I was on a radio program recently and was asked how my company was affected by the COVID-19. I answered that compared to how majority of businesses were affected; we were not affected at all. In fact, 2020 could easily be our best year yet.
Why would I say that?
You see, I am not ignorant of the pains people went through in 2020 due to the health and economic crisis of 2020. Many people lost their or loved ones life. 2020 will go down in history as one of the most challenging years yet in the century. Many businesses closed down never to reopen again. Many lost their jobs and means of livelihood. And it’s unfortunate that people went through all of this.
But personally, excluding the general impact of the events of 2020, the year wasn’t a bad one business and income-wise. When I look at the reasons why 2020 turned out well for me, I believe the same advantage can be applied to 2021 for an even better year.
You see, no one can predict how 2021 will turn out. We can only hope for the better and prepare for the worst. How can you make your 2021 better than 2020 in your career, income and finances? Let me share from some of my 2020 experience.
On the large scale there are organizations and establishments working to make the year 2021 better than 2020 economic and health wise. While they are at it, you also have the responsibility to make the New Year work for you.
1. Evaluate your income-resistance to shock
During the end-of-year meeting with my team members, I was glad to listen as they narrated how they had a positive year despite the lockdown and economic crisis. Some of their friends lost their jobs or were not paid salaries during the lockdown. One said that the event taught her that some jobs should never be accepted because of its low resistance to economic shock.
The truth is that with the way the world is going, there are jobs and businesses that are resistant to crisis such as we saw in 2020. And there are jobs and businesses that are easily prone to effects of such crisis. It is important that you evaluate your source of income to understand how susceptible you are to potential crisis. If there was another wave of the pandemic, are you likely to lose your source of income? Are you likely to lose your job or to close your business?
If yes, then you have to start looking for plan B or ways to innovate your income source. You may have to learn a new skill that gives you more advantage or find ways to make your income source less dependent on brick and mortar activities.
2. Embrace the new normal
Let’s face it; life is not going to return back to normal because the year is 2021. Crisis doesn’t honor a calendar. Most of the challenges that made 2020 seem like a horror movie will roll-over into 2021 with interest. The impact of economic recessions will still prevail. 2021 is not a new beginning on a clean slate; it is a continuation or even a repercussion of 2020. This is not being pessimistic; rather we need to be objective if we want to make a head way in 2021.
With that said, you can’t change what the new normal will look like, but you can adapt and make it work for you. I’ve seen many retail stores close their physical shop to focus solely on ecommerce. Businesses are innovating how they deliver their products and offer services. Some are even pivoting their business model to adapt to the changing market needs. You too need to embrace the new normal rather than let its consequences affect your value in the market.
3. Prioritize your health
Life is fragile; organisms as tiny as the corona virus, among other disease-causing microbes, have proven this. You cannot afford to take your health casually in 2021. Majority of people that died from COVID-19 were reported to have died due to underlying illnesses. As you are busting your brain and muscles to meet your financial goal, remember that health is wealth. Take care of yourself. Minimize stress, worry and anxiety. Take some time to slow down and relax a little more this year.
4. Filter your influencers
The people you listen to on a regular bases have tremendous influence in your life. That is why people with large number of social media followers are called influencers. You don’t want to go through the year listening to or reading from someone that isn’t adding value to your life. You also don’t want to be constantly fed with the over exaggerated lifestyle people portray on social media.
If you want to make your 2021 better than 2020, you must weed out the people you let into your space. You have to put a premium to your attention and clean out worthless streams of information that don’t deserve your attention.
5. Focus on creating and amplifying real value
For one thing, life is too short to devote most of it doing something without your soul in it. You are not going to be here for too long. Also, 2020 has taught us that some professions are more valuable than others. People whose professions are built on solving real human needs were less affected in 2020 than people that are only in the market for what they can get.
There are two parts to it. One is creating real value that meets human needs. The other is amplifying the value you create. This is where you need to embrace digital technology to multiply your influence and work. Businesses that leverage technology as an integral part of their business model were less affected in 2020. In fact, many of such businesses recorded their biggest growth during this period. If you have a job, you want to be working at a company that is creating real value and using technology to amplify its value creation.
6. Create lasting memories
If there is one thing 2020 has taught us, it is that life is short and largely beyond our control. As I already mentioned, no one knows how 2021 is going to turn out. But we can be sure that not everyone that makes it into 2021 will get out of it. Sad but true.
Another way to look at it is that nothing is guaranteed. Your savings or stock investment can be wiped away with a little economic disruption. It’s then become obvious that the only thing we can be truly sure of is the memories we create. 2021 will be better than 202o if we focus on creating lasting memories with people we love as well as people around us. It will be a good year if we spend more time on activities that gives meaning to our existence.
7. Give more
2021 seems like the year we need to start doing more of our part to make the world a better place. This isn’t about doing some grand thing that get’s media attention. It’s about giving more of what you have; knowledge, time and resources to make the life of other people better.
The world doesn’t need more cruelty. But it could use more generosity and grateful hearts. The irony of it is that the more your give, the more you’ll have. So by giving more in 2021, you increase your influence as well as your income.
If you want to make 2021 better for you than 2020, evaluate your income-resistance to economic shock; embrace the new normal; prioritize your health, filter your influences; focus on creating and amplifying real value; create lasting memories and give more.