BC19 & AC19 – AKA – (before Covid-19 & after Covid-19)

Since going all-in on my entrepreneurship endeavors, I’ve always distributed my income streams (businesses) into two distinct categories. 

Online and local. 

It has been about 2 weeks since the quarantine. In Cluj-Napoca, Romania, that essentially means that you should be staying indoors unless otherwise absolutely necessary. There are police cars patrolling the streets and blasting announcements on the loudspeakers telling people to stay indoors. 

WIth this pandemic, it is growing increasingly more clear that the online realm is not impacted as negatively as the physical realm. 

I’m going to outline the pros and cons to the quarantine from my perspective.

Pros:

  • A significant noticeable drop in pollution when opening the apartment window (I live right off one of the two main streets in Cluj with the highest amount of traffic).
  • More online business exposure and demand
    • Short term (LessonSpeak):
    • Medium term: I predict more growth in online business demand as more people see value in remote work due to partaking in this way of working. Businesses that could but haven’t transitioned to online work will start to rely more on online work. 
    • Long term: Things will never be the same and only physical services that can only be done in-person will remain untouched. Anything that can be done online will rely on the internet more and more. 
  • Societal change in perspective. People all around the world are taking a step back to appreciate what they have, taking the time to take it easy, and spending more time doing things that they normally don’t have enough time for. For example, my parents living in Peoria, Arizona noted that they have never seen more people out of their homes. Kids are playing in the streets, people are at the parks, etc. At the time of writing this, Arizona hasn’t implemented a strict quarantine yet. 

Cons:

  • Less social time. I miss hanging out with friends.
  • Less events. There is unique value in in-person events and unfortunately many events have been canceled or rescheduled. 
  • Less time in nature. We are not allowed to leave the house for this reason. 
  • More medium and long term unpredictability with my local businesses.
  • Less demand for local businesses (short, medium, and long term accommodation)
    • Future prediction: As people lose their jobs and real estate value drops, people with mortgage payments may be forced to foreclose their homes similarly to the 2008 crisis. As a result, they may seek to move into rental accommodation, potentially raising the value of rental businesses. I do not think this will displace the loss in demand from the quarantine in Cluj. 
  • Real estate value will drop around the world. I predict a drop of 30% in Cluj. Real estate investors should seize the opportunity to invest in real estate within the next 3 to 4 months as markets remain unpredictable. 

As of now, I personally know only one person that had the virus via social media. Since then, he’s recovered and his family is unaffected. This is a person that I actually know. Not a celebrity or a famous person. 

My insights. 

All in all, I am indifferent. I have already been both negatively and positively impacted due to this pandemic. At the end of the day, I predict that this will bring some much needed change in the world. I, for one, am extremely happy that I can open my apartment window and not have the stench of pollution waft in. I can stick my head out the window and take a long deep breath without the sensation of breathing in cancer. It should always be like this. 

If you also live in a very busy location, then you’ll be able to relate. My only escape to the pollution was to take trips out of the city and go on a nature hike. 

Of course I am also biased. Since I have been investing lots of time into growing my online businesses, I welcome the influx of online traffic. As people continue to work from home, two things can come out of this. 

  1. They hate working from home and will want to get back to working in the office ASAP
  2. They enjoy working from home and realize that they want more of it

Regardless of your stance on working from home, I predict this trend to only grow. As it does, we need to help people by giving them the proper tools to succeed in a work-from-home environment. As a veteran in working from home, I can tell you what will help. These are a few things that have helped me and I’m certain will help anyone else who works from home. 

  1. Work in a proper working environment
  2. Track your progress
  3. Implement and maintain good habits

As you work from home, you will start to notice that your days will start to blend together. In order to remain productive, you must put yourself in the right mindset and work only from a dedicated “office” desk. Do not work from your bed and if you can avoid it. Avoid working from your bedroom unless absolutely necessary (meetings for example). What will keep you going is a system of tracking your progress. You will need to use tools to help you with this. I use Google calendar for meetings and a Google sheet to track my goals. Implementing and maintaining good habits is essential for a remote worker. You will need to regularly eat healthy meals, exercise, and avoid indulging in negative behaviors. 

By far, what has helped me most with all three of these things is to optimize my environment. I live in a digital nomad-friendly apartment and the people who live here are essentially my tribe. Who’s your tribe? Did you lose your tribe in the process of transitioning to working from home? If you enjoy working from home, you will need a tribe and the tribe sensation can be achieved in a few ways. 

  1. Live with other individuals who can provide a positive influence
  2. Regularly meet with a group of people about once a week (church, board game meetup group, your book club, etc)
    1. Since we can no longer do this in person, you can also do this online with group video calls. I was lucky enough to find a mastermind group of online English teachers and we will be meeting once a week. 

Of course, finding a digital-nomad friendly place to live will be particularly hard during these times. Even before the pandemic, it was hard to find. I had to create it myself. Now, the fruits of my labors are coming to fruition.


If you enjoyed this post and would like to learn more about successfully working online, join the discussion! I will be moderating a panel discussion on how to successfully work remotely on April 9th, 5pm UTC +3. 

Here is the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/250124762793366/

Here is the link to sign up and participate during the live discussion: http://bit.ly/defineStoriesPanel

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