Putting 2020 in the Rearview & Setting Up 2021 to be Explosive

On this solo episode, Don reflects on the tension and chaos of 2020, and gives tips on how to make 2021 explosive (in a good way).

Donald Thompson Podcast

Donald Thompson: Welcome to the Donald Thompson podcast. As we close out 2020, it’s time to take a moment for just a little reflection and a whole lot of thankfulness. This has been an incredible year.

No one could have imagined a pandemic, globally. The number of deaths, the number of people that have been disenfranchised with their careers, jobs environment, taking a back seat to something we’ve never seen before as a country, as a society. The racial unrest and the deaths, the murders of African-Americans, but the resilience of our society, where a group of people, millions of people, are standing up and saying enough is enough and working through change and growth.

The tension of the most chaotic presidential election I’ve literally ever seen, but yet we’re still moving forward. And that’s really what I want to describe to you today when we think about 2021, and we think about how to maximize our productivity, how to grow and scale your businesses, how to pivot your professional life and make 2021 a year of recovery, a year of resilience, and a year where you’re building the foundation, right, for your best possible life.

2021 is not just going to turn the corner and everything’s going to be okay. We have a vaccine that’s coming out and it’s a good thing that we’re starting the process, right, to give people another opportunity to protect themselves from COVID so that we can at least start the process of planning. It’s a beautiful thing in 2021, that masks are no longer political, right? Which was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen of all time. But now, at least people are thinking about a mask as something that can help this help make our society whole again, and we’re not politicizing every little thing.

These foundational things, that we can now put in the rear view mirror, can allow us to focus on the things we need to do as individuals to make 2021 explosive. So, here’s a couple of things when we’re thinking about goals.

Number one, there’s three types of people that we need to think about in 2021. Those people that can help you, those people that can hurt you and those people that don’t make any difference. When you write your goals down for 2021, beside each goal, you need to write down the people that can help you. Those are the people you need to get close to in 2021. The people that can give you that encouragement, enthusiastic support, that mentorship, that network effect to your goals and growth in your dreams.

The second thing is people that can hurt you. And unfortunately, there are people that can hurt you, and you need to keep an eye on them. And then we need to stop giving voice and power to people that just don’t make any difference, ’cause they’re not in the arena. They’re just noise makers.

As we’re looking at our goal for 2021, and we’re figuring out how to build that foundation how do you learn from 2020?

There’s been a lot of times of reflection, a lot of time to think about are you in the job you want to be in? Are you in the career you want to be in? Are you working with people that you respect trust, admire. Take that reflection time, that downtime that we have over the holidays, and enjoy your family ,enjoy some peace of mind, enjoy the ability to just to slow down, but also take a minute to be very intentional about understanding what you want in 2021 and beyond.

The biggest learning for me personally, you know, there’s a couple of things is it’s always good to remember that you have what it takes to push through. In 2020 was a struggle, but we’re so thankful at Walk West. We’re so thankful at The Diversity Movement that our businesses continued to move forward, that we’re able to push through and be resilient to serve our clients, to grow our brands to continue to have our dreams in motion enough that, that we can still believe the phrase “the best is yet to come.”

But, the biggest learning for me is back to resilience. I’ve talked to so many people that, whether it is mental health issues, whether it’s business issues, whether it’s relational issues, whether it’s health issues, but the majority of people that I talk to, we’re not giving into them. And I applaud you, I’m proud of you and you’ve encouraged me. Because we’re all dealing with things that are daunting, but we haven’t let those daunting things distract us from realizing our goals and dreams.

They may have put a couple of things on pause that may have slowed some things down a little bit, but they haven’t allowed themselves to integrate in our lives such that now we’re, we’re not thinking about the future in a positive way. So, the biggest thing I learned is how excited I am to be around to become a more resilient person and continue to push through and prosper.

The biggest point of advice that I would give is Cracker Barrel has amazing blueberry pancakes. And anytime I felt down from 2020, I put my mask on, head over to Cracker Barrel whenever they were open, and everything feels better after a couple of blueberry pancakes. It doesn’t mean the pancakes solve the problem, it just means it puts things in perspective. What do you need to do for you in your life for your – and significant other – for your family that puts you in the space to think more positively about things. For me, it’s a simple as a couple of blueberry pancakes, but in terms of relational and different things, let me talk to you about the big thing that I was reminded of.

And this is the biggest lesson I learned, lesson I remembered, and this is the parting shot and the parting thought.

Your network is your net worth. One of the reasons we’ve been able to push through 2020 and in lot of the businesses that I’m a part of is because we were able to grow new opportunities through the network effect of relationships, referrals, partnerships.

If a partner recommends you to a client, there’s a higher degree of trust in that relationship from the beginning, that means you’re going to get an up or no, upper or down, excuse me, on your proposal, on your pitch, on your presentation, faster than if you’re just cold calling. Faster than if somebody is just reacting to a digital ad.

So 2021: think about partnership, think about ways to expand your network and think about how to be a giver into the network relationships of others that you know. If you put good seed in the ground, good things will come back. So, that final parting thought, the thing to remember, is building your network is building your net worth in 2021.

Relationships, trust and respect that’s built in will allow you to be referred into opportunities, referred into mentoring relationships, referred into learning paths that will help you accelerate your goals beyond the challenges. I’m so thankful for the support, the gracious support from listeners, from clients, from friends and colleagues, and I wish you nothing but the best over the holidays with you and your family. I wish you safety, and I wish you prosperity and peace of mind as we go into 2021, DT over and out.

Full Episode Transcript

The Donald Thompson Podcast is hosted by Walk West CEO, mentor, investor, and Diversity and Inclusion Consultant Donald Thompson.

Music for this episode provided by Jensen Reed from his song, “You Can’t Stop Me”.

The Donald Thompson Podcast is edited and produced by Earfluence. For more on how to engage your community or build your personal brand through podcasting, visit Earfluence.com.

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