In Times of Crisis

Servus, from my small home office in Vienna! Strange times to be staying abroad, but strange times to be in your home country too, I suppose. The Corona crisis has really flipped my stay here in Austria upside down, but at the same time I’m learning a lot about business management in times of crises and about innovation. Working with a company that primarily organises events, we were really hit hard by the virus. Everything we had planned and worked on for the last couple of months had to be postponed, cancelled or put on hold. Every partner, customer and supplier had to be informed and a lot of logistical reorganisation had to take place. Once that was done though, we had to address the elephant in the room: What the heck do we do now?

And what we did is something I will never forget: In the course of a Thursday afternoon, right before shit really hit the fan here in Vienna, we basically reinvented ourselves. We kept our values, our goals and our vision, but expanded our concept and services in order to flip the situation around and take advantage of it. And because I was a part of this process, I could really bring in my strengths, ideas and my own business concept too, and I really feel like I’ve found my place within the company now. Coming from another culture, having a different business idea and being part of this program, I have struggled a bit with finding out what my exact role is in the company. I’ve been involved in so many different things, which has been very instructive, but also a bit confusing. Now that I’ve helped shape their concept further, I feel more fully like a collaborating partner which has given me the courage to get even more involved and express more of my own ideas.

What we decided to do on this insane Thursday, was to create a webinar program for students. Usually we do educational events for young students, but instead of asking them to join us at our events, we decided to visit them online in their homes. As part of the webinars, I also got to do a dance class, which is what my business idea is all about. Not only did I get to try out my concept on my exact target group (and they loved it! I received amazing feedback and wishes for more), but also gained a new perspective on how my business might look like and how I might reach my target customers. I’ve always thought of my business as only working face to face in the non-virtual world, but maybe there is potential in a virtual option too.

As part of the webinars, we also decided to start a blog to give the students even more resources, and I had the great fortune to be put in charge of that. I’m learning a lot about communicating target group oriented, and on a more personal note, it has been really nice to have a platform for creative output in these crazy times. It helps keep me sane.

Being an entrepreneur in the times of crisis is not easy, but to be honest, I don’t think anyone is more suitable to tackle crisis than entrepreneurs. Being part of a team of highly entrepreneurial people is making me feel so safe in a way. The way we are handling the crisis – our flexibility, our out-of-the-box thinking, our willingness to reinvent ourselves – is really the only way to get out on the other side safe, sound and sane. Spending this time with my family might have been more comforting, but I would also have felt so much more helpless. As part of Kopfkino Productions, however, I can take action and I can do something to help others. I am very, very grateful for that and I don’t regret continuing participating in this Erasmus program at all. Because the entrepreneurial mindset that this program is teaching me is needed now more than ever: it has become abundantly clear that the world needs to reinvent itself – and now with corona it seems to have an amazing chance to do that. So I am right where I’m supposed to be.

And with those big words, I’ll conclude. Talk to you again when this is hopefully over. Baba!