Today’s close look by Drew McLellan of AMI
|First — many of you let me know, after last week’s note, that apparently the locusts are on their way. I shouldn’t have been surprised!
Many of you also wrote that the piece resonated with you because you were struggling to even think about the agency, let alone buckle down and focus on the work you need to do. I think that’s where we’ve all been for the last couple of weeks.
And it’s no wonder. Here’s what 2020 has looked like so far (you may have to adjust dates based on your location in the world):
January – March 15th:
March 15th – March 31st: A cocktail mix of panic and paralysis as COVID-19 strikes, clients hit the pause button, and we have to figure out this WFH thing.
April 1st – April 25th: Starting to get our groove back. Gov’t relief funds in the bank and starting to have meaningful conversations with our clients and our team. Had our first decent night’s sleep in awhile, no matter if we lost no business or half our business. We are getting used to the discomfort of not knowing.
April 25th – May 25th: Hey — we’re going to be okay. Landed a new client or two, some clients slowly coming back, and our virtual happy hours are a highlight of the week. We’re beginning to think about going back to the office. And many of us have gotten a haircut!
May 26th – now: A new mix of emotions as we watch the protests, struggle with the raw reality of racism, and in many parts of the US, live under a curfew until the violence settles down.
Tomorrow: Will yours be red or green? Look at the pattern so far. Cooking with gas, then knocked to our knees, struggling to stand up, and then stand tall. Just to get knocked to our knees again.
The way you moved from the panic and paralysis season of COVID-19 is that you believed you had no choice. You just forced yourself to focus, to fight, to serve your clients, and to sell. You took care of your team when you thought your tank was empty and you made smart decisions along the way.
You decided there was no other acceptable path. Yes, it was like climbing a mountain in the dark. But it was the only way forward. And so you not only climbed the mountain — you scaled it and stood on the summit to catch your breath.
Today, someone on my Facebook feed asked the question “at what age is one too old to hide from the world in a blanket fort?” I totally get it. But we can’t afford to hide or wait. Nothing we are facing right now is a quick fix. Holding our breath and just waiting until it’s over isn’t an option. We have to be able to survive and thrive as we go through it.
You know this drill. If you wait for the perfect time to launch a business, fire a bad client, have a baby, or grow a mustache — you’ll never do any of them. You do them when you find the courage to do them, even though it’s never the perfect moment.
That’s what we have to do right now. We have to decide that despite everything our world is going through right now — it’s time to fight for our focus. It’s time to decide forward is the only path.
You’re at the base of the mountain. Are you just going to set-up camp and wait or are you going to step out into the dark and start climbing?
I wish I could make it easier. But what I can do is remind you that you are not climbing the mountain alone.