The COVID-19 pandemic is a once in a lifetime event that is resetting just about everything in our economy. There already has been (and will continue to be) tremendous losses to the economy. The impact of widespread shut down has resulted in more than 90 enterprise businesses filing for bankruptcy, including household names like Hertz, GNC, Pier 1, and J. Crew.
As devastating as this may be, there is an equal opportunity for entrepreneurs to fill in these new gaps and create lasting value for the new American economy.
Additionally, the American economy’s re-opening has been stonewalled due to the ongoing spikes in COVID-19 cases. As of now the forecast for the remainder of the year is very ambiguous, which likely means more deterioration of the existing economy. However, this negative economic impact isn’t universal. There are parts of the economy that are doing even better now than they were pre-pandemic.
Companies that helped people stay entertained at home had record-breaking months. For example, Nintendo sold more Switch consoles in March than any console has sold in a month for a decade. Home gym companies can’t keep inventory in stock, for instance, Peloton experienced 66% revenue growth for their membership service line. And of course, ZOOM has grown 169% year over year due to everyone working remotely and events all moving online.
On April 9th, the “first wave” of US COVID-19 case rise, TED published an interview with Ray Dalio on “What coronavirus means for the global economy.” At the 18th minute of the interview, TED founder Chris Anderson asks Ray "What kinds of industries, organizations, companies have the best prospects of thriving, going forward?"
“Well, you see, that's the beauty of it. There are two types, basically. There are those that are stable, meat-and-potatoes ... you know, the Campbell soup equivalent … everybody's going to use them all the time, kind of thing.
And then, there are the innovators. … those who can adapt well and innovate well, and don't have balance sheet problems, in other words, they have strong balance sheets so they're going to be able to play the game without having that. They will be great winners.
And so there's always new inventions, new creativity, that is the new adaptation that becomes a company and an entrepreneur and they're going to do great.” – Ray Dalio
Innovators used to be novel, cute, “nice to have” folks in organizations when things were stable. Now, they are absolutely necessary. Innovation is a necessary life skill in the post-COVID-19 world. Whether you are in a large corporation trying to figure out how to navigate a very uncertain future with a dwindling balance sheet, or you were laid off from a job in an industry unlikely to fully recover, it’s time to learn entrepreneurship.
The good news is that everyone can learn entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is responsible for the creation of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the United States, and this is becoming increasingly true of most countries in the developed world. While higher education can serve as a booster for success, it is not a requirement for entrepreneurship. I do not intend to persuade people to avoid formal higher education. But I do have a message for those who believe higher education is not the universal answer. Entrepreneurship excludes no one.
And if you look closely you can see proof that entrepreneurship is already being rewarded.
Take MD Ally for example. Shanel Fields’ new company couldn’t have picked a better time to get off the ground. MD Ally’s platform transition’s patients, from 911 or EMS on-scene, to virtual care with licensed physicians that will provide comprehensive and personalized care. With COVID-19, the government swiftly granted emergency approval for uses of virtual care that previously were disallowed, and they have been so successful that virtual care is on a path for permanent allowance. Shanel’s business raised one million dollars and she is actively hiring now.
MD Ally is just one example of the opportunity that exists for entrepreneurs who see a problem and have the courage and optimism to solve it. You can be one of those successes. You just need to believe in yourself and get a firm understanding of how entrepreneurship works.
To get the most concise, modern, and approachable guidance on entrepreneurship, read my book, Create and Orchestrate.