2020 could be described as a year to forget… or could it be described as a year to remember?

I know I was not alone in struggling with the restrictions and challenges of COVID-19 outlined in Debra’s article. The effects on our business, the effects on our families. The disappointments of well-prepared plans being set aside. 

For us, the year 2020 started positively with many opportunities for our young business. Training workshops were scheduled with strong interest being received from other industries through referrals from satisfied customers. Additionally, follow up training had been planned with dates scheduled and in the process of being arranged.

Like many others within the Kitchen and Bathroom industry, we were excited to be participating as a sponsor in an industry tour of Italy attending the Eurocucina Exhibition in Milan. This was to be followed by planned meetings with UK and European companies expressing interest in our Communication Skills Workshops.

So, you can imagine our initial reactions and concerns over the strict government responses to the threats imposed by COVID-19 requiring us to postpone or cancel these plans.

On the positive side, the limitations on business activity imposed by the required restrictions opened many other doors of opportunity. To work around the restrictions of COVID such as travel, direct contact with workshop participants and potential customers required us to explore alternative methods of contact and conducting training sessions.

Like many, I became more familiar with ZOOM and Team Viewer. “Am I on mute?”  will go down as the most consistently heard statement for 2020.

Being totally honest, which I always prefer to be, I was sceptical about the effectiveness of video conferencing for training purposes. My “Negative and Limiting Beliefs” kicked in big time! What I found was that most of us – presenters and participants – adapted ourselves to make these video conference communications effective and productive. It became the new, accepted normal.

Continuing the positive side, restrictions also provided time to declutter, get organised, investigate shelved ideas, plan, and prepare. Communication with family and friends became more caring and genuinely interested in the other persons wellbeing. I found myself looking for the good news and where possible, avoiding the negative reports as well as doing what I intuitively knew was in my best interest.

I started to do more for me. I found opportunities to connect with lifetime friends and family spending quality time. I explored some of my heritage and history, doing things that I had consistently said “I will get around to that one day” …

Like many others, we decided to use our freedom of time to explore our amazing country as referred to in Debra’s article. We were met with such strong appreciation and gratitude from regional areas that have certainly been struggling in some cases throughout extended drought and hardship. We have created so many valuable memories that inspire us to do more. For this we are so grateful.

Which brings me to my strongest realisation for 2020.

Gratitude is one of the most powerful feelings to have and hold on to when we find ourselves focusing on “the negatives”.

We can all become consumed with what we believe we do not have rather than gratitude for what we do have.

I choose to enter 2021 with gratitude and joy.

I join Debra in wishing all our friends, contacts and customers a very happy healthy and safe holiday period leading to an outstanding successful New Year 2021.

Ron.