2020 Lesson 3: You are not an island

This post isn’t actually about your business. Its about the truth that 2020 highlighted – the important things

In Lesson 1 I shared how two months ago my body betrayed me and I suddenly couldn’t work. You can read it here (it’s about being grateful, it’s worth reading…go look…). In Lesson 2, I shared the importance of having a team (yes, it’s also worth it… read it here).

The title of this lesson sounds like I am going to talk about teams again. And I kind-of am… but a much bigger one than the team you built for your business.

My worst and best moments in 2020 are both related to one thing. People.

I was very personally affected by losses suffered by people I care for. I was happily overwhelmed by the love shown to me when I suffered a loss.

We are social beings and we were not created to live (or work) in isolation. Building relationships is a vital part of human happiness. I am a rather extreme introvert and people tend to believe that introverts are anti-social, but this isn’t true. We are just very picky about how we connect.

I spent a large part of 2020 trying to learn, and somewhere in all my reading, I saw the comment that businesses should not be classified as B2C (Business to Customer) or B2B (Business to Business), because in actuality, they are ALL H2H – Human to Human.  I am not sure where I read this, it might have been on LinkedIn.

I love this. Businesses should be human to human and I don’t think there has been another time in history that has highlighted this as truth like 2020 did.

Some terrible things happened to businesses this year. Economies have been badly damaged, businesses have had to close, many people have lost jobs. Even those who have managed to cling to work still went through a couple of months with no pay.

At the same time, other businesses starting putting together food parcels. Or offering free cups of coffee, or free bowls of soup. Many companies gave their staff free online training, or arranged for free counselling and support. Individuals gathered together and did pop-ups and created new charities.

People looked after people.

Guess which businesses are going to survive?

No matter how consumer-driven your society is, nearly every single person will stop and take note when they see an act of kindness. Businesses that remember that people are not numbers on the balance sheet are the ones that will move forward into the future. They are the ones that should move forward.

But this post isn’t actually about your business. Its about the truth that a human-to-human business highlights – the important things in life are not things. People matter more than profit.

I would not have survived thirteen years of business ownership without my husband. And no, he wasn’t the perfect and supportive husband for every second of thirteen years. We both had moments when we failed horribly at relationships. But he was there for me in the moments that truly mattered and hopefully I was also there for him when he needed me most. 

Alongside my husband, I have parents who give me the freedom to be myself while always being available for advice. I have friends who put up with my introverted anti-social tendencies and make me go out and enjoy myself. I have family that I hardly ever see, but when I do its like we have never been apart. And I have my amazing business team, who are friends and family and colleagues. And I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything in the whole world.

Us business owners tend to get very wrapped up in our businesses. We focus on products and processes and profits. That’s all important, but they’re not All Important. This year it became very real to me that I could survive the loss of my business or my home or my physical belongings, but not my people.

That is our true source of joy, so don’t let all the other stuff overshadow what really matters – not in your business and definitely not in your life.

Original article written by our founder on LinkedIn, here.

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