Well, here it is. The somewhat predictable end-of-year post. But this really hasn’t been a predictable year, has it? I hope for you, despite all the setbacks and heartache, that it has been a year of growth. I know that’s true for me. And I also hope that whatever momentum you’ve generated – in your business, in your life – you will continue to fuel into 2021.
Every year I set a personal “theme”, or you could say “mantra” that I want to guide the year ahead. Last year’s theme was “Give More”. I started out strong- I began fostering rescue dogs, reaching out to friends that I hadn’t been in touch with much, signed up to volunteer at a nursing home, and started planning a big fundraiser concert for the Fall. . . Well, as you can probably guess, those last two things didn’t pan out. In retrospect, the default theme of the year probably ended up being “go with the flow”– For all of us!!
So I’m embracing this idea in 2021. As much as I LOVE setting goals & making big plans, I think this year I’m going to work on being less attached to my goals & plans, and keeping my heart and mind open to the possibilities that the universe sends my way.
This got me thinking about how much everyone has had to change, pivot and evolve this year (in business and of course, in life), and what lessons that has taught us that we can take into 2021. Because if we didn’t already know it, we know it now. . . Life is unpredictable. Business is unpredictable. And nothing is set in stone.
Lesson #1: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
I’ve said this before, but after this year I really mean it: diversification is SO important for entrepreneurs! Think of all the types of businesses that have been made obsolete this year, and all of the types of products/ services that have become (at least, temporarily) unneccesary during the pandemic. If you have a variety of products and/ or services to offer, though, you will be in much better shape in general. If you need some ideas on how to diversify, check out this blog post!
Lesson #2: Community over Competition
I recently read something posted by another entrepreneur, who was touting the value of Intentional Community Building vs. traditional Marketing. I love this and I think it’s another great theme/ mantra for us to take into 2021. Going with the flow means being open to other peoples’ perspectives, advice, critique and more. . . this is necessary for colaboration, and colaboration always opens up possibility that wasn’t there before. So if you’re feeling stuck in your business, or really in any area of your life, my advice is to find a community of people going through something similar. Let’s build each other up this year, and provide value for each other as entrepreneurs. My promise to you this year- If I learn about something cool & useful that helps me grow my business, I’ll share it with you. Ok?
Lesson #3: Embrace Technology
I think a lot of people learned the hard way this year that technology is not just important, but necessary. Those entrepreneurs & business owners who thought they didn’t need to rely on social media or a great website, found themselves really scrambling around March this year. I had a flurry of requests for web design from people who had ‘brick and mortar’ businesses, or offered services in person, that suddenly had to pivot their whole business model to an online one. People who never used their computers for anything but checking email, are now experts at Zoom conferencing (including my 95 year old Grandma whom I Zoom with every week!). I think history will remember 2020 as a difficult year overall, but perhaps the silver lining is all the advancements in technology. As we know, necessity is the mother of invention. So as an entrepreneur, I think the lesson to take into 2021 is that technology is our friend, and it’s here to stay. You need to have a well-defined and visually appealing brand to attract clients/ customers, and a great website that functions in the way that best supports your audience. For more on branding + web design basics, check out this blog post!