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At Your Service: A gift of time

For all it’s taken away, one thing the pandemic has given us is time.


June 2, 2020
By Russ Dantu

For those of you who have been able to continue working in some or full capacity during this pandemic, congratulations! For those of you living in provinces or territories where some restrictions are being lifted shortly, that is also wonderful news. It’s more important now than ever before that you look after your customers as they likely have lots of options as to where they can take their business. Price gouging will almost always lead to customers finding a new supplier and leaving you for good, so do your homework before raising your prices, and go the extra mile right now to ensure you are keeping your customers happy.

For those of you still suffering, my heart truly goes out to you as I am right there with you trying to navigate this financial hit. As much as we can sit and panic about our future (and believe me, it’s in the back of my mind daily), why not try to maintain a positive outlook? I ask you to consider the three R’s to help your mindset while dealing with downtime during this pandemic.

Relax – I am used to going 60 miles an hour from the time I start working around 5 a.m. most mornings until I am done at five or six or 10 some days. Having this new-found luxury of time on my hands has given me some time to put my feet up and watch a bit more tv, work on some home projects on my wife’s “To-Do” list that hasn’t been touched for about five months, and to even get a bit more sleep on some days. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, listening to music, reading a book, going for a nice walk are all ways to relax. Find out what works for you and commit to a few hours a day of relaxation.

Reflection – It’s easy to focus on the negative impact on what is happening right now but that puts us in a foul mood and can lead to depression. Try each morning to take some time and reflect on the good things in your life. Your family, pets, friends, mentors, customers, suppliers – where you live, what you own, etc. Taking a few minutes at the beginning of each day to acknowledge three things we are grateful for doesn’t take a lot of time but sets us up nicely for a more positive day. My good friend and fellow speaker, Steve Foran, is the founder of Gratitude at Work (gratitudeatwork.ca/steve) and has done years of research on the topic. He makes a living by teaching the habits of gratefulness. I encourage you to check out his website as it may help guide you in reflection.

Reinvention – While many of us have so much downtime, it is the perfect time to reinvent yourselves, whether it is business or personal.For your business, explore new avenues to add to your wares. Can you expand on the products and services you offer? Can you team up with another business that is beneficial to you both? What are your competitors doing right now to stay afloat? It might be a good time to check that out. Listen into business podcasts and webinars and touch base with every customer and supplier to see how they are doing. This will keep you top of mind if something comes up where they can use your services or refer you to someone.

On the personal side, why not recreate you? You’ve likely been doing things the same way for a number of years because you are flat out too busy to even consider changing some of what you do. Here’s a few suggestions (and yes, I am doing as much of this in my life as possible). Start a daily workout schedule. Check out webinars that may help you personally (fitness or home improvements). Clean out every cupboard and room – you might just find some hidden treasures you had forgotten about. Spend more time with your partner and kids doing fun stuff like playing board games or outdoor activities. Get your yard in the best shape it has ever been. Complete home improvement projects that you can do by yourself.

Time is a precious commodity and hopefully, before we know it, we can all get back to work, make money and really appreciate how much we have missed our customers. Make the most of this time and you will reap the benefits later, both professionally and personally.


Russ Dantu is a 30-year veteran of the rental industry and has been delivering workshops, seminars and keynotes on customer service for over 15 years. Visit russdantu.com.


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