My 2020 Reflections: 20 Lessons Learned In An Extraordinary Year
1. Coping With Crisis Isn't A Competition
Just like every other year, I started the year 2020 with a set of goals to achieve, I broke it down into daily and weekly deliverables and was ready to kick asses for the year but boom the pandemic happened.
Few weeks after the lockdown was declared, I saw people who had gotten over the shock quickly, sharing the results they're getting, certificates they've bagged, and so on. And I felt like I wasn't doing enough and I judged my achievements based on other people's.
But I later realized that not bouncing back quickly from the shock and disruption doesn't make me a bad person.
It's okay to slow down, take a break, and recharge. It’s ok to come out of quarantine with some extra pounds or an unchecked to-do list. Sometimes the most productive thing one can do is to rest. It’s ok to take a break until you are you again.
2. Self-care Is Not Selfish
Self-care is a priority, not a privilege.
In 2020, I learned to put myself first. I realized that in order to help those around me, I had to be stable mentally, emotionally, and physically.
I had a social media detox for over a month. I took myself out more. I spent time learning more about myself.
3. Invest In Your Personal Growth.
I paid for several online classes in 2020, because, our mind is the most valuable asset, investing in knowledge is the best investment ever, and everything depends on it.
Taking several paid and unpaid online courses paid off several months later as I got a job offer as an intern and later got promoted as full-time staff.
I was also able to work with several brands to improve their online strategies and increase their sales revenue online.
Investment in oneself can be reading books, taking courses, and so on.
4. Taking A Break Is Productive.
Even when things get rough, or work seems to be putting pressure on me, I create time to see movies or read novels.
Work is important, but it shouldn’t consume your life.
5. The Future Is Now.
I learned to stop believing in “waiting for life to start again” or "the future will be better" stuff.
This is life.
Be intentional with everything you do, "the future" you want depends on it
As cheesy as it sounds, I know now that all we have is, well, now.
Nothing will change unless you change them.
Don’t wait for the future to change things, change the things you can right now!
If your life cannot write a book, write a paragraph. If not a paragraph, write a sentence. If not a sentence, write a phrase. If a phrase is too hard to write, write a word.
Doing nothing is evil! - Timmy Brain
6. What You Don’t Keep Track, You Lose Track — Timmy Brain
Keeping track helps you realize your shortcomings, celebrate your wins(big or small), and push you to do better.
7. Relationship Matters.
The people around you says a lot about you.
Those around me have always contributed to my success.
Always pushing me beyond my self-imposed limitations, believing in me when I stopped believing in myself.
In 2020, I got a friend who invited me to speak at Ekiti State Television on the topic; Social media is the new CV.
Most of the clients I got were mostly from referrals from my close circles.
Having the right set of people in my life definitely made 2020 easier to cope with.
8. What You Don’t Ship Can’t Tip —Timmy Brain
I have a Notepad where I listed out several ideas I would love to push out in 2020, but I kept waiting for the right time and when it’s all perfect.
So they remained what they are - ideas.
It’s not enough to just write down our goals and plans for a new year, if you don’t ship your ideas, they won’t ever tip. You can’t measure or track the result of an idea you never pushed out.
One of my failures for 2020 was having several ideas but never acting on them.
9. What You Don’t Practice, You Can’t Master — Timmy Brain
I can easily attribute my success of winning the Best writer of the year in Futurex Digital to consistent practice and adequate mentoring from Timmy Brain himself.
The expert you see today had worked hard to get to the top of his game. It’s okay to admire them, but understand the fact that it takes sleepless nights of practice to become a master at any skills you intend to learn.
10. Happiness Is Self-Created.
Laugh at your jokes.
Take yourself out on dinner.
Spend time with your loved ones.
The point is, happiness is cultivated naturally by the choices you make and the people you surround yourself with.
11. Don’t Take Anything For Granted
Life spares no one!
Losing my elder sister suddenly(no prior sickness or anything) in the last quarter of 2020 was the wake-up call for me.
I wished I had spent more time with her, I wish I told her how much I loved her.
But it’s all wishes and I’m learning to love fully now, bare my heart and show people around me I care.
Appreciate everything and everyone around you.
12. Practice Gratitude
As bizarre as it seems. I am grateful for the oddness of 2020. I continue to discover more about myself, and who I want to become.
Business And Marketing Lessons.
13. People Buy Solutions, Not Features
I talk to brands who think they have a great product, and many times they do but aren’t seeing the sales they would expect despite all their marketing. It’s often because they’re not connecting with their customers’ problems. Whenever someone buys something, they’re trying to solve a problem.
14. Repurpose And Recycle
An easy way to create less content, but still keep up with the publishing demands of each platform is to repurpose a single piece of content in multiple formats and to recycle it throughout the year
15. Talk To Your Ideal Audience, Not Your Current Audience
I worked with some brands that have one audience demographics, but they’re really after a different or new audience demographic. They need to make this shift to be successful in the future. But when developing a message that’s different and targets their ideal audience, they get worried about alienating their current audience. So they try to find a happy middle ground and appeal to both groups, but end up not resonating with either.
16. Talk To Your Customers
If 2020 taught me anything it’s that 2021 is going to be the year of the customer. We have got to put the customer front and center in everything we do.
Talk to your customers. Find out what matters to them. Then create solutions to their problems.
17. Make Relationships Your Number One Priority
Strong relationships can truly make your business
No matter what size the company, the relationships you have with your customers, employees, and suppliers are everything. Without having valued relationships, your business has nothing to build on and no real foundation for the future.
18. Be Open To Innovation Quarantines and lockdowns have changed customer behavior and movement, so brands need to think creatively to stay relevant.
19. Post With Intention
In the digital content space, there can be overwhelming anxiety to just keep up. Whether it’s blog posts, videos, social media, or emails, there’s so much content everyone is pumping out that you feel the pressure to keep producing. While consistency is important, so is quality. Don’t make crap. It’ll hurt you more than if you did nothing at all.
20. Make Things Simpler
There’s a temptation to add more flashy stuff because we think it’s more effective. So we add more words, more graphics, and more features. But that only creates more options and confusion for your audience. Whether it’s on your website, emails, or print marketing, keep it clear and concise. Ask if an element needs to be there, and how it helps the customer make a decision
20 Books I Read in 2020
Confession of an advertising man - David Oglivy
Boron Letters - Gary Halbert
How to write a good advertisement - Victor Schwar
Contagious - John Berger
Attention Merchant - Tim Wu
Tribe - Seth Godin
No B.S Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing - Dan Kennedy & Kim Walsh - Phillips
The 100$ Startup - Chris Guillebeau
Ted Talks Storytelling - Akash Karia
Personal Development Books
Business and life lessons from a Black Dragon - Vusi Thembakwayo.
Atomic Habits - James Clear
Alchemist - Paul Cohelo
Blink - Malcolm Gladwell
History/ Non -Fiction
The laundrymen - Jeffery Robinson
Emirs, Envagelicals and empires - Ian Linden
Soldiers of Fortune - Max Siloun.
The Fisherman - Chigozie Obioma
The Girl with the louding voice - Abi Dare
The Godfather - Mario Puzo.
My 5 Top Apps For 2020 .
We don’t always have answers to the questions life throws at us but that doesn’t mean we have to stop seeking or searching for them.
2020 is one challenging year! A year that came at a great cost. But I’m a believer in optimism and I’m grateful for the level of growth I’ve been able to attain.