2020 came at us like a freezing, blinding blizzard, forcing us to take refuge – both literally, and psychologically. While the storm still hovers overhead, your brand has an opportunity to be a warm little cottage with a fireplace and hot cocoa; a haven for us to regather strength.
1. 2020 put our mental health to the test. The next shift will see consumers focus on self-compassion – looking inwards to find solace through healthy survival mechanisms. Brands that support better physical and mental wellbeing will have a stronger resonance.
2. Time is precious, and better spent relaxing, with family, outdoors, sleeping… save of much of it as you can by automating processes, and set boundaries on your time.
3. Resilience isn’t just about endurance. Rest, boundaries, and recharging are all essential to your long- term success. Internalize these ideas, and then spread the message.
4. How can you express a sense of comfort and reassurance for your audience, and your employees? How can you care for others in a seemingly disconnected virtual world?
5. Amid the trauma and stress of the pandemic, we have also witnessed a re-appreciation of the simple things, and an optimistic recognition of what needs to change to create a better society in the future.
6. Whether it’s an antidote to the new normal of on-screen living, or the general slowing down of daily life, people are demonstrating a desire to reconnect with nature.
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Where do we even begin? 2020 was just such a big KAPOW! to the nervous system, that most of us are still feeling frazzled. It was a year of personal and global introspection, and though we’re trying to stay focused on all the opportunities that emerged as a result of this… let’s just take a moment to acknowledge how difficult it was. There will be 2020 memes for years to come, but the toll it took on our mental health was no joke.
There is some comfort in knowing that you definitely weren’t the only one experiencing anxiety, fear, or despair on the daily. We all felt it. With this awareness, came unprecedented empathy and solidarity across the globe, tearing down some of the last taboos around mental health.
It’s all too easy to slip back into hyperdrive mode, pushing our bodies and brains beyond capacity in some imagined race. How about we don’t do that? How about we strive for more balance in 2021, with a view to long-term endurance? How about we carry forward the idea that we’re all facing very similar struggles, and do our best to help each other out where we can? That sounds nice…
Fill Your Cup
As much as you’re gunning to hit the ground running, remember to pace yourself for the entrepreneurial marathon. Wearing busyness as a badge just isn’t cool anymore. Nobody’s marveling at the hours you’ve clocked. Results count for more, but your personal happiness index counts the most. Stress typically shuts down productivity, and sets in motion destructive cycles of poor sleep, unconscious eating, and no exercise. Rest, nourishment, and some fresh blood pumping to the brain from time to time, will fuel your journey. As we like to say (it’s one of our company values in fact): “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
In and amongst all the bad stuff, 2020 gave us all a chance to re-evaluate the larger picture of our lives: more time with family, in the garden, in the kitchen, nurturing new hobbies. It wasn’t a daydream, it was a rare glimpse of what really matters to us. Hold onto it, and let it energize you.
The beauty of online business is that it runs 24/7. But if we operate in the same way, burnout is inevitable. Try and use 2021 to simplify or automate as many of your daily business processes as you can. Tech is at hand to help you respond to messages, design content, and multiply your e-commerce presence. A personal touch will still be crucial, but it requires the freeing up of time otherwise spent on mundane tasks.
Let the robots take the night shift night in your team, enabling you to log off at a decent hour, with enough time left in the day to walk the dog, cook dinner, meet up with a friend, and still hopefully get eight hours of sleep. That 11pm email can wait for the morning. You’re not being rude by establishing some boundaries on your time – you’re conserving your customer service energy. Whether it’s on your website, email sign-off, or on social media, make your operating hours known. Once you begin respecting them, others will follow.
In this chapter we’ve focused mainly on strategies for you to maintain your own stamina and sanity as an everyday entrepreneur, but as a brand there’s a huge opportunity to be a beacon of positivity for others. Now more than ever, people are looking for positivity and optimism. If your brand can offer some of that, we’re here for it.
Everybody wants to leave 2020 in the rearview mirror, and flourish again in 2021, so consider adding some relentless positivity to your content calendar in 2021. This could be as simple as sharing motivational quotes, insights from a great book you’ve been reading, or some of your own tips for keeping it together when stress attacks. These might be related to your business in some way, but they could also just be an exercise in humanism, developing positive sentiment to your brand.
Hope Springs Eternal
It might feel a bit fluffy, but try and take some time to internalize passionate optimism for the year ahead. I mean, there’s no way it can be worse than the one we’ve just had, right? Things can only get better! Meditate on it. Repeat upbeat mantras to yourself until they become truths (“This is my year!” / “My business will have great success!” / “It’s a brilliant idea!” / “I’ve got this!”) – or design some motivational posters for your home office. Respond to every negative thought with a positive one.
When you’re feeling fired up, it’ll be much easier to radiate that positivity out to the world authentically. Little as you might be in your industry, you can still take a leading role in inspiring your community. If your messaging and general brand persona can make us feel better about ourselves, or believe in ourselves a little more, we’ll gravitate towards you.
2021 will be a year of mental fortitude. There’s a long hike out of the canyon, so start putting in your optimism reps right now!
Smell The Roses
After being cooped up for most of the year, reconnecting with nature will be a priority for many of us in 2021. It’s always been there to charge our batteries, and shift our perspective, but we took it for granted in hindsight. For yourself, remember to get outside as often as you can, and grab weekends away whenever the opportunity arises. For your brand, consider using more natural images and graphics in your social aesthetic. Tap into a prevailing sentiment of freedom that resonates with us all, and be that little window of fresh mountain air in our feeds.
It’s not only nature we’re re-appreciating. It’s all the simple things in life too: time with family and friends, cooking, eating, napping, reading, gardening. Taking a stroll through the neighborhood. The same things your great-grandparents probably did in their free time. Balancing screen time with good old fashioned being human time is a healthy survival mechanism for the year ahead. It’s also known to unlock parts of the brain where great ideas come from.
Foregrounding an appreciation for the simple things in life is a strategy you can try out with confidence in 2021, whether that’s through design, content ideas, teaching moments, or events. It’s from a basis of knowing what we really need and cherish in our lives, that we can build the tomorrow we all want.
Take A Nap
I mean, why not? Nobody’s looking. You have our permission.
3 Things You Can Do Today
1. Establish business hours, post them on your website, and try your best to work within these.
2. Add motivational posts to your weekly content calendar.
3. Schedule a weekend off, and try and get into nature. You'll be amazed at how something so simple can recharge your batteries.
Find all of these templates – and thousands more – in Over. Make them your own with customized colors, fonts, and graphics, and take your brand to the next level in 2021. This is the year it happens!