COVID-19 shows us the unimaginable is possible—in a positive sense, too

I have committed to blog on the topic of my experiences as a small business owner during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have to confess, I’m a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of stories out there on the topic. Everyone is impacted. It seems impossible to take in all of the accounts, and it feels a little strange to add to the chatter. It’s humbling to see how many people are affected in ways I cannot begin to imagine.

So, let's begin with a brief update. Our business continues to be impacted; the future is uncertain; I’m extremely concerned about safety; and there are a multitude of really great people out there willing to take the time to talk with me about their circumstances as well as mine. Last week, I spent a little bit of time helping out an entrepreneurial spirit and got some farm fresh eggs out of the deal.

Every day brings new ideas and new optimism, but even as we start to roll out the “opening of economy” in Indiana, the national news becomes more dire. So I put on my trusty mask, gloves, and blinders as I face forward and focus on being productive and helpful.

PUNCH will be working on the side of caution in the coming months. Our roll out will be slow. We’re fortunate that we have the ability to make this decision. Not everybody can. We will continue to reach out to our friends and clients. We continue to do a mix of pro-bono work and client work. The team gets super excited every time something of any size comes in. I couldn’t ask for a better group of people with whom to work. Our quick virtual meetups are the highlight of my day.

It’s been a productive time to reconnect and experiment with new ideas. The team has been leveling up our skills while clients and friends have been helping us to imagine new ways of evolving our business in the coming months. I can’t overemphasize the importance of staying positive. It’s very challenging right now. One of my favorite art forms is improv acting, and the first rule in improv is to remove the phrase “no, but…,” and replace it with the phrase “yes, and….”
The phrase “no, but…” confines us to experiencing only what we know or what we think we know, while the phrase “yes, and…” opens us to the unexpected and unimaginable.

Clearly, the world has demonstrated that the unimaginable is possible. While it may feel like a reliable bet to allow our cynicism to imagine the worst of things, I believe that the current state of affairs is demonstrating that the unimaginable is possible in a more positive sense.

If we take some time to look around through that lens, we may find some interesting surprises.

This blog is part of an ongoing, weekly series in Input Fort Wayne, following local small business owners as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Read Derek's previous blog here.

Read more articles by Derek Devine.

Derek Devine owns PUNCH Films, a Fort Wayne-based film production company. He is one of Input Fort Wayne's small business bloggers, sharing his experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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