Adopting a successful pandemic mindset

pandemic mindset

By Mars Dorian, {grow} Contributing Columnist

Woah, the difference a week can make.

About ten days ago, I met a client in Berlin and sealed a sweet artwork deal. We were talking about meeting up again with potential buyers.

Only a couple of days later, the government restricted movement. My home of Berlin is on lock-down.

I have canceled now all of my client meet-ups and gallery talks.

For how long? I don’t know.

The status quo has been upended, but instead of catastrophizing, we want to focus on pragmatism and a successful pandemic mindset.

The pandemic mindset to cultivate now

Even if you’re well off, people are suffering mentally and financially during the pandemic. It’s vital to think of those around you. Unfortunately, the opposite is happening too often:

Whether it’s college kids flocking to Florida’s beaches for spring break, not caring about catching Covid-19 and spreading it to others, or rich Hollywood celebrities singing songs including “imagine no possessions” from their lavish mansions…

We can all develop more empathy now, moving the mindset from “how to sell” to “how to help” …

  • Can you support the indigent people in your neighborhood?

The street where my mother lives is full of placards where presumably young and able people are offering doing groceries for elderly people. Free of charge.

  • Do you have spare cash to support the small businesses which are hurt the most?

Restaurants especially are hit the hardest. They have to let go of staff and negotiate with loan agents, suppliers and insurance companies.

As for me, I’m ordering comics and books from my local (comic) book shop because they’re equally challenged.

  • Do you buy groceries in moderation or do you excessively stock up on goods like noodles and toilet paper?

News from all around the world, including the US, report on panicked shoppers emptying shelves. I did that too but now shifted my approach.

  • If you sell digital services and products, can you offer discounts?

Software companies like Serif Affinity are creating apps for visual creatives and offer free 3-month trials and 50% discounts now. Every day, new companies offer reduced products or free services in response to the crisis.

This act can be a business calculation or a sincere desire to help.

I want to believe the latter.

Mark Schaefer suggested that we need to approach people right now as if they’re at a funeral. Everyone is suffering through loss and disoriented.

With a helpful pandemic mindset, we can move to the next step:

What works right now

Speaking events, conferences, meet-ups…every physical interaction and transaction is a no-go for now.

Which means digital is winning big time.

One’s home becomes the hub for education, entertainment and work.

In fact, the demand for streaming content is so high, the European Union industry chief has urged Netflix, Amazon Prime and Youtube to reduce their streaming quality to NOT break the Internet.

Because with so many EU countries on lockdown, hundreds of millions citizens work from home, exhausting the bandwidth.

You don’t have to be a big streaming network to benefit. Content creators and marketers are already adapting their businesses to the Corinavirus crisis:

Virtual conferences
Todd Tai’s mivision website is geared towards eye care professionals in Australia and New Zealand.Their 2020 Australian Vision Convention will now run exclusively. Even with physical medical conferences canceled, doctors want to get educated and receive training.

pandemic mindset

Isabelle Rizo

Digital consulting
Isabelle Rizo is an artist entrepreneur who shifted her public work to giving online courses and providing digital consulting. She says more entrepreneurs are booking calls and cites a need for assurance and personal feedback in these trying times.

Online entertainment & teaching
Content creators on platforms like Patreon are still doing fine, because people still want to laugh and learn. Whether it’s artists creating daily cartoons for giggles, or educators teaching you to play the Ukulele…the potential to serve is endless!

Think about which category your skill falls under–education or entertainment, and then turn that skill into a product or service that you can give away for free or a fair price.


As I was crafting this article, a quotation from a cheesy CW series called Smallville came to mind: “You’re about to face your darkest hour my son but, remember the lessons we learn from pain are the ones that make us the strongest.”

I believe this is true for us. We can use this crisis to better ourselves and serve others more than ever before, thus staying relevant. Hopefully, we grow stronger for the time when everything turns back to the new normal.

Mars Dorian is an illustrating designer and storyteller. He crafts words and pictures that help clients stand out online and reach their customers. You can find his homebase at and connect with him on Twitter @marsdorian.

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