Wednesday, March 18, 2020. San Diego, CA. – Worst than bad news is uncertainty. This day has been a clash with reality. Second day of the business shut down and first day of a voluntary sheltering at home. My morale has been all the way to ground level. There’s many things on my mind, but the main thing I repeatedly think of is the uncertainty that’s governing me and the whole world. I feel sad.
I know I have many tasks I need to work on, and I know all these tasks will take days of my time, still I can’t stop and plan. I can’t prioritize and I can barely get myself to start doing anything and then I go back to feeling uncertain. My uncertainty takes me on to think that maybe it’ll take 3 weeks for us to go back to normal – or a new normal. It takes me on to think also that it might be a whole 3 months before we can reignite our world and its economy, even though we’ll most likely start from way lower. I can just think of how many businesses will fail and how many families will struggle to make a living even before the virus is controlled. I myself know that I have limited resources and I can just not live without an income forever.
Mango, our business is on life support. My partner, Armando, and I are both in shock but we know we need to move fast and make decisions. Any decision will impact the business either in a positive or a negative way. We are looking into deferring car payments, into getting an emergency loan with the SBA, sending letters to our senators and representatives, pressing on Turo, our booking engine to also take political action in order to have relief funds and grants brought to our industry. I’ve seen our peer companies in the industry, Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Bandago, Enterprise, and many more work with ACRA, the American Car Rental Association in drafting memorandums, letters, and all type of documents to bring aid our way. And still, I see Avis and Hertz stock dropping like crazy after having no longer than a couple of months ago rally given a record year in revenues and growth. I see an already hurt Getaround struggle amid rumors of them running out of cash with little hope of further funding. I see myself reflected at my tiny level on them. My mind boggles and goes crazy, my thoughts are unclear. I have before navigated through corporate crisis, but never have I faced such a magnitude of and unprecedented negative and uncertain landscape.
As the captain of the ship I see not only my interests crumbling to oblivion, but also my partners’ and the people that work with us and have interest or equity in our fleet. They ask me questions and expect answers. They want to know if I have a plan or a solution. And I still don’t, although I do have many possible scenarios and exits to the problem. I tell myself that I’m not the only entrepreneur in this situation, and soothe myself knowing that this is a hiatus, just a pause that soon or not so soon will end and, while we might be regressing many years or decades in economic power, we’re still in one of the most powerful nations, and there is economic strength in our Federal Government and its treasury to jump start the economy. I tell myself and look into Mango’s finances and repeat to myself that while smaller, Mango will survive and will be ready for the restart and will be able to serve the needs of the upcoming wave of travelers that had postponed their California plans.
Not all is bad news. Today I had to good calls. A consulting client has called to tell me he is still wanting me to complete my mentoring on him and his business. He tells me that now more than before he will need my expertise and knowledge to be prepared to relaunch. He assures me that he can survive even for a good 3 or 4 months. I in turn assure him that we will save his business. On the second call, a former business partner tells me that he has a set of technologies that could help with the Coronavirus outbreak and he would want my help in building an operation in California for the rest of the country to aid and in turn make a living and a decent and sufficient profit.
I believe the revelation for today and the key word overcoming the challenges we all face is “Re-purposing”. I will be able to save Mango by re-purposing it within the services division it has, including claims processing and consulting. I believe that while we save Mango, Armando and I might have the opportunity to re-purpose ourselves and kick start the proposal brought to me by my former business partner and have a way of generating income while this whole ordeal ends.
To my readers I would advise, do think outside of the box. Your situation is choking you and blindfolding you. Take your time to lick your wounds and then forget about them, and while you heal and convalesce, look into all your opportunities, find new ways to reach your goals and make money. Your mental sanity relies on your ability to not fall into a depression pit. If you’ve made it through life so far, you will still make it through 3 or 6 or 12 weeks of rethinking and re-purposing yourself.
With new hopes, write to you tomorrow. Peace out!