Navigating Chaos with the Crisis Compass

Navigating Your Way Out of Chaos

I hope this email finds you well. 

Today, I want to dive into a topic that’s of particular personal interest for me: navigating the turbulent waters of crisis and chaos. 

In the past six months, I experienced the loss of both of my parents, which has given me a deeper understanding of the challenges we face during trying times. 

As I reflect on my own journey, I believe that the insights I share in this newsletter can be valuable not only for me but also for fellow entrepreneurs like yourself. Whether you’re navigating a personal crisis or professional chaos this newsletter will help you.

As a student of Academy for Coaching Excellence founded by Dr Maria Nemeth, an ICF certified leadership coach training program, I was introduced to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.

This renowned scale inspired me to create the Crisis Compass, a powerful tool that can help us navigate the storms of life with greater resilience.

Understanding the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale:

The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale is a well-known tool that measures the impact of various life events on our stress levels. By recognizing the connection between stress and its effects on our well-being, we gain valuable insights into managing crises and mitigating their impact.

As entrepreneurs, we’re no strangers to the ever-present challenges and uncertainties that come our way.

Let’s take a closer look at the Crisis Compass and how it can empower us to overcome the obstacles we encounter:

The Crisis Compass:

The Crisis Compass serves as a North Star during challenging times. It consists of four essential directions:

Direction 1: Assessing the Situation & the Pivotal Two Week Window – A Moment to Regain Control:

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, I enrolled in a six week self-defense course with Impact Personal Safety. One of the powerful tools I learned was to step back, raise my hands, and calmly say, “What’s going on?” This simple act triggered my training and helped me regain a sense of control.

Similarly, in times of crisis or chaos, it is essential to take a moment to assess the situation. Step back, acknowledge your emotions, and gain a clear perspective on the scope and impact of what you’re facing. By doing so, you can regain a sense of control over the circumstances and make more informed decisions.

Remember, just as saying “What’s going on?” brings back the training, this act of assessing the situation brings back your knowledge, skills, and experience. It empowers you to navigate through the storm with greater clarity and confidence.

Understanding the Pivotal Two-Week Window:

After experiencing a crisis, whether personal or entrepreneurial, there is a unique period of approximately two weeks that can determine our outcome.

 During this time, the initial shock and emotional impact begin to subside, creating an opportunity for us to regain our footing and take charge of our situation. It is crucial to recognize and embrace this window of opportunity, as it provides a favorable environment for growth and positive change.

After two weeks, this is also a time when support wanes, you get the initial flowers and phone calls but life goes on. Take time to process and allow your emotions to bubble up. It’s normal to feel out of sorts. It’s normal to feel like a hermit.

Direction 2: Strategic Action & Kitchen Cabinet Planning with Purpose:

When the initial wave of emotions subsides, it’s time to take strategic action. Avoid making plans when you’re angry or panicking. Instead, find a moment of calm to develop a well-thought-out strategy.

Start by breaking down the crisis into manageable steps. This approach allows you to tackle one aspect at a time, avoiding overwhelm. Set priorities based on the urgency and importance of each task. By focusing on the most critical elements, you can make progress despite the challenges.

Remember, strategic planning doesn’t mean you have to face the crisis alone. Seek support from your trusted colleagues, friends, and family. Just as President Reagan surrounded himself with a group of highly successful advisors, known as his “Kitchen Cabinet,” seek out the expertise and insights of those around you. Their guidance can offer fresh perspectives and help you make informed decisions.

My entrepreneur friend, best selling author and podcaster: Dan Quiggle emphasizes the importance of seeking opinions and advice from others. It’s not a sign of weakness but rather a demonstration of strong leadership. Just as Reagan benefited from the wisdom of his advisors, you too can benefit from the collective knowledge and experience of your trusted network.

In his book, “Lead Like Reagan: Strategies to Motivate, Communicate, and Inspire,” Dan reminds us that seeking excellence and expertise is a key aspect of effective leadership. 

By combining strategic planning with the insights of your “Kitchen Cabinet,” you can navigate the crisis with greater clarity and confidence. 

You can also reach out to therapists (if you want to look back) or coaches (if you’re ready to move forward).

Remember, you don’t have to face it alone. 

Direction 3: Cultivating Resilience – Thriving in the Face of Challenges:

In the midst of crisis, it’s crucial to prioritize the cultivation of resilience. This involves taking proactive steps to nurture your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. 

By investing in self-care practices you can build the strength needed to navigate through the storm.

One essential aspect of cultivating resilience is engaging in self-care. This means recognizing and addressing your own needs, both physically and emotionally. 

Take the time to rest, eat nourishing foods, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. 

If you’re having a hard time sleeping (like I am right now) ask friends for tips. My entrepreneur friend Bridget Sampson shared her sleep tip: Tulsi Tea and incredible herbal tea that I have been steeping for 10 minutes nightly! It works! 

Prioritizing self-care allows you to recharge and approach challenges with a clear mind and renewed energy.

Maintaining a growth mindset is also key to cultivating resilience. Embrace the belief that challenges are opportunities for growth and learning. Rather than viewing setbacks as failures, see them as stepping stones to success. Adopting a positive and adaptable mindset allows you to approach obstacles with a sense of optimism and a willingness to learn from the experience.

Direction 4: Seizing Opportunities – Discovering Growth Within Chaos:

In the midst of chaos and crisis, it can be challenging to see beyond the immediate challenges. However, it is precisely during these turbulent times that opportunities may present themselves. By staying open-minded, adaptable, and proactive, you can uncover new avenues for growth and success within the challenges you face.

Adopting an open-minded approach allows you to see possibilities that may not have been apparent before. Embrace curiosity and a willingness to explore new ideas and perspectives. Be open to feedback and suggestions from others, as they may offer valuable insights that can help you navigate through the chaos.

Adaptability is key in a constantly evolving landscape. Recognize that circumstances may change rapidly and that flexibility is necessary to thrive in the face of uncertainty. Embrace the mindset of a lifelong learner, willing to adapt and acquire new skills or knowledge as needed.

Amidst the challenges, there may be hidden opportunities for growth. Look for silver linings and potential breakthroughs that can emerge from the chaos. This could involve exploring new markets, developing innovative solutions, or strengthening relationships with customers and partners. By remaining proactive and forward-thinking, you can seize these opportunities and turn them into advantages for your business and your brand.

The Crisis Compass can be a powerful tool for navigating not only the challenges in your business but also the personal obstacles you encounter. Embrace its principles, trust in your resilience, and chart your way to calmer waters.

Lastly, I want to express my gratitude for your support during this difficult time. Losing both of my parents within the span of six months has been an immense challenge, but it has also reinforced the importance of resilience and the power of navigating through crisis. Your continued support and understanding mean a great deal to me.

If you have any questions or need further guidance, please feel free to reach out. 

Wishing you strength, resilience, and growth on your journey – navigating out of crisis and chaos.


CEO, Citrus Studios