Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic: 4 Types of People Who Emerged

The world is slowly opening. Countries that implemented stay-at-home or quarantine orders are now being lifted.

In the past 2 months, I personally knew people who were on both ends of the spectrum—those who were laid off and asked to work from home.

I noticed a couple of themes among them. Here are my observations.

4 Different Types of People That Emerged

2x2 Matrix of People Who Emerged from the Coronavirus Pandemic

On the y-axis you have people who still had work during the pandemic and those who didn’t (or those who got laid off). You can call them luck and unlucky. Or in the right place or wrong place. Regardless, these are people who retained their sources of income and those who lost their income.

Then on the x-axis, you have those who did nothing and those who did something.

Here’s how I categorized them:

  1. Complacent
  2. Investors
  3. Defeatist
  4. Hungry

Lesson 1: A Lot of People Are Complacent

Complacent People - 2x2 Matrix of People Who Emerged from the Coronavirus Pandemic

This is the intersection between the people who still have work and did nothing new.

Since they still have their work, they did nothing. They chose status quo.

Based on my observation, these people are satisfied where they are now. There’s no drive in them to do something else. They are happy with what they have and, at the same time, have no plans for the future.

There’s nothing wrong with being satisfied with what you have right more. But without a drive to achieve more, you’ll realize that these kinds of people will get stuck eventually.

I always think about the future.

I want to work hard now so later in life I can enjoy it fully. I’m content, but I’m not complacent.

Complacency is the enemy of success. Dave Stutman

In the business context, these are your Blockbuster’s and Kodak’s. They were complacent. Just because everything was going well, they didn’t adopt to the changing market situation.

Over time, they were left behind.

Don’t be one of them.

Lesson #2: Actively Avoid A Defeatist Mentality

Defeatist Mindset - 2x2 Matrix of People Who Emerged from the Coronavirus Pandemic

This is the intersection between people who were laid off and didn’t do anything.

It’s easy to fall into this mindset and start doubting yourself.

  • You lost your job, am I not good enough?
  • Your business has to shut down, should I have kept my stable job years ago? I could have been in a better position now.

There’s nothing wrong with evaluating where you are. I believe it’s even healthy as you get to re-affirm your roots.

But, if you stay too long with this mindset, you’re going to fall into a hole that’s hard to climb out.

Now, for those who stayed on this losing mindset, here are some observations.

These people are often the ones who have a lot of things to say about everything. In other words, they complain a lot.

The way they think and look at life changes.

It turns from self-doubt to blame everything around them.

  • They got laid off, blame the coronavirus.
  • The economy is bad, it’s the government’s fault.
  • I’m not getting promoted or getting a higher raise, it’s corporate politics.

As a business (and on the personal side), it’s best to avoid people like this.

You don’t need them in your life.

They’re just going to drag you down or hold you back.

Avoid people with this negative or defeatist mindset.

And if you find yourself going down this route, it’s not too late to go back. Remember, the only thing you can control are your actions and your thinking.

Lesson #3: The Winning Mindset

Winning Mindset - 2x2 Matrix of People Who Emerged from the Coronavirus Pandemic

These are people who…

  • Aren’t complacent
  • Always striving for more
  • Using whatever they have to make the most of it

People with a winning mindset are what to want to associate yourself with more. I call them investors because they constantly look for ways to improve their future lives.

Despite being lucky (they didn’t get laid off), these people still strive to improve their situation.

People with a winning mindset often look to the future. Oftentimes, these are the ones who think of investments. Here are some of their thoughts:

  • Should I save money or continue investing?
  • Is there something I can capitalize on given that the market is down?
  • What can I do about this situation?

Personal growth are also a priority for them. They know that they have to continually invest in themselves because they want to stay ahead.

In business, these are the top performers. They continue moving past goals, even after meeting them. They go beyond expectations.

Don’t you just like working with these kinds of people?

Lesson #4: Hungry

This group is my favorite.

Hungry - 2x2 Matrix of People Who Emerged from the Coronavirus Pandemic

They’re the intersection between people who, despite losing their source of income, found a way to make the best of their situation.

Now, I’m not talking about literal hunger, but those with that drive to win.

No matter what life throws at them, these people find a way to get back up. These are:

  • Businesses who shut down, then pivoted so they can re-open
  • Ones who got laid off, then started a new hustle

The make the most of what they have.

These are the ones who live and breathe the saying when life throws you lemons, you make lemonades.

These are the ones who are busy laying the groundwork for the future.

Over to You

These are my observations during the pandemic.

Where did you fall under? Do you know someone who were in the investors and hungry group? Why not give them some support.

And if you know people who were on the other side, reach out. Talk to them. Maybe they just need a friend.

There’s nothing wrong or right about where you fall under this matrix. It’s only a snapshot of where you are at that moment. At any point in our lives, we may exhibit behaviors of complacency or a losing mindset.

What’s important is that you strive to move forward.

Don’t get stuck with where you are because the world is constantly changing.

Ariel Lim

Ariel Lim

Management consultant / MBA / Inbound marketer who helps startups generate leads, create and execute strategies.

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