2020 has been a terrible year for us most and chances are that you didn’t end the year the way you thought you would at the beginning of 2020. A global pandemic struck the world, took millions of lives and deeply affected the rest. Plenty lost their job during this crisis and for the lucky few who didn’t, still had to face the mounting pressure of a deglobalized world with decreased travels and overall economy downturn. Businesses around the world took a hit with entrepreneurs and startups being hit the worst. Live and socialising events such as nightlight or event and wedding photography came to a complete standstill and would have been annihilated if not for government interventions.
Even our own business wasn’t spared as I personally went through one of the psychologically hardest year of my professional career. Within a matter of weeks, the local government went from “we have had it under control” to “we would have to introduce a lockdown to curb the spread“. I remember the very day the government announced that the country was about to go into a lockdown and that change would implement with immediate effect come Monday (it was Friday then). We had one weekend to film enough content, prep manpower and equipment for a work from home scenario, and strategise plans for all our digital marketing agency clients. The weekend was intense and crazy as we had to rush everything in 2 days. Then Monday came and it felt like the world has suddenly came to a standstill as we all begin our adaption to a work from home scenario.
The cessation of business activities meant that our wedding photography team was no longer in business and some of our digital marketing agency clients has had to owe us on credit because they themselves had no profit. The psychological pressure everyday was immense as my mental states switched between “I can do this” to “I cant do this” about 32423423434 times in a day. That sense of lostness of wanting to do something for your business yet not knowing what can you actually do. It was a scenario that no one could ever prep for.
2020 was a terrible year for me and my business, but I’m not even complaining because I know so many others who have had it worst. But as we close off the year, I was doing some personal reflection and I started comparing who I was in 2020 against who I was a decade ago in 2010.
In 2010, I was just a NSF like any others my age serving the nation, earning an allowance of just S$600/mth. It didn’t seem possible then, but today, 10 years later, I’m earning 6 figures whilst following my passion. And when I look back at that, it made me feel glad.
So while yes 2020 was a shit year, and thanks to recency biased, it’s easy to feel that it’s the worst point of our lives and that we are down and trapped in the gutters. But like how the S&P500 does better on some years and worst on others, stocks always going up in the long run and has been for the past 50 years.
Instead of looking at what you have done for the past year, expand your timeframe you are looking at and compare yourself to who you were 5 years ago, 10 years ago or even 20 years ago. Because if you have never gave up and lived by the 1% better everyday theory, I’m sure you would be twice the person you were today than you were back in 2010.
My biggest take away from 2020 was to “just keep going”. That even on days when I was struck down to my knees, and all hopes seemed lost, I found the courage to stand back up, grit my teeth and just keep going. And as long as you keep doing that, sometimes life works itself in mysterious ways as our digital marketing agency managed to close a new client during a time we weren’t even looking for one. And even if a big break like this dont happen, as long as you keep improving you are almost guaranteed to be an even better person/entrepreneur than you are today when 2030 rolls along.