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9 words for entrepreneurs in difficult times

  This spring has been extraordinarily difficult. Economic pressure, epidemic pressure, lockdown pressure, and people’s pressure.
  We need to understand the characteristics of the virus, pay attention to it but not be afraid of it. We have to deal with it with an inner calm, and end our troubles, troubles, and chaos as soon as possible.
  I always say don’t be afraid of Omicron, although the spread is fast and the infection rate is high, the severe rate is low. On the contrary, some people were scared because they were too frightened.
  Let’s take a look at the data. From 0:00 on February 26 to 24:00 on April 23 this year, there were 38,809 local confirmed cases in Shanghai, 24,130 of whom were hospitalized (including 160 severe cases and 19 critical cases), and a total of 87 deaths. The average age of these 87 cases is more than 81 years old, and 5 cases have been vaccinated. According to public data, as of 24:00 on the 23rd, the cumulative number of asymptomatic infections in Shanghai was close to 460,000.
  Most of the dead patients have serious chronic multi-organ diseases, including bronchial asthma, respiratory failure, coronary heart disease, cardiac insufficiency, severe arrhythmia, hypertension, cerebral infarction sequelae, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. After the patient was admitted to the hospital, the disease progressed rapidly due to the serious underlying disease. The immediate cause of death is the underlying disease.
  Therefore, eligible elderly people should be vaccinated as much as possible. But fundamentally speaking, birth, aging, sickness and death are a natural law, and there must be an objective understanding of this.
  In short, I want to say it again, pay attention to it but don’t be afraid of it. Let’s calm down a little bit, decompress, empower, and cheer for ourselves and the surroundings, and let’s get through the past together.
  On the evening of April 22, I had an exchange with more than 300 entrepreneurs in Shanghai through the Tencent conference, the theme of which was “People’s Hearts and Entrepreneurship under the Epidemic”. Mostly I speak and answer questions, but I also benefit a lot from everyone. “The virus may infect our bodies, but our hearts should not be infected,” is what an entrepreneur said. Below, I would like to send 9 sentences to entrepreneurs.
I’m only worried about one thing, I’m afraid I’m not worthy of what I’m going through

  It is indeed difficult now, each has its own suffering, and each has its own difficulties. I believe businesses are suffering. I heard from a friend who is doing new consumption and whose main stores are in Shanghai, that their income in March was almost zero.
  The stagnation of supply chain, payment chain, production and operation chain, loss of cash flow, only expenditure but no income, inability to fulfill orders and facing liquidated damages, inability to repay loans, and inability to pay rent, signing contracts and invoicing extremely The problem of inconvenience, and so on, is really difficult. The economy is the society, and the problems of enterprises and employees will be transformed into social problems.
  But after all, everyone is an entrepreneur. Although it is difficult, life is still much better than the victims and rescuers in the epidemic. For example, the population density in the place where everyone lives should not be high, and the pressure on the neighborhood committee, property management, and volunteers will be less. Through group buying, everyone can basically maintain the standard of living in the past, and they will not be too sensitive to price when buying things. So relatively speaking, it’s not that difficult.
  Dostoyevsky said: “I only worry about one thing, I am afraid that I am not worthy of my suffering.” This is a sentence that I often think of. Through this epidemic, we have to let ourselves have more to think about, instead of turning east and west every day with various information, time will pass.
You release a little light, you can always warm some people

  As an entrepreneur, what I hope most now is that the market will return to normal as soon as possible, work and business will resume, from capital to logistics to tax cuts and fee reductions, there are “timely policies” in all aspects; the most important thing now is that enterprises cannot fail, and must pass Various means (eg online) to keep the tissue normalized and activated.
  A lot of work really can’t be done, there’s no way, but there’s still a lot to do. I remember that during the epidemic in early 2020, many companies quickly switched to live streaming, requiring employees to wear formal clothes and make-up at home in order to maintain a mental state. The spirit can’t really fall.
  Last year, I went to SF Express in Shenzhen to investigate. Their chief information officer said that Wang Wei, the founder of SF Express, was in Hong Kong during the epidemic, but he spoke to hundreds of thousands of employees through the app every day. Although locked at home, our entrepreneurs must let their voices ring in the enterprise every day.
  In the community, entrepreneurs can also start from their own side and undertake social responsibilities within their ability. For example, there are entrepreneurs in our community who contact and donate sterilization supplies for community residents, and donate security materials to property personnel. Many companies in Shanghai are donating at designated locations, such as providing food to nursing homes. In short, if you release a little light, you can always warm some people.
Entrepreneurs should also do a good job in the construction of their homes

  Entrepreneurs have long regarded the enterprise as their home and love their factory like home. Communication with their family members and taking care of their family members are not enough. It is not that the financial strength is not enough to support the family, but that there is not enough time and effort. Now being closed at home is also a “correction”.

  First of all, everyone should do a good job in the hygiene of themselves and other members of the family, exercise more, and participate in some housework more.
  For private enterprises, inheritance is an important issue. Compared with passing on wealth and business to their children, the most important thing is to pass on the spirit and family tradition. As the old saying goes, wealth and honor are only passed down for three generations, and morality is passed down for more than ten generations. “The old family for hundreds of years in the world is nothing but the accumulation of virtue, and the first good thing in the world is to read.” It is all about the importance of inheritance of spirit and style.
  During this time, entrepreneurs can communicate more with their children, enhance mutual understanding, and transfer energy.
  Entrepreneurs are advised to put family, health and safety in a more important position in the future, pay attention to them in the long term, and spend more time on those factors that help to keep physical and mental health, home and prosperity, natural life and business life longer. superior.
The epidemic is the classroom

  No one wants the epidemic to come. Since it comes, entrepreneurs can regard it as a classroom and a physical examination, and they can learn and realize a lot from it.

  The scale of our enterprises is basically a few hundred or a few thousand people, and there are few tens of thousands, but Shanghai has an astonishing 24,894,300 people. Suppose you were to run such a large supercompany, what would you do? Governing a big country is like cooking a small fish. It is a basic principle, but in practice, the governance of different scale systems is very different. After the scale exceeds a certain limit, the pressure of governance does not increase by tens of percent, but Hundreds of rises, because there are too many correlations and associations, once there is a leak, the associated consequences are often beyond expectations.
  So we need professional governance. Thirty years ago, there was a book in the field of international public administration called Reforming Government: How Entrepreneurship Transformed the Public Sector, summarizing the public sector’s experiments in using business management experience to improve the effectiveness of public administration and public services. Clinton once said, “This book should be read by every elected official in the United States.” What is the core idea of ​​this book? It’s 10 principles. For example, “Catalytic government: Steering instead of paddling” “Competitive government: Injecting competition into service delivery” “Purpose government: Changing the organization that plays by the book” “Customer-driven government: Satisfying Customer Needs, Not Bureaucratic Needs”, “Foresighted Government: Prevention, Not Cure,” “Market-Oriented Government: Change Through Market Forces,” etc.

  Governance is not a slogan, but a very specific, complex, dynamic system. Entrepreneurs can think about a question: if your company is a city, what issues should you pay special attention to in governance?
  I personally think that there are five aspects:
  First, improve preventive thinking and the construction of a preventive system.
  The second is the problem of smooth closed loop. All aspects of governance must really work and close the loop, instead of saying that the closed loop can’t be closed in reality. Many closed loops can’t be closed, and if they are entangled, problems will inevitably arise.
  The third is the issue of overall planning and coordination. Don’t assume that the client has only one problem and the others are fine; just need to do one thing and let everything else go. Humans are not mechanical parts, they can move and think, and from the perspective of probability, there must be various emergency problems, which are fundamentally different from parts.
  Fourth, the issue of effective information transmission and symmetry.
  The fifth is the issue of communication, commitment and trust.
  How do these problems manifest in our business? How to handle it better? Think more, it will help you run a business well.
Boost entrepreneurial spirit

  What is Entrepreneurship? From an academic point of view, there are three main schools of view, one is innovation, the other is being sensitive to opportunities, and the third is taking risks and uncertainties. My own definition of an entrepreneur is “an entrepreneur who is home, an expert in running a business, and a good family with social responsibilities”.
  This epidemic reminded me that the entrepreneurial spirit must add such things as being born out of grief, living a near-death life, committing the most difficult thing, not being afraid of suffering, and even having a spirit of taking pain as pleasure and seeking pleasure in pain.
  Many friends know that good wine is often made from grapes grown in poor soil. The soil is poor, and the roots of the vines will stretch down as much as possible to increase the contact area with the soil and absorb nutrients and minerals. At the same time, the grapes will not “drink too much water”. The wines made with too much water usually taste very bad. dull.
  Some foreign scholars also pointed out that people should eat more “unhappy” plants that grow in harsh environments, because they contain the strongest active nutrients against free radicals and antioxidants.
  What should we do if hardship becomes the norm? So many century-old companies and long-lived companies in the world have experienced wars, disasters, depressions, etc. How did they survive? Even companies that have developed with the reform and opening up for more than 40 years are not all smooth sailing, and if you look closely, they will be ups and downs, life and death. Although we have always talked about taking risks and uncertainties, after all, the entire economy was in a golden cycle of balance sheet expansion in the past, and the certainty was still very high. The future is really not like that. Entrepreneurs should look at the cases of companies that have gone through cycles and experienced major hardships and setbacks, and draw wisdom and strength from them.
Have a deeper understanding of the environment

  In the past, we always said that opportunities and challenges coexist, and opportunities outweigh challenges, because all aspects are stable, predictable, and very good, and the development trend of globalization and the international situation are also clear.
  Will this still be the case in the future? Will the challenges outweigh the opportunities? Every industry and every enterprise is different, but it is necessary to think about these issues.
  In the past few hundred years of human history, there have been great prosperity and great depression, and various natural and man-made disasters have occurred. Various issues of global politics, economy, society, and environment are fermenting, and I am wondering whether there will be a “great regression” in the world?
  This “regression” does not mean that someone wants to deliberately ruin the world, but that there is no good solution to various problems, and there is no way to constructively and jointly face and solve them, then there will be tears and disputes. I regard “backwards” as a neutral concept, which means that many conditions and rules that we were accustomed to in the past suddenly changed, changed dramatically or even reversed. Originally we were going downstream, but now we are going against the current, and we will capsize if we are not careful. .
  When it comes to our business, we used to be used to increments, and there are increments every year. Now to consider, or is it an incremental market? That is, is the total market still expanding? What should you do if there is a “backwards”, inventory-led (aka volume) situation? It should also be noted that the market is often structurally adjusted, and companies are not all good or bad, and will only become more and more differentiated. So how do you become the upward part of the K-shaped differentiation? My basic view is that you can only go up if you become stronger and more efficient.
  I still believe in the resilience of the Chinese economy, the opportunities brought about by the size of the market, and the new demands brought about by the people’s yearning for a better life and all-round development. I also believe in the competitiveness of Chinese entrepreneurs, but I do have to have a deeper understanding of many changes. knowledge and planning. I suggest that entrepreneurs can make a positive must-do list, from physical and mental health, family happiness to improving core competencies, explore new development opportunities, and establish better stakeholder relationships; Factors that affect your own safety, the stability and development of the company are fully considered, and you try not to give yourself the opportunity to make mistakes.
Be Rational When Crisis Happens

  In the past few years, we have seen a lot of uncertainty, whether it is black swans or gray rhinos. We don’t want a crisis to happen, but when it does, don’t let anxiety and fear dominate, but be extra calm.
  I give an example. At that time, the United States could never have imagined the “9.11” terrorist attack, so it made a particularly strong response after the attack. Harvard professor Stephen Walter wrote an article on the Foreign Policy website last year in which he argued that 9/11 may be seen as a major event that has accelerated the decline of the United States because of the disastrous response by American leaders.
  The article pointed out that Brown University’s “War Cost Accounting” project shows that the global war on terror ultimately cost the United States about 8 trillion US dollars, which is a huge sum of money even if it is spread over many years. It could have been used for research and development, infrastructure construction, education, health care or any other element of national strength. The global war on terror has also greatly distracted from a broader set of strategic concerns. After a brief outburst of patriotism, the war also exacerbated domestic divisions, xenophobia and broader fears of people of color, and instead of restoring unity within an increasingly culturally diverse society, the United States was reduced to a nation of hatred “Instead of working together to make the big pie for everyone, Americans end up bickering over their respective shares. If something like this happens, plus more missteps in foreign policy, it’s easy for an adversary to be like a gust of wind in the fast lane. as much as the United States.”
  This analysis is of course just an angle, but it enlightens us that when uncertainties and crises break out, we must respond quickly and effectively, but we must also be highly rational, and we must look at the entire society from a larger perspective and a longer-term perspective. economic development. If the short-term measures to deal with the crisis are prolonged and continuously strengthened, it will damage the overall situation.
  As an enterprise, we must be prepared for danger in times of peace, be not afraid of danger, and have a clear understanding and basic confidence in ourselves. Everyone has worked hard for so many years, and it is the foundation of safety and security.
Don’t rush to invest, invest first

  Although China’s economy is in a period of adjustment, there are still opportunities. In the past few years, many outstanding companies, high-growth companies and emerging companies have emerged. We cannot lose confidence and fighting spirit because of the various synthetic problems in this paragraph.

  Many entrepreneurs always ask: Where should I invest next? It seems that there are risks everywhere, I can’t see clearly.
  I suggest that everyone “invest in wisdom” first and then “invest”. The core issue is not rushing where to put money, the key is to invest correctly.
  This requires more in-depth thinking, more focused learning, investigation and research, to figure out what is your own competitiveness and advantage, which aspects can create unique value relative to your competitors, and which areas of the user can be solved. Pain points that must be addressed. After thinking about it, think about where to put your money.
  So you still have to keep calm and focus on learning. Entrepreneurs should learn at four levels:
  first, they must learn from truly excellent and first-class companies in the industry, and keep pace with benchmarks;
  second, they must learn horizontally, be mutual teachers, and empower each other;

  Third, we must learn internally, let go of our posture, and communicate and learn with internal employees and stakeholders.
  Fourth, we must learn by ourselves and enrich our hearts with the love of knowledge, so as to resist various external pressures.
Don’t let the heart be infected

  There is a theory that everyone has heard of, which is “self-fulfilling prophecy”, which means that people will unconsciously act according to the known prophecy, and finally make the prophecy happen. This theory is also known as the “Rosenthal effect”. Rosenthal is a psychologist in the United States. Back then, he and his assistant went to an elementary school to conduct an experiment. He chose three classes from grades one to six, and he was very interested in these 18 classes. The students in each class took the “future development trend test”, and then he handed a list of “most promising people” to the principal and related teachers in a favorable tone. In fact, the students on the list were chosen at random. Eight months later, Rosenthal re-examined the students in those 18 classes. The results showed that the students who were on the list had great progress in their grades, and they had strong self-confidence, strong thirst for knowledge, and more willingness to deal with others.
  In Chinese words, this is the state of mind. When you want something to happen, you will tend to look for positive information that meets the expectation, which will induce you to look for more positive information and make yourself more and more optimistic and confident. chance of success. The reverse is also true. The more you worry about bad things happening, the more you pay attention to unfavorable information. The more unfavorable information, the more anxious and negative you are in your heart, and the more likely you are to induce bad things in the end.
  Therefore, from passive to active, from fear and anxiety to calm and active, people can mobilize their subjective initiative to change their state. What our hearts are filled with is crucial.
  At such a moment, as the most dynamic construction force, I hope that entrepreneurs will not let their hearts be infected. We must be optimistic and rational. After earnestly asking, thinking, and discerning, we will still practice, still create, and light the torch of hope. Lead the people around you and your organization forward. The road will definitely come out, and if you don’t walk, there will be no road.

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