The Things I have Learned in 2020

I am a little bit obsessed with change – I always have been.

I love moving house, I redecorate weekly, I create new services / content daily and I change my business plan at least every 90 days.  

I truly believe that without change you can’t improve, so I try to change something in my life daily.

With that in mind, you may have thought that I would have been ready for whatever new and challenging scenario life could throw at me – well the truth is in 2020 I certainly was not.

When the reality of ‘that Pandemic’ really started to hit in early 2020, I, like every businessperson in the world, quickly realised that everything was coming to a head and the ‘pandemic’ was about to get very real. To combat this, we needed to act accordingly.

What I can say now, with immense gratitude and a lot of thanks to my colleagues and peers is that 2020 has been the making of us here at Elation and I would like to share with you a bit about why.

Never say never

Things you fear may not work might be some of your biggest successes; statements that we believed were facts in 2019 were disproved with alarming regularity in 2020.  

‘Virtual training doesn’t have an impact’

‘Clients only want to meet face to face’

‘We need our team in the field to really drive sales’

‘Social media isn’t essential to success’

Business owners who had the confidence to accept that no ideas were out of bounds really achieved great things in 2020. Elation now has a completely new suite of services and the ability to scale internationally all thanks to bold ideas we tried throughout this year.

Embrace the risks

Doing things very differently involves taking risks – risks that we often avoid taking when we are stuck in the ‘Business as Usual’ loop.  When BAU suddenly grinds to a halt you have room to really invest in risks and inevitably some pay off. Investing in new technology, experimenting with new content, launching new products are all risks that really paid off for us in 2020.

Work on your business

With a dramatic downturn of client work in March and April I spent two full months working full time on my business. I created content, wrote marketing plans, mentored, and coached my team, I refined my processes – all the ‘rainy day’ jobs that always came second to delivering for my clients. By August of 2020, our turnover and team size had doubled – all because I focused on doing the right things.  

Collaborate with your peers

I am lucky enough to be part of an amazing network of business professionals who were all focused on using this time to add value and build networks. I have worked in partnership with some of the best businesses and businesspeople in the UK and this has not only helped my audience but helped me and my business to drive growth. Creating really powerful content that adds value is never a bad use of time and the stronger your network the better your business.

Take ownership

As soon as we began to really understand how significant the business impact of Covid was going to be I made a very distinct decision and that was that no matter what it took – no matter how different my business would end up being I would find a way to survive the change. 

I have written about the power of choice many times before; it is my firm belief that determination really can create results. We worked for hours free of charge trying to support our clients to build their new futures. These wonderful businesses are now our paying clients and will become part of our success story.

Do it for the right reason

There were a lot of difficult decisions to make in 2020 and whenever it got tough, I would always ask what impact it would have on my staff or my clients. It is all too easy to make ugly decisions if you are thinking about personal gain. I regularly checked in with myself about whether my choices would help my team to cope, my clients to thrive or my suppliers to grow. Never has a team effort been more important.

I am proud to say that throughout 2020 I have not lost one client; we have retained every staff member and we have stayed loyal to every one of our suppliers. 

In 2020 we recruited 5 new staff members, doubled turnover, digitally transformed our whole business, and created an entire suite of new services.

It has been our best year yet because we broke the mould. We did things differently; we challenged our own assumptions and we never ever stopped believing we would make it.

I have found a lot of things very hard about 2020 and not all my reflections on the year are positive but I will always remember it as the year that reshaped Elation into a business that I love even more than before.

Finally here is a video recorded during the height of lockdown where I reflected on how I got to the tangible solutions required to succeed during 2020.

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