Reflections on 2020

by mediabeast
5 mins read
7th 2020 December

It is easy to focus on the negatives that 2020 gave us and declare that 2020 should be thrown away as I have heard so many say. However, I implore you to at least attempt to explore the positives that came out of 2020.

I do not wish to minimise the losses many of us have faced, as I know they have been significant. This isn’t me trying to be airy fairy, or to tell you to forget about the losses and focus ONLY on the positives, because I don’t agree with that as a concept. However, the entrepreneurship journey is riddled with obstacles. Whether you are just embarking on your entrepreneurship journey, or are 15 years in, you know this to be fact. If we do not take stock of the lessons and the positive in the midst of the trials, we will remain defeated. Acknowledge the losses, the obstacles, the mistakes and work out how you can learn from them, overcome them and keep pushing forward.

Here is my roundup of some of the most important lessons we should take away from 2020.

1. Always Expect the Unexpected – Many of us began the year with great expectations. Yet the year had other plans for us. Lockdowns, social distancing, working from home and so much more caused mass disruption. Whilst none of it could have been avoided, effective risk planning could have prevented such significant impacts. Many businesses were able to respond to the new measures fairly quickly because they had plans in place for disasters, building closures etc. They planned for the worst so when the unimaginable occurred, they had some bases covered. Entrepreneurship is unpredictable, but this year has been impossible to predict. The one thing that we learnt to predict after the initial shock had worn off, was that anything is possible. Rigid ways of thinking must be left behind if we are to make it through the unpredictability of what is surely to come.

2. Strong and decisive leadership is ESSENTIAL – The countries that dealt with the pandemic the most effectively, were those that had leaders that took quick and decisive action. The countries that have seen significant losses are those where the leadership has been lacking. The UK government has given mixed messages from the offset. They have flip flopped on a variety of areas and their messaging has been contradictory. As such the country has been plunged into chaos and confusion with many citizens refusing to follow the latest orders as they have lost confidence in the leadership. Business leaders should take note of the behaviours and the traits demonstrated by the world leaders who have successfully approached the pandemic. In emergencies or unusual circumstances, good leaders need to inspire confidence, cooperation, trust and motivation amongst their teams. This requires strong and decisive leadership, not weak and dithering non leaders.

3. Adaptability is essential – Prior to the lockdown, there were still businesses denying staff the opportunity for flexible and/or remote working. Lack of trust, control freak tendencies, old fashioned archaic views and sexism have all been seen as factors contributing to the discomfort with allowing staff to work from home. However, 2020 has demonstrated that individuals can be just as productive, if not more so, working from home. We have adapted to new ways of working and in some cases have thrived because of it. We have seen events companies coordinate successful and engaging online events when they were unable to hold events in person. Restaurants who were resisting Deliveroo and Uber Eats, have introduced pickup and delivery services. We have gone on Staycations instead of leaving the country. Interviews have been conducted via Zoom and new employees have completed their inductions remotely. A personal trainer made £60k in one week after converting her classes to an online membership. We have adapted to unusual circumstances and found ways around, under and over the obstacles in our way. Adaptability is an integral skill for entrepreneurs and this year has strengthened that muscle substantially.

4. People are more valuable than things – Whilst technology has been pivotal in keeping us connected, being physically separated has really taught us how invaluable people are. In a year that has kept us apart, many of us want nothing more than to be in the presence of our loved ones, colleagues and associates. I have had countless conversations with people expressing how much they miss shaking hands, hugging and even high fiveing. Whilst Zoom has been a bit of a life saver, speaking to someone in person instead of via a computer screen, is something that I am sure many of us shall never take for granted again. When we are finally able to do those mundane things again, I for one will not be squandering the opportunity.

5. We are more resilient than we may have thought – Had someone told me in February 2020 that I would spend most of the year unable to see my family and friends, that schools would be closed for 6 months, that I wouldn’t be able to go on any of my planned holidays, that I would get into arguments over face masks, that I would have to stop watching the news because it would be so depressing, that my normal way of life would change so drastically that it would be unrecognisable. I would have told them there is no way that I could cope with all of that. When it was mentioned in March that the schools would be closed until September, I burst into tears. I didn’t think I would be able to cope. There have been plenty of tears and tantrums (from me not my daughter lol), but I have made it to the end of the year. So have you! Whilst we have struggled, we have also endured. We have been battered and bruised but we are still standing. We have adapted to this new and unusual world that we are living in and have pressed on. We don’t know what 2021 holds, but we do know that whatever life throws at us, we won’t crumble under the pressure! We have to #KeepPushing

It is easy to focus on the negatives that 2020 gave us and declare that 2020 should be thrown away as I have heard so many say. However, I implore you to at least attempt to explore the positives that came out of 2020.

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