Those who know me well or have worked with me for any length of time know I live my personal and professional life by one credo: Unleashing Greatness. It simply means I know without a shadow of doubt that you already have greatness within you. Not the potential for greatness, but actual, already-there greatness that is your own unique set of skills, abilities, knowledge, gifts, passions, discernments, experiences and wisdom. I have never met someone, myself included, who doesn’t downplay her greatness or hold back his greatness for a myriad of bad reasons. My job and purpose, therefore, is to help you remove your self-imposed, greatness-limiting obstacles preventing you from acknowledging, embracing and unleashing it. Hence, unleashing greatness.

For this reason, I say with all love, care and respect: it’s time to sell your condo in Victimville.

To be fair, I own one, too. When this pandemic began, I packed my fear-filled bags, loaded up the victim-truck and headed out for an extended stay in my own Victimville home. I lost a great client within days of the government-ordered shutdown of non-essential retail businesses. Then, an important business-development trip was cancelled as the travel ban took effect. Critical in-person client meetings disappeared from my calendar one-by-one because no one knew who might be carrying this insidious virus. Couple that my family flat-out missing the memo on the nationwide run on toilet paper and you can imagine why I felt justified to want to retreat to Victimville until further notice.

Victimville is where ideas go to die. The person guarding the entrance to Victimville’s gated community requires all visitors, before proceeding on to their homes, to check their greatness and optimism at the gate to remain in storage until they’re ready to leave the compound. Victimville is an uncomfortable yet all-too-familiar place where creativity, problem-solving and optimism aren’t welcome. Finger-pointing, deflection and blame are daily activities in Victimville unless one prefers to do nothing and just fully embrace inaction and apathy. In Victimville, nothing changes because, well, nothing changes. In Victimville, no one is capable of changing anything.

Leaders often tell me how much they hate excuses. In their minds, they’re given excuses as reasons for mistakes, missed targets, bad behavior and other chronic business issues. However, as we sort through those “excuses” together, we often find that many of them are legitimate “reasons” why things happened as they did. We also often agree the difference between reasons and excuses is razor thin. Ultimately, it’s not reasons or excuses that frustrate leaders, it’s the inaction that follows.

There’s a plethora of reasons why your business has been impacted by this pandemic. There are legitimate reasons why doing business and staying afloat is more difficult today than in recent memory. You are completely justified feeling angry, frustrated, depressed, confused, afraid and every other emotion you feel. What matters more than identifying reasons and naming feelings is your response to each of them.

In Victimville, very legitimate reasons and emotions drive me to the aforementioned activities of finger-pointing, deflecting, blaming, inaction (which is an action!) and apathy. I accept that all things are out of my control, I give up, and I embrace my place in Victimville.

You’re better than Victimville. In the best ways imaginable, you’re far more dangerous than you know or allow yourself to believe. With greatness in hand, you’re capable of so much more than taking up residence in Victimville, including navigating through the chaos and uncertainty of this pandemic, sheltering in place, serving customers in a virtual environment, overcoming financial adversity, managing toilet paper and meat shortages, surviving an onslaught of murderous wasps or whatever other insanity is thrown at you today. You’ve got this.

But only if you remember you come preloaded with greatness, and only if you refuse to spend another day in your condo in Victimville.