As we enter another uncertain year, it’s clear that being a business owner has been challenging across many levels.
The rule book essentially went out of the window when the pandemic hit, and business owners across the globe grappled with what they once knew, and tried to figure out how to make things work in a new way.
Both in terms of our work and personal lives, we’ve had a lot on our plates.
Lack of socialising, home schooling, remote working, and in some cases, ill health — at times it may have seemed impossible to get work done.
But it’s not all been for nothing.
And whilst we’re longing for 2020 to be all but a distant memory, it’s important that we leverage what we have learnt and apply that as we move forward.
It’s a time to do things differently — and possibly better than we ever have done before.
So, what lessons can we, as business owners, carry with us through 2021?
1. Embrace change and try something new
We can all admit to disliking change, but whilst the pandemic has brought many challenges, it’s also provided us with a platform to challenge everything we once knew.
Change brings along opportunity. We just have to look for it.
The past year has forced us all to get creative and think outside the box. Rather than leaning away from change and letting fear hold us back, if we accept and fully embrace it, we can emerge out of comfort zones to try new ways of working — and achieve things better than we ever imagined.
2. Remote working, works
A year ago, the vast majority of the workforce didn’t know how to use Zoom. Now it’s the go-to method of meeting with clients and team members. A year ago, we also wouldn’t have imagined that we would embrace working from home — or that it would be a viable way of working.
Yes, it might not be perfect, but we have taken advantage of new technology and tools, and managed to streamline how we do things. No more unnecessary meetings clogging up the diary, and more time spent on the projects that matter most.
3. Authenticity matters
In times of uncertainty, trust has never been more important. People can sense if someone isn’t genuine and are less likely to respond favourably to someone who behaves in this way. Clients, Customers, and Team members need openness, transparency, and approachability.
Authentic leaders inspire others by revealing a part of themselves that is relatable — and by being someone who people want to get behind. And ultimately, this is what achieves exceptional results.
4. Taking time to rest and recover is vital
Business owners have faced, and continue to face, overwhelming pressure. To support their clients and team members, and to push their organisations through the crisis and emerge stronger out the other side.
They have worked longer and harder hours, possibly more than ever before, and this has led to both physical and mental exhaustion and burn out.
Taking the time to rest and reflect is absolutely fundamental to success, and will actually make you more productive, and creative, in the long run.
5. Realign your priorities to what really matters
Prior to the pandemic, it was a real struggle to balance the competing priorities within our lives — and 2020 has only highlighted this further. It’s given us a chance to take a breath, take a step back, and take stock on what really matters in life.
We are so used to being ‘busy’ but being busy doesn’t always translate into being productive — or living a fulfilling and meaningful life. Of course, there will always be bills to pay, mouths to feed, and countless demands on our time, but we need to be more aware about what matters most.
Nobody functions well when they are overwhelmed, but if we become more deliberate with our time and energy, focusing on what we value the most, that’s how we’ll achieve what we really need.
Set limits and live intentionally.