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Basic Rules in COVID-19




Another week of the COVID-19 pandemic and the only certainty is that we’re in this for the foreseeable future. While talk of relaxing social-distancing restrictions in lesser-impacted parts of the country begins, there remains no clear timeline to reopening businesses and a return to normalcy. Challenges with testing and tracking, continued shortage of resources, and a multitude of other factors make strategic planning difficult at best. I’m going to take a different direction with my post this week. Normally I’d discuss more nuts and bolts and deal-specific criteria and suggestions as to how to source debt in these difficult times, but I”m going to step back from that today and make some suggestions based on principles of survival. I’ve been sharing these thoughts and strategies with clients during recent meetings and feedback has been positive.


While we’re not quite at the zombie apocalypse stage of things yet, our current situation certainly has many of us wondering if we’ll make it through this experience with our companies and personal finances intact. I spend a lot of time in the outdoors, sometimes in some pretty remote places where help isn’t always available. Having some basic survival knowledge has kept me safe on more than one occasion, and the core lessons are very applicable to what we’re currently experiencing.


  1. Mindset - without a doubt, having a positive attitude is the number one priority in survival. You must believe you’ll make it through whatever tough situation you may encounter. If you lose hope, decision making suffers leading to potentially fatal mistakes. There are many stories of those who gave up hope and were later found very close to resources or rescue which could’ve changed the outcome from negative to positive. How’s your attitude? Check and adjust as needed. There will be ups and downs - that’s normal and ok. When you find yourself feeling down and fr

  2. Do what you can to improve your current situation - in a true survival situation, priorities begin with the Rule of 3 - you can survive for 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. Shelter, water, and fire are immediately priorities. Food while important can wait a bit if needed. Ask yourself - what can I and my team do today which will improve our situation? There is always something you can do to move in a positive direction. If you need a break from revising projections and worrying about payroll, consider reaching out to customers just to check in. Employees too. Heck - clean-up your desk!

  3. Do not take any unnecessary risks - sometimes it’s best to stay put, improve your situation, stay positive and see how things will work out. Other times, you may need to change locations or try something different. This is a tough one and it comes down to risk vs. reward. Generally, it’s best to stay the course if you can and avoid unforeseen consequences. Desperate times, however, can require desperate measures, and sometimes risk is necessary for survival. Knowledge and feedback is imperative here. Make sure you continue to discuss strategies and next steps with members of your team and others. Reach out to trusted advisors and pick their brains for insights and thoughts on next steps. Whatever you decide to do - review Rule 1 and be positive about your course of action.



As always, the team at Blue Willow Group is here to help. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss your situation. We’d be happy to provide feedback, thoughts and suggestions, and a current update on conditions and availability of capital in the venture debt space. Be well and stay safe!


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