Quarantine Economy: What’s Working Now

I was honored to be interviewed on a new live online series called Live Stream Tampa Bay.  It’s produced by a group called Kestum Bilt (more on them shortly) and features a wide variety of guests – on this episode alone, everyone from comedians to filmmaker Dan Myrick (The Blair Witch Project).


The main theme of my interview:  ‘what’s working right now?’  It’s a great question – maybe the question of the moment.  We covered some good ground during the conversation, but it got my mind going.  Here briefly, I want to recap what I’ve observed that’s working and explore this idea a little further.

Overall, the folks I see winning during this Quarantine Economy are either Pivoting, Shifting, or Expanding.  Here’s what I mean by those tactics, with an example of each…


I first saw magician Kostya Kimlat on an episode of Fool Us when he fooled hosts Penn and Teller without breaking a sweat.  Later, I had the great fortune to work with Kostya on a live broadcast for a major retailer.  But Kostya’s mind is every bit as fast as his hands, so when he realized in-person events were no longer in the cards, he made a bold pivot.  Kostya went all-in on video with lights, a microphone, and a three-camera setup to create Virtual Magic Shows.  The result: three new requests from national clients and ten virtual shows book from repeat clients – in the first week.  As Kostya describes it…

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to embrace change head on. I did not expect myself to pivot so quickly. But I was able to do it by going back to the core of what I do: engaging and entertaining.”

– Kostya Kimlat


I got to know Wes Wiley through friends and after sometime later learning he’s a Personal Development Coach, I thought, “Well, of course he is.”  Wes has a warm and inviting personality and possesses that magnetic trait of sincerely asking questions about you – your goals, your dreams, your challenges.  Wes’ current challenge is scaling up his business into a more 9-to-5 model.  So during this quarantine time, Wes is shifting – allocating newly found hours toward building his business and acquiring new Clients.  As Wes frames his mission…

“I specialize in working with men who want greater clarity, expert strategy, and measurable impact.”

– Wes Wiley

And great news – Wes’ business allows for him to do his coaching remotely.  If you have a goal that you’re still working toward launching fully, consider how you can identify and leverage your expanded bandwidth to make that shift.


“Make the pie BIGGER.” That’s a powerful, transformative idea I learned from Roger Berdusco many years ago. Less fighting for just your own slice and more cooperation to grow the larger category that you share with others. It’s an idea we could use right now in the midst of our current challenges.  It’s also an idea that the folks at video production company Kestum Bilt are putting into action.  For the last month or so, they’ve marshalled their expertise and resources to create the live online broadcast I mentioned earlier, Live Stream Tampa Bay.  Fighting for just your slice of the pie would mean focusing all attention on creating new business and acquiring new Clients (and KB will be happy to take your call).  But to ‘make the pie bigger’ (to Expand), Kestum Bilt is helping others win as well, putting the spotlight on everyone from advertising pros to head chefs to little ol’ Matthew Porter.

A few more thoughts on what’s needed during this Quarantine Economy…


Look, we don’t know when this thing will end or how.  But I am confident that our country will absolutely come roaring back once it does.  But if we only focus on then, we’re gonna miss some big – if hidden – opportunities now.  No season of life, whether good or bad, is forever.  So answer this question: what’s available to you right now that you can capitalize on – knowing that you may have to really look for it?  I wrote more about this mindset here:  Grab Everything


What if this crisis is actually the catalyst you need to make ‘your thing’ happen?  What if it’s time to turn your back on certainty and safety (what do those word mean anymore?) and say yes to uncertainty, but also an unlimited upside? That’s the choice Dave Grohl had to make when he was offered his dream job, an opportunity that would have cost him launching Foo Fighters.


A quote that kicks my butt every time I hear it…

“It is not enough that we do our best.  Sometimes we must do what it necessary.”

– Winston Churchill

And what is necessary right now?  That we all think and act like leaders.  “But wait… I’m not a leader – I’m just a nobody in the outer realm of the org chart.”  There’s a whole other article to write deconstructing that persistent leadership myth, but for now, let’s leave it at this: a leader is a leader because of the choices they make, not because of their title.

And what does a leader do?  Among other things…

  • A leader finds opportunities in the chaos
  • A leader makes connections before they’re obvious
  • A leader will make a move even if the right choice isn’t clear yet

Right now, there’s a strong, almost gravitational pull, on all of us, drawing us toward a mentality of hunkering down and riding out the storm.  I believe those who resist that pull – those who focus on what can be gained right now instead of just down the road – will be richly rewarded.

– Matthew Porter

Matthew Porter writes about decoding success, creative leadership, marketing, and productivity.

If you enjoyed this, please subscribe, follow, comment, and share!  

P.S. If you’re still trying to get the hang of working from home, check out these tips based on 17 years of practice and research.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top