3 Attitudes to Guide Entrepreneurs through a Crisis
3 Attitudes to Guide Entrepreneurs through a Crisis
A group of Catapult entrepreneurs collaborates to get feedback and honest perspective from each other how successfully run business during a crisis.
May 14, 2020

At Catapult, we are currently witnessing the resiliency of our members as they create new ways of doing business. They are hunkering down, leaning into their strengths, and remembering who they serve and their reason why. To stay relevant during a crisis, entrepreneurs need to have basic attitudes: a willingness to reassess their brand purpose, openness to new customer insights, and collaboration with other entrepreneurs.


In a recent Headway episode, Catapult member Gillian Smith from Carambola Consulting discussed taking the time to reassess and evaluate your brand purpose and to use consumer insight to formulate a way to respond practically in an economic crisis. 

Here are a couple highlights from the interview with Gillian Let’s start with the definition of brand purpose, it means that you need to know your reason to exist beyond making a profit. What are you doing ideally that is making a difference in society?” And that can take many different forms. 64 percent of consumers globally in a study done in 2018, said they made purchases on what a company stood for. How are you treating your customers and consumers, what does that look like? It matters tremendously. So, if you have a chance to catch your breath right now, really try to differentiate yourself and provide relevance and meaning to your consumers and that purpose should guide all of your business decisions. 


“I am just a firm, firm believer in consumer insight. Know who your consumers are, do that hard work on the market research and on the insights., look at any primary data that you have around the demographics of who your customers are, but it’s not just the demographics. Think that it is about their values, their attitudes, and their mindsets. Understand right now how all of that may be shifting. How has their financial situation shifted, and how can you as a company can respond to that. Take what is happening in consumer mindsets and find the human connection in all of this. Tie your mission to what is happening in the world right now.”- Gillian Smith, Carambola Consulting

Click below to listen to the full podcast episode with Gillian.


Often entrepreneurs are so close to their own mission and vision, it is difficult to see clearly and to move forward when a crisis comes. To begin breaking through the roadblocks that can occur in a sudden economic shift and also just to solve problems in general, one way to gain perspective is by turning to those you trust.  When you feel like you are hitting a wall, it is good to have already in place a posse of people that you can depend on to talk about the challenges you are facing 

Recently we heard some tips from members Dave Pappas, a founder of dp Creative Studio, and Grant Nieddu, a cofounder of State of the Spark on how to form a group that yields collaboration, trust, some fun, and a fresh, honest perspective on your business. They talked about how their mastermind group was formed, and gave these tips on how to get started. 

1) Start setting up meetings with people you would like to spend more time with 

  • Look to those you already seek out for advice or who seek you out 
  • Be curious, and ask others directly about their business 
  • Look for people that are doing the things you would like to do in your own business 
  • Begin aligning yourself with those you respect and actively set up times to meet for coffee or lunch 
  • Choose your members wiselythose that you can comfortably be yourself with

    2) Meet on a regular basis  

    • The whole group needs to meet regularly once or twice a month  
    • Individual members should meet together one on one as well as in the group 
    • Honor people’s time 
    • Develop commitment by sticking to what you come up with 

      3) Establish ground rules 

      • Choose one group leader 
      • Have and agree on a structure to the meeting 
      • Share evenly, specifying a time limit, and make sure people are landing the plane 
      • Treat others as you would want to be treated 

      4) Grow your group  

      • Look for people actively pursuing what you are wanting to accomplish and succeeding in the areas you are currently feeling weak 
      • Invite other members into the group where you need input from that particular field 
      • Invite guests to speak to your group 
      • Listen and Pay attention to what others are saying 
      • Be able to take constructive criticism 
      • Give good honest, feedback yourself 


      Growing your business can begin with a willingness and a commitment to look closely at your brand and mission.  It takes effort and some vulnerability, but developing a mastermind group is a remarkably beneficial way that can help an entrepreneur in lasting ways. Set up a meeting today, it could be the beginning to a tangible, organic way to gain valuable insight, solve problems, and possibly give your company a way to level up in a changing world. 

      This blog was written by the team at Catapult Lakeland, an entrepreneur center in Lakeland Florida that exists to foster the growth of startups by providing education, resources, community and space.


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