Headshot of career coach Michelle Enjoli.
Career coach Michelle Enjoli found that her optimism and willingness to adapt has helped keep her business afloat throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. — Michelle Enjoli

As a career coach and mentor, Michelle Enjoli helps professionals network, build relationships and find the professional path of their dreams.

Given the state of the world in early 2020, she was understandably worried about her prospects for her business at the start of the pandemic, when millions of Americans lost their jobs and filed for unemployment over the course of a few short months.

Enjoli had some doubts about marketing a service to people to improve their career prospects — an area of their life that they were fearful of losing soon or had just lost. Since career coaching and mentoring isn’t considered "essential," she wasn’t sure what to expect.

"Because of the widespread panic that set in with the loss of employment for millions and the sudden lifestyle changes, I believed that the mindset for so many would be to focus on just getting through this difficult time," Enjoli said.

The power of networking: How referrals and social media saved this coaching business

Fortunately, personal referrals from Enjoli’s network have helped her not just survive, but grow her coaching businesses during the pandemic. Relying on your reputation to carry you through difficult times is a simple yet powerful tactic.

"LinkedIn and Facebook groups have been an effective way to start and have conversations on future career goals," she said. "I plan to continue to market and grow my business organically through a lot of my existing connections and interactions I have on social media."

It’s important to meet your customers where they are at this moment: online.

Building a strong social media presence also helped Enjoli appeal to consumers during lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. Right now, people want to invest in brands and professionals who display empathy and humanness. Using your social platform to reach your customers/clients will help you connect with them on a deeper, more intimate level. It’s important to meet your customers where they are at this moment: online.

[Read: Adapting and Surviving: What’s Next for Small Businesses]

Focusing on new opportunities, not lost ones

While many entrepreneurs are likely facing similar fears about their business viability, it's important to focus on what you can make happen for yourself given the current circumstances. Dwelling on what has gone wrong (and why) will only exacerbate your anxiety and doubt.

Enjoli explained that her optimism and willingness to adapt rather than fretting has helped keep her business afloat during this time, and she recommended others take a similar approach.

"This attitude … will be critical to survival during periods of uncertainty," said Enjoli. "Solve a problem or provide a service that you are uniquely qualified to solve or provide. If the solution or service you are providing is first class, your chances of success are greater."

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published March 22, 2021