The Shove that was 2020

Let’s face it – 2020 wasn’t the year any of us thought it would be.

As a business owner, you know the importance of staying nimble, being flexible, and keeping your eyes open for opportunities, and it seems 2020 has put those qualities to the test.

I was talking with a colleague about this and we agreed: whatever cozy nest we’d been nestled in, business-wise, we’ve been shoved out of it, somewhat jarringly, and had to face the reality of how we make our money, how we’ve arranged our businesses, and how much we do – or in some cases don’t – like what we see.

This shove in the direction of introspection has revealed many things, some unsettling, some eye-opening, some affirming. It’s as though we’ve been given a chance to examine all the aspects of our businesses and decide if we like them or not. All of this coming, of course, whether we wanted it to or not; a forced examination, yet not necessarily an unwanted once you get below the surface of it.

Here are some things that have been examined and revealed, by me, my clients, and my colleagues.

  • Noticing which aspects of your business light you up, and which feel more like burdens, or drain you.
  • How many of the things you put time into aren’t the things that make you money, or spark the joy.
  • How much running a business can feel hard at times, and maybe getting a joby-job, at least a part-time one, may make sense to help ease the sense of hardship.
  • How much effort goes into working with clients one-on-one, and whether or not you want to continue to use your energy that way.
  • How much of your time you put into doing things that don’t play to your strengths, and maybe an overhaul of what you do, and how you do it, through the lens of what you’re naturally good at, would make things easier.
  • How much work you’re doing that’s unnecessary, and being willing to let go of doing it, even if it feels irresponsible.

The Shove can feel disconcerting and scary, like you’ve lost your footing. It can be lonely, or as though you’ve done something wrong, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Once you’ve been shoved out of the nest, especially when it’s out of your control, it’s hard to go back to the way things were. And after some examination and truth-telling, such as the examples above, going back may not make sense. Which means you’re now at a crossroads about what to do next.

Hmmm, you say… Things aren’t working the way they used to, and I’ve examined my business and don’t like some of what I see… As a result, I’ve got a better idea of where I’d like to spend my time and attention, things I can streamline, do differently, let go…. Now how do I do that, exactly?

This is where The Shove comes into play again. It carries momentum with it, perhaps even a sense of urgency, and possibly some fear of letting go of what you’ve known. This is the time to be fearless, to read, talk with colleagues, watch Rocky again, and give yourself the fuel and courage needed to take The Shove and what it’s revealed, and turn it into action.

Begin with one thing you’ve discovered, something that feels easy-ish, and brainstorm about how you might take the first step toward realizing it. Then be gentle with yourself, and make the leap, even if it’s a tiny one.

You can totally do this.

The more you’re able to use The Shove that is 2020 as a positive force in your business, the better poised you’ll be in 2021 and beyond. This year has been confronting, yet the confrontation can be used as a force for good. Precisely because you’re accustomed to staying nimble, being flexible, and keeping your eyes open for opportunities, you can use The Shove as your business coach, and make your business stronger for it.

What if it were true that The Shove was good for your business; what would be new and possible from this place?

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