Written by: Chuck Egerter, CEO Guardian Eagle
I wanted to write this because I think, sometimes, we all need to hear it. We all need a cheerleader who comes with facts and truths that we can get excited about. I certainly do, and writing these thoughts down helps me adopt them, which is important for creating a great attitude and outlook as we begin 2021.
I believe, whole-heartedly, that 2021 is going to be a year we all look back on as one of the most productive, optimistic, and unifying years we will remember in our lifetimes. I’m not saying we will have a fast start, but once we get into Spring, the momentum will be positive and exciting. Having this belief is founded on sound concepts, but it is also driven by an underlying desire to make it a reality. Let me break it down for you.
5 Reasons 2021 Will Be Fabulous
1. Pent-Up Demand
While shutdowns and lockdowns didn’t completely stop us from doing what we wanted, they slowed us down considerably. We canceled trips, reduced meals out, put important purchases on hold, and many organizations tightened the purse strings overall as a hedge against uncertainty. Now, as vaccines are being rolled out, and we are starting to see the number of cases drop, pent-up demand will be released. Trips and visits will quickly return, people will start going back to the office, and both organizations and individuals will increase their discretionary spending. This will all spark the economy and get the engines moving again.
2. New Demand
COVID-19 presented us with many challenges. We had to learn how to effectively work from home, changed our visits with friends and family to strictly Zoom and other virtual calls, and many picked up new hobbies like learning how to cook. Demand for RVs and boats skyrocketed as people looked for safer ways to get out, and streaming TV services became a national pastime. Amazon attracted more new customers than ever before, and they aren’t going back to their old ways.
All these innovations are due to new or heightened needs. We continue to see innovation push our economy forward, replacing old jobs with new ones to satisfy these needs. People will get back to work, but perhaps in a different field than they were before. Manual jobs are being replaced by automated and touchless alternatives. We are finding ways to do business without being face-to-face. Change will be hard for many, but it will create demand for new types of jobs — including within engineering, robotics, healthcare, telecommunications, computer programming, and cyber security. I am excited about these changes. I see a better quality of life ahead for all of us and I believe technology will help drive some of these advancements.
3. We’ve Set the Bar Low
With all that 2020 brought us, and the fact that we aren’t out of the woods yet, many have low expectations. Understandably, but, when a few positive pieces of news start to trickle in, back-to-back, those with their heads hanging low will begin to look up. When they do, they will see smiling faces and positive attitudes that are based on what is really happening in the world. Things will get better, and it will feed off each other to blow away the low expectations and add even more positive momentum to the world.
4. We’ve Learned Key Business Lessons That Will Prepare Us for Many Challenges
How to Work From Anywhere and Be Effective
We have worked from home, and we have worked from other houses across the country for weeks and months… all without tapping into a vacation. We have learned how to manage our time and find a balance between getting work done without burning out. We have learned how to stay connected to our colleagues, clients, and vendors without being face-to-face. All of this leads to interesting possibilities for the modern workforce. Do we still need offices? If so, how big, and for what purposes? Can I really move to Paris and keep my current job? Can I work securely without being connected to company Wi-Fi? Can I work from a boat? How do we measure success? We are still working our way through some of these questions, but lasting changes are certain, and they will be amazing.
How to Pay Attention to Our Overall Health and Wellbeing
Early on — and still now — isolation became a major issue. We saw depression take a toll on many, and we’re still learning new coping mechanisms. But, from a business perspective, we saw companies begin to take genuine steps to keep employees feeling connected and engaged. Companies are seeing their employees’ mental health in a better way than they were before the pandemic, and it is great for all of us. New industries have popped up to improve corporate culture in the face of these challenges, like Fun at Work and Terryberry that help employees look at their health holistically, with engaging programs to improve diet, fitness, and overall wellness. We are improving corporate culture and wellness for the long haul — this will serve us all well.
The Ability to Revisit Our Business Models Often and Become More Agile
These last 10+ months have forced us to keep up with the changing demands of the world we live in. Many businesses did not make it out of 2020. Many of the ones who did were able to quickly adjust and capitalize on the opportunities. This skill and mindset will serve these companies well as we head into the next chapter of our collective future.
We Understand the Need to Protect Our Businesses From Cyber-Attacks
We think we did before, but these last 10+ months have had some significant cyber-attacks affect countless companies and many government entities. We must revisit and re-emphasize this. We are seeing our clients embrace what we have been doing for years: protecting your data from the inside out. The more we are distributed and remote from each other, the more we are dependent on technology. That technology must not fail us. We must protect what we cannot re-create: our data. That’s why it’s more important than ever to integrate data protection services into your business.
5. We Have Learned and Embraced That We Are All Truly in This Together
I mean everyone on the planet is in this together. We are all brothers and sisters in the quest for fulfilling lives, love, peace, and happiness. We can fail together… but we will also succeed together. We need each other, and we offer each other so much diversity, beauty, love, and wisdom. Connecting with each other on shared issues, finding common ground, and getting to really know one another is a way to see each other. We can look for ways to help each other. We can make sure our greed is kept in check and that we consider the greater good at every decision.
We learned that there are more optimists in the world than pessimists. They aren’t always vocal, but they stay the course, and sometimes, quietly double-down on our future. If you find yourself frustrated by the national news, get involved in your local communities where you can make a difference. You will feel good about it, and your efforts will make an impact.
All in all, 2021 will be an amazing year that we look back upon fondly for many reasons. Ultimately, I think the most promising include:
- Economic recovery due to pent up demand.
- Economic increases due to necessary innovations.
- We have set the bar low, so it’s easy to exceed expectations.
- Companies have learned lasting lessons that will improve their employees’ lives and their own ability to survive the next surprise.
- We are truly starting to understand and appreciate how connected we are to each other, how much we all need each other, and how that is a beautiful thing.
What am I missing? Why do you think 2021 will be a fabulous year? Let me know in the comments below.