After the year we had in 2020, I think we can all agree that content attempting to predict or forecast trends for the year ahead (or even next week) is toast.
Instead, we’re harnessing the momentum to move forward in a flow state — embracing the obstacles and opportunities that come our way with curiosity, creativity and innovation.
Our collective experience in 2020 was underpinned by frantic energy and sudden change. Yet every blow seemed to have an equal and opposite reaction — a silver lining, if you will — that reminded us to be purposeful, connected, and expand our consciousness.
And while time is a continuum, there’s something magical about the fresh start of a new year that cultivates feelings of hope and expansion — an opportunity to reset and establish new goals that align with our purpose.
If you’re open to dabbling in the metaphysical, like me, you might have used the final full moon of 2020 to reflect and release before calling in the new year. And if you’re more practically inclined, perhaps you took a moment to ponder the year that was and simply set some intentions or resolutions.
Rather than setting a word for the year, making resolutions, or attempting to predict what happens next, I thought I’d share the approach I’m taking to embrace this magical new beginning.
After all, ‘how to manifest’ was searched more times on Google last year than ‘how to become president’ — which kinda makes me think that the real power has rested within us all along.
Practical and purposeful
When it comes to setting business goals, we’re striving to be both practical and purposeful. In terms of practicality, as a business Young Folks needs to make ends meet. Like most businesses, we’ve set ourselves overarching financial targets and professional development goals for our team. But it’s also important to zoom out and take a macro view of our role and influence in the broader community of business and consumers.
Marketing has the potential to influence consumer behaviour at a grassroots level which can, in turn, flow upstream to create bigger shifts. Young Folks’ reason for existence is to embrace this potential and wield it for good by helping conscious companies achieve their greatest positive impact.
So whenever we make a decision, no matter how practical, we always consider alignment with our purpose.
Reflection: Consider your purpose. Other than making bank, what are your intentions within the business and professional landscape? How can you use business as a conduit to create positive change and align with your purpose
Action: Revisit your brand mission and vision statements and ensure they are aligned with your purpose and intentions for the year ahead. Update your company handbook and brand guidelines and brief your team on practical and purposeful goals for 2021.
Creative and innovative
According to Google search statistics, we’re embracing change and looking to the future more than wanting to go back to how things were. In fact, ‘how to change the world’ was searched twice as much as ‘how to go back to normal’.
While ‘pivot’ might have been one of the most frequently mentioned words to summarise the collective shift experienced by the business community, it was creativity and innovation that enabled this realignment. And we’re here for it.
Given there are just nine years left to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, returning to the status quo seems futile — instead it’s crucial that businesses and consumers alike put their attention on making the world a more sustainable place.
After a successful two-day workshop with the team in December, we’ll be planning more opportunities to be creative and innovative and feed this into achieving positive change.
Reflection: Consider how creativity and innovation have played a role in growth for your company. Did an innovative solution to an obstacle create new opportunities? How has creative thinking supported expansion and abundance?
Action: Commit to taking time out from the day-to-day operations to allow dedicated space and time for creativity and innovation. Rally together a group of people with entrepreneurial spirit and a penchant for solving problems and riff on ideas for expansion and growth.
Connected to community
Despite being physically distanced, we found togetherness in connection to community and a sense of expanded consciousness. In fact, according to Google search statistics ‘how to be an ally’ was searched more times than ‘how to be an influencer’.
Now that’s a happy statistic.
As we found new ways to remain in touch while we’re apart, it became clear that connection wasn’t enough — rather, we were seeking a sense of belonging.
As brands that are acting in alignment with our purpose, it’s never been more important to find (or carve out) your niche and connect deeply and authentically with your community.
This means getting to know your audience beyond demographic profiles and allowing space for real conversation to flow. It also means active listening (not just broadcasting marketing messages without consideration for the context in which they’re received).
Reflection: Consider how community has played a role in your trajectory. How do you connect with your community and show them that you care? What does your community look to you for? How can you be more considerate of your community individually and collectively?
Action: Review your marketing communications through the lens of community connection and determine ways that you can elevate your marketing to be in alignment with your purpose and the values and expectations of your community.
2020 was rough. But I absolutely believe our collective experience has alchemised to make us more resilient, more connected, and more in alignment with truth than ever before. So whatever this new year brings, we can handle it.
Let’s go, 2021.