Now that we are a month into 2022 I am sure that most of us would admit that 2021 was a year to … forget? Remember? I don’t even know at this point. It was a challenging year in many regards, let’s just put it that way. However challenging does not necessarily mean bad. Challenging can mean that there were hurdles to overcome, that there were setbacks put in front of massive projects you were trying to complete, that there were obstacles placed before you that you needed to overcome and that is not fun, easy or enjoyable but it does not mean that you should forget and move on from them. If you are reading this right now, you survived the trials and tribulations that 2021 had to offer which means that you should not forget but reflect. 

I know what you are thinking… February is not a typical month of reflection. Oftentimes that is found in December and January as the year comes to a close or as a new year begins and while resolutions are amazing take a minute with me today to continue that train of personal development forward rather than leaving it in January as those resolutions fizzle in front of you.

Perhaps the steel shortage paused a project that you were really excited about. 

Perhaps you had a staffing shortage … because everyone did and still does. 

Perhaps you had to close the plant down due to a covid outbreak. 

Whatever the struggles of 2021 were, let me remind you, you survived. So the question remains then, what do you do with those trials that are now behind you and how do you move forward? I hate to be the one to break it to you but in business no one gets a participation ribbon just for showing up. So rather than being excited that you survived it and being blinded to the potential conflict coming your way in 2022, revisit those trials and turn them into lessons. 

Learn And Live 

Being a lifelong learner is something that a lot of people hold in high regard but just because 2 people endorsed you as a “lifelong learner” on LinkedIn does not actually make you one. Intentional recollection of challenges placed in front of you and taking deliberate actions towards recalling those things and working through them is what makes you a lifelong learner. Dissecting the issues, understanding where they came from (whether that be government, situational or internal), why they lasted so long and how you overcame them then taking that new information learned or newly acquired skills into the future of your business is what earns you that title. Never glaze over your past just because it was not idealistic. Learn and Live and move forward with more grace and knowledge into future scenarios. 

If You Fail, Fail With Grace

Oftentimes the concept of failure can be crippling to so many people which is understandable but not necessary. Failing is inevitable and will happen to every single person on this planet at some point in their life so please do not feel alone in failure. The ability to recover from failure is what makes a truly strong person but we just discussed that so let’s take a step back and learn how to fail – but how to fail gracefully. With the understanding that everyone has failed at some point or another, being honest and upfront about your failure is essential to saving that relationship moving forward rather than sweeping it under a rug and pretending it is not happening. 

We hire people for a living, we get lots of orders through our door and YES sometimes we fail. Sometimes we can’t find the perfect person to match the role that you need filled but rather than telling you we have 3 candidates on the line and are simply “waiting to see how they pan out”, we will be up front and honest about the fact that we simply have been unable to help you at this point in time. It does not mean that will not change in a day or a week or even a year down the road but having transparency with your clients in regards to how their product or service is going could create a better lasting relationship that offers the ability to win later. Failure is inevitable but recovering with grace offers more opportunity than pretending things are ok when they are not.

It Is Never Too Late To Change The Plan

Perhaps you had a New Years resolution that is not going according to plan. Maybe you wanted to get to the gym more in January than you did. Maybe you were not able to hit your target in invoices this month and the year simply does not seem to be off to a good start. That is unfortunate and I am sorry that you are disappointed however that does not give you the permission to throw in the towel now. You have experienced one out of twelve months that this year has to offer. You have eleven months left to alter the plans accordingly and continue to push forward. If you failed gracefully and retained your client, if you learned from your experiences then it is time to revisit the drawing board and alter the original plan to match the environment you are in today. 

2021, not unlike 2020 was a hard year and while a lot of people will block out or forget about the frustrations that it held, it is important to recall, learn, and move forward with hopes that the lessons you took away from it will only help you be stronger and better in the future.