So, how is 2020 treating your business? How is it treating you personally? Does that feel like a loaded question?
Let’s face it, this year has been a tough one for so many. On a personal level, people have been isolated from the people and activities they love. On a professional level, so many have been drastically impacted by an economy in flux and rampant uncertainty in the face of a global pandemic. As we near the end of the year, with Thanksgiving on the horizon, it can be hard to muster gratitude during such a tough year.
In dark days, it is easy to lean toward a pessimistic frame of mind. In the day to day of running a business, or working in general, we have the tendency to focus on the immediate problems and tackle them as they come. For so many, the constant need to put out fires or anticipate new ones can be draining, further pulling us to a more pessimistic place. During a global pandemic, is there room for optimism?
This is the thought that the Seafoam team pondered as we discussed the upcoming holiday season. After all, as the pandemic rages on, this season will look very different for so many on the team. On our recent Zoom call, we chatted with the team about being thankful in 2020 and what it meant for us as individuals. An amazing theme began to emerge from this conversation. As we chatted it became clear that, despite a tough year, there is still so much to be thankful for on both a personal and professional level.
As the team chatted, a common thread began to shine through. Much of the Seafoam team felt grateful for the extra time with family and loved ones. In a busy world, with packed schedules, the pandemic has forced us to slow down a bit. This theme was evident in a note that Liz shared about her year:
“With two kids, I feel like we never stop. From sports to hanging out with friends, our family is running from one place to another pretty constantly. This mad dash to make sure that we were squeezing everything out of every day was exhausting, but pretty much our normal. When the pandemic hit, it was like hitting a pause button on our activities. We slowed down. After dinner, we started playing Yahtzee with the kids a few nights a week. It became our new ritual, and it gave us time to laugh together, compete against each other, and just spend time with each other. These are moments I wouldn’t trade for the world.”
Who wouldn’t like a few more hours in the day? Ironically, this is a small silver lining to the year, as so many people now have exactly that: more time. As working from home reduces long commute times, and Zoom meetings mean less driving around, many businesses have been gifted a little more time in the day. The optimist in us would beg the question, what have you done – and what could you do – with that time? With an extra hour or two to work on a project, how could you improve your business? If 2020 can teach us anything, it’s that sometimes slowing down and making more time for the important things can yield unexpected benefits.
Making Room For Creativity
For many on the team, this year has been a challenge to stay connected with friends and family across the country. Many of our resident social butterflies have felt isolated during the lockdown, looking for ways to stay social. Holly Wentworth, whose family lives across the country, has this to say:
“Living alone and being over 1,300 miles away from family can be very challenging, especially during a pandemic. Overall, it’s been a year of anxiety and stress, as well as gratefulness. I’m thankful that my family is healthy and only a phone call / FaceTime away. I’m also thankful to be a paw-rent to my two cute pups that are always keeping me on my toes. Here’s a quote that positively shifted my perception and may shift yours too: ‘Your worries are valid— let your hope be too.'”
As one of our resident “youngsters” texting tends to be the most common form of communication, but during the pandemic, Holly has embraced ALL of the different ways to reach out and connect with friends and family.
While 2020 started off with big travel ideas for Matt Lodge, the pandemic quickly squashed so many fun plans. With friends across the globe, Matt also found creative outlets during the pandemic, as he used Zoom to host online trivia and game nights with friends.
“Sometimes I think that I have been way more social in 2020 than I would have been under normal circumstances. Being stuck at home doesn’t mean that we can’t visit, we just have to do it differently,” Matt mused.
Tackling challenges in a different way seems to be the mantra for 2020, in both our personal lives and in business. In so many cases, what had worked before for a business quickly shifted. For so many of our partners, we had to help them find new ways to reach potential customers and existing clients. The year has forced us to look at all of the tools in our tool box, and to find new ways to utilize said tools, as we try to drive digital success.
Making Your Circle Count
This year has forced us to understand the phrase quarantine circles, a phrase that would have been completely foreign to us before. Being “stuck” at home with a small group of people is made 100% easier when you love being around that small group of people. From our owner, Nikki Bisel:
Quarantine 2020, highlights an excellent point for businesses, too. Fundamentally, when you surround yourself with the right people, life is better. For businesses, this means finding the right team to help your business thrive through thick and thin. With the right team on board, your company can weather any storm that this year, or any other year, may throw your way.
Focusing On What’s Important
In the hustle of day to day life, we also get distracted by the details. The right outfit, the right email… did either set the right tone? We get pulled in so many different directions trying to achieve perfection in so many ways. This is a common theme we hear from our clients. Are we doing enough? What about this latest digital marketing trend, or that new social media platform? We get it – thinking about the new and unique is a SUPER fun way to grow. But it can never be at the expense of your core business values. What is the most important aspect of your business?
As we chatted, Kevin Arndt reminded us of what really mattered. Here is what he is thankful for this year.
“I’m thankful for my health, my home, and for being gainfully employed during the most uncertain time in my life. This year has been chock-full of challenges, but I’ve made it a priority to remain positive and to make the most out of every situation. I’m fortunate to spend quarantine with a great gal, and for having gone on some unforgettable outdoor adventures. Also, my house is cleaner than ever before.”
Focusing on the positive and remembering what is truly important are two lessons that everyone can take to heart. While this year has been hard, there is good to be found in so many places. When we focus on the fundamentals, we can always find good things.
Turns Out, We Are Optimists
At the end of the day, 2020 has brought about a lot of life lessons, both personal and professional. It has forced us to think outside of the box and come up with creative solutions to brand new problems. It has also reminded us to focus on what is really important; when you keep an eye on the fundamentals you build a solid foundation. This is true for both the personal and professional aspects of life. And when you surround yourself with the right people, life is always better.
As we move forward, we are thankful for Zoom calls and food delivery. We are thankful for outdoor activities and quiet moments to catch up on that good book we have been putting off. We are thankful for new hobbies and our sweet, sweet fur babies. We are also thankful that 2021 is just around the corner.