There is nothing quite like a global pandemic and a host of other seemingly larger-than-life challenges to force a little self-reflection. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it is safe to say 2020 has not been the year any of us expected on January 1, 2020, as we ushered in the new year with wide-eyed optimism. With a name like 2020, what could go wrong, right? Apparently, a lot of things. While this certainly hasn’t been the year we expected or even wanted, in some ways, it has been the year many of us needed.
Many of the things we have all taken for granted have been threatened or even lost forever this year. But there is a silver lining. When things don’t go the way we want them to, we are forced to stop, reflect and regroup. When done intentionally, that process can bring about a healthy perspective and, when needed, change. Sometimes the process is very painful as it has been for so many people this year, but that often makes the good shine through all the more brightly.
In our own process of stopping, reflecting and regrouping this year, there have been a few recurring themes we’ve seen. Things we’re especially thankful for as we prepare to close the book on 2020 and embrace 2021 with a new set of wide-eyed optimism (and a little more life wisdom) this time around.
The People In Our Lives
This year we were reminded of just how important it is to have a strong community of people around us. People who can encourage and hold us accountable to our core values and life goals, especially when the road is tougher than expected. This year, these people have been our family, friends, church, business advisors, employees and clients. Each has played a unique and vital role in helping us come through this year stronger and more grounded than we came in. We are forever grateful for their love and support, and we hope that, in some way, we’ve shown that back to each of them in an equally meaningful way.
The Reminder to Slow Down
Do you ever feel like you are on a hamster wheel that just keeps going faster and faster? You know you can’t keep up, but to stop running would set a train wreck in motion. Most of us were on that hamster wheel heading into 2020. Around March, we didn’t have to stop; the hamster wheel stopped for us. It was disruptive in so many ways, but once the dust settled, many of us learned to embrace the slowdown. As people begin to leave their homes again and small businesses begin to reopen their doors, we’re starting to see an uptick in our work and social lives. This time around, we’re ready to self-initiate our own slowdowns so we can move forward steadily at a more sustainable pace.
A Renewed Perspective
No matter how you spend your days, it is easy to tie your personal self-worth to where you spend the majority of your time. If you’re a mom, your self-worth can hinge on how your kids are doing. If you’re an executive, it can hinge on how quickly you climb the corporate ladder. If you’re a small business owner, it can hinge on the success of your business. As small business owners, that third one hits home for us. We love our small business and we want to see it succeed for the long haul. When circumstances outside of your control (ahem—a global pandemic) threaten your success and maybe even your survival, it is hard to separate your self-worth from your current circumstances. While the mistake of misaligned self-worth is common, that does not mean it is good or heathy. This year has reminded us that our self-worth has a lot more to do with who we are, than what we achieve. When we remember that distinction, we approach our work with a healthier perspective that is more likely to lead to sustainable, long-term success.
A Catalyst for Change
Heading into 2020, many of us were comfortable. The economy was strong, business was rolling in—times were good. In a flush economy, weakness can often go ignored with no real immediate consequences. But in challenging times, you become painfully aware of your weaknesses. If you didn’t catch Post No. 41: Navigating COVID-19: 3 Types of Small Business Owners Exposed, it is worth the read. Different types of small business owners respond differently when their weaknesses are exposed. The important thing is that, in time, they recognize their exposure and use it as a catalyst for change. While we pride ourselves in running a tight ship at Daor Design, we are far from perfect. COVID-19 reminded us of that. It exposed some weaknesses we didn’t even know were there. Others we knew were there, but didn’t prioritize addressing—because times were good despite them. It was not fun in the thick of it, but we are thankful for the catalyst for change that COVID-19 has been for us and for many of the small businesses we serve. In the end, we are healthier and stronger for it.
Have you taken time to reflect over this past year as we head into the holidays? What are you especially thankful for as we get ready to close the chapter on 2020? We hope you’ve embraced this opportunity to come out stronger on the other side as we look ahead to 2021. If this year has exposed weaknesses with your small business brand, let’s talk. We’re here if you’re ready to start the conversation today about using this year’s challenges as a catalyst for change for your small business.