mentawai tsunami, mount merapi eruption
Hope.
I never wrote about my home country, Indonesia, but today is probably the right time to do it.

As we all know, Indonesia has been just hit by a series of disasters – perhaps a sign of end times? But we are not talking about the end times. We are talking about how, as an individual and an entrepreneur, you and I can stay positive and carry on with what we are doing, even inspired to do something different.

The death toll of the earthquake + tsunami in (the forgotten) Mentawai Islands, Western Sumatra, Indonesia and the Mount Merapi, Central Java, Indonesia has surpassed 300. Pretty devastating. Condolences to the victims of the disasters.

The floods in Jakarta, Indonesia capital is not as devastated as the earthquake, tsunami and erupted mountain, but it has literally paralysed most of the 10 millions people (yes, there are about 10 millions live in Jakarta!) and have disrupted the business activities in one way or another.

I live near Jakarta, Indonesia, but my and my wife’s family’s parents and relatives are mostly living in Jakarta – the floods and stuff worry me a lot.

A long-time client and also a friend of mine is living in the US (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) – and he is as concerned as I do regarding Indonesia. It’s probably safe to say that Indonesia is on the news – unfortunately, for something bad happening (again.)

Regardless of what you are doing to make a living – working for a boss, being your own boss, etc. – you might have affected somehow by the happenings.

Now hear this – you need to be strong and take courage. All I can remember is a summary of one of my favourite Don Moen’s song lyric – I’m a Christian, but this lyric holds true in other faiths, as well:

Be strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the Lord will go before you
And His light will show the way

Be strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the one who lives within you
Will be strong in you today

Why don’ you give him all of your fears
Why don’t you let him wipe all of your tears
He knows, He’s been through pain before
And He knows all that you’ve been looking for

So, be strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the Lord will go before you
And His light will show the way

Be Strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the one who lives within you
Will be strong in you today

Nothing can take you out of his hand
Nothing can face you can’t command
I know that you will always be
In His love, in His power you will be free!!

So, be strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the Lord will go before you
And His light will show the way

Be Strong and take courage
Do not fear or be dismayed
For the one who lives within you
Will be strong in you today

Nevertheless, as business owners and entrepreneurs, we need to do something to make a difference. Donations and such are always helpful, but as a public figure, you are often required to lead by examples, more than donations and other philanthropic actions (ahem – the public should not know that you donate for any purposes, I suppose?) Here are some you can do:

1. Stay positive

It’s difficult, but worth pursuing. If you run a business with 100s of employees, your reactions are often all that matters to them. Staying positive gives the much needed boost to your team members.

The disasters have happened, but we must pick up the pieces and carry on, somehow. There are many depend on your leadership, and if you are not the one guiding your business to “green pasture,” then who will?

2. Small business bloggers: Inspire and motivate through your blog posts

Small business bloggers – you need to write something motivational and inspiring. Condolences are nice, but you need to do one step further – supporting your readers who happen to be the victims of the disasters in the best possible way you can do: Writing blog post that inspires.

3. Talk about the disasters in social media and from your social profile

If you are darn popular, saying positive words on your social media profiles can do good. Tom Cruise did this- Justin Bieber, too – and whether you like it or not, when public figures speak good words, the impact is magnified, somehow.

If you are not that popular, you can do the same thing, too – no matter who you are or where you are from, saying kind words shed some lights to others, especially to the disaster victims.

Again, condolences to all the victims of the disasters. I pray that we can go through this and carry on with our life, even live a better life. Why not?

Ivan Widjaya
Staying positive