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A Dose of Positivity

Well, 2020 was an unforgettable year. At Tenato, we have been working remotely, and in some cases, very remotely, as one key member of our team had gone to Australia and ended up staying there for about 6 months while trying to get flights home!

In thinking about how to finish off this year’s blog, I had a mish-mash of ideas. So that’s a little of what this blog is…

Business Reflections

I feel very fortunate that our business has fared so very well through 2020 (the nature of being able to consult remotely helps!), and that all of our clients have continued to grow and progress through the year. But while we can be grateful, we must not take all the credit; the pandemic has created a cruel selection process, and being on the winning side of that doesn’t give us the right to feel superior to those who have lost so much this year.

To those businesses who have had to close, in some cases permanently, remember that entrepreneurship is an education you could have never gotten in school – it is like a degree that no one can take away – and I would argue that it is far more valuable than any business degree. So if your business had to close, your next business will have the benefit of the learning you earned. Having met hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs through my career – I can tell you one thing: Once an Entrepreneur, always an Entrepreneur. You will be back!

And Now for a Little Fun

Sometimes it helps to think about the things we still can enjoy, rather than the things we can’t. And so, I would like to offer you a few creative ways you might be able to enjoy a holiday season and feel more “in the spirit”, despite the current lockdown:

  • Skate your troubles away! Skating rinks are a good place to see friends and cohorts, as long as you keep your distance. Seek out ones that are less busy, and you’ll have no issues feeling safe while you skate.
  • Hit the mountains or trails. There are a ridiculous number of hiking trails waiting to be discovered. There are trail-finding apps like All Trails, and these can tell you the length, level of difficulty, and ratings. You’ll wonder why you never bothered to seek them out all these years until now!
  • Share something you create. Artistic endeavours – whether visual arts, performing music, or culinary… are wonderful ways to connect with your neighbours. Do a live stream if you play music, (or pipe the music out your front porch!), make some cool stuff to give your neighbours, or do something nuttier like building snowmen or doing snow-angels on everybody else’s lawns! Be an elf, be Santa Claus – they exist if you make them exist!
  • Make a game of your own. Here’s cute idea: a neighbour of ours suggested a scavenger hunt in the community where the participants need only to spot the unique Christmas lights, for example, “Find a Santa with his reindeer. Find Frosty the Snowman.”….and then we made a sheet where people fill in the locations and posted it on the local Community Facebook Group page. I’ve asked people to email them to me when complete, and we’ll come up with little prizes for completion. What’s even better is that other neighbours are donating the prizes, which can be anything they might like to give away, just for fun (read: a lot of random craziness!). Here’s another one: I’m thinking of turning Crossword puzzles into a team sport. Rather than Googling for the answer, call someone you think will know the answer. It will give you a chance to reconnect with all sorts of people you haven’t chatted to in years.
  • Do anything…in a silly costume. Got a costume? Wear it wherever you go. It will give people a lift and and a smile. You have to cover your face anyway….why not go all the way?

The point is to connect

I guess what I’m saying is that we need to be creative about staying positive, and helping other people do the same!

So I’ll leave you with one final thought…whether it’s for business or personal reasons, in the last few months of working at home, I’ve noticed a distinct difference in my positivity between the days where I have phone calls (or one-on-one video calls) and the ones where I do not. Talking to people personally is something everyone needs right now. I’ve had a few research projects where I’ve had reason to speak to lots of new people, and often the calls end up being much longer than anticipated because people are just craving human interaction with someone other than the same few people they see all the time. So whether it’s through business, or doing a team-sport style Crossword puzzle, just call!

You need it. And they need it. You’ll be glad you did.

Stay Safe Friends! Let’s all create some joy this Christmas, and make 2021 a year of hope and happiness in whatever way we can!

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Jacqueline Drew
About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm, MBA is founder and CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a marketing research and strategy firm with bases in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. With over 25 years' experience in all facets of marketing strategy, she is a business consultant, trainer and speaker who loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win."