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Online Exclusive: Navigating A Difficult Year for Business Owners

By Dawn Mucci
CEO & Founder, LiceSquad.com

This past year has been one of the most difficult years for many small business owners. Especially women in business. We’ve had unique challenges and uncertainties to face while navigating an already complex work-life balance. Here, I’ll share some lessons and advice with women in business and those who may be interested in getting involved in the franchise industry, either as a new road map plan or as a comeback plan for after the pandemic is behind us.

The pandemic certainly had a profound effect on my financial, emotional, and physical wellbeing. I was overwhelmed by my own fears and losses, including worries of getting sick and the uncertainty of when it would all end or if we would make it to the other side. Personally, I always try to be optimistic, and solution based, but after a few months, I began to feel alone and scared. I had to reach out and depend on others while leaning into the discomfort of isolation and learning new ways of doing things. I had to make every decision based on the greater good and find workable solutions.

Not everyone deals with things in the same way. Some rise and some fall but in the end, we are all in it together and going through the same thing. That’s what makes being part of a franchise system and family so beneficial. We have others who we can lean on that can be strong for us when we’re weak. We have leaders and built-in supports systems to help us navigate very unusual situations like a global pandemic. Others keep us grounded and in the best state of mind while we’re reminded that we’re not alone. “We’re all in this together” is the catch phrase of the year and couldn’t be truer when it comes to franchising. Working with others towards a common goal and taking care of each other puts us in the best position to make it to the other side and come back even stronger. It’s the same principal as family. We can overcome anything together.

Taking care of our personal, mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health is essential. Being vigilant of the various facets of my health is a daily practice for me. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “stinking thinking” and using maladaptive and unhealthy coping mechanisms to get through the fears and uncertainties. Choosing long term healthy coping methods and focusing on self-care and awareness is key. I use prayer, mediation, and hypnosis to fortify and strengthen my spiritual connection, faith, and confidence. I accept where I am but at the same time press forward and do what I can with what I have and what’s available to me while taking advantage of every opportunity and sharing my knowledge and resources. I also looked out for Lice Squad.com staff and franchisees and watched for signs and opportunities to support anyone who was struggling and needed a helping hand.

I believe trials and tribulations come to us for a greater purpose. They teach us who we can truly count on in our time of need, as well as who in our circle of influence and within our business and personal lives are worth the salt and truly have our backs. People can teach us how strong and resilient we can be as individuals and as part of a team. It’s easier to bravely look into the unknown or blind spots that hit us out of nowhere when we walk with others. Things are always changing and although people and life can be challenging and uncertain, there’s always a solution and power in numbers. That’s why franchising is the strongest and most successful business model. There are always others on your side who are willing to help and work towards a common good.

When feeling overwhelmed or afraid, I only need to look back to see all the mountains I have summited behind me to know I can climb any mountain in front of me.

The best advice I can give to other women in business and franchising is to surround yourself with as much trusted support and people who can help you climb those mountains. The greatest lesson I have learned throughout the pandemic is how much I can count on my franchise superhero family, my own family, and my friends to come together in hard times.

Dawn Mucci recently participated in the CFA’s virtual event focused on women in franchising called Elevate & Empower: Female Leadership During Uncertain Times. To purchase on-demand videos featuring Dawn’s participation in the panel “Striking a Balance: Strategies to juggle both home & business life successfully,” click HERE.