If 2020 taught us anything in the business world, it should be the importance of connectivity, access to people, and the understanding of pivoting (changing) your business to meet the demands of the consumer.
I have been sitting in my office doing mostly Zoom calls with clients for the past 11 months. When I have an opportunity to meet face to face there is always that fear of “what if”. “What if”… this person across from me has been exposed to Covid. “What if”… this person across from me is a carrier of Covid. “What if”… I let my guard (mask) down to speak with this person and I catch Covid. Yes, wearing a mask is mandatory in most places. I support mask wearing. However, I also support networking and connectivity with people. With a mask on, you might miss out on non-verbal context communication. You may misunderstand words as they are muffled beneath the cloth of protection. The lack of connectivity a mask causes is discerning for better forms of communication. Should we go to Zoom only? No, Zoom should be secondary to face to face communication. We are social beings. We are designed to interact face to face. Our evolutionary communication skills do not (though they may later in time) translate via video conferencing. Quick tidbit of info too… in 1998, I was in the Army setting up video teleconferencing for high level dignitaries. So, this has been around for 20 years +, but has now hit mainstream with Facetime on your phones, Zoom meetings for conferences, Microsoft Team meetings, etc. We have a desire for connectivity. As we are connecting in new and exciting ways, don’t give up on the old fashion handshake to build trust in an introduction.
Access to people
You have more access to people than any other time in history. Are you taking advantage of this? Or are you too fearful of rejection? Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and many others have created social platforms to gain access to individuals. Find your tribe. Go out there and gain access to groups who share your interest both personally and professionally. These are great opportunities to share ideas and take the next evolutionary step of unity. You have unprecedented access to people of all walks of life. Some choose to not connect; others cannot connect enough. The progression of the world is more connection in the future. Solutions are being introduced on a daily basis on how to better connect. You have access to people. Use that resource to access who you are as an individual and as a business.
Your business may or may not have survived the 2020 pandemic. It is 2021 now. That is the past. I hope you learned from it and recognized opportunities to learn about you, your life, and your business. If you ever have played sports, consider your lane to the goal closed. Maybe the lane opened up. However, if it closed, what do you do as a business? You pivot. Pivoting your business to forward progress toward opportunity creates a synergy of positivity. You have two options in business. You can maintain your business or you can grow your business. Both options require change. Even to maintain your business, you will need to change as technology is advancing at a stellar rate. If you are retail, have you created an e-commerce site? If you are sales, have you explored the resources needed to make connections and build relationships for your business? If you are in education, how are children learning now, compared to 2 years ago? Homeschooling / virtual learning is happening because education systems pivoted their learning modules toward a need. The pandemic separated us and yet gave us opportunities to connect more. Has your business pivoted to the growing needs of your consumers?
When you combine the above ideas together, you find the need to build a community. In your business, partnering with other concepts, ideas, vendors, etc., can put you in a comfortable position to carry your business forward through anything. Understanding how people can learn, grow, and develop from each other through a partnership can excel your business above the competition. The right partners are important. Do they align to your vision? Are you competitors? Do you service the same customers? Can you imagine what a partnership would look like to them? Do your expectations meet each other so you have accountability for both? Partnering is a not an easy connection to make. The right partner will be best for you and your business. Partnering with family or even friends may not be the connection each of your businesses need to make hard decisions for the business. Understand the role of a partner and how each of you have value to bring to each other and to each other’s businesses.