering picture and takeaway from this week’s online #ThursdayGathering experience.  In addition to a really awesome prize, you could receive a social media shoutout and selection as the photo du jour for the @venturecafeMIA eNews which is distributed to over 20K each week!

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