2022—A Year in Review
Sharing what we’ve learned about business, life, and marketing as we prepare for a new year.
Each year we like to pause, reflect, and identify what we’ve learned over the past 365 days. Some years feel joyful, some tense, and some are just a bit of a blur.
This year has definitely had a few common themes for our team, perhaps you can relate. Here are our takeaways from 2022:
Overwhelmed is understated
Sometimes the problems of the world—life, work, communities, environment, government, the list goes on—feel so big it’s impossible to know where to start or how to focus. People feel paralyzed by fear, worry about saying the wrong thing, or think they will be judged for personal beliefs. The outcome has become apathy, loss of interest, and people stepping back and not engaging in tough conversations or taking important actions when they are needed the most.
The solution starts with empathy to realize our common ground and how overwhelmed we all feel. Once we recognize our shared place of start, we can move to purposeful action. Allow time for uncomfortable conversations where all sides of difficult issues are given space. Make sure all people feel safe and all voices feel respected. And recognize this requires a process, not just one conversation. Together, we can take back our sense of being overwhelmed about the world and turn it into a shared sense of ownership for making the world a better place.
Humans want more
When it comes to work and to life, we want more—more meaning, more flexibility, more work-life balance. The pandemic reminded us that life is short and we need to value what’s truly important because unfortunately nothing lasts forever: kids grow up, parents grow old, friends drift apart, time marches on for us all whether we want it to or not. Taking time to enjoy moments of peace, happiness, and loving relationships is where the real meaning of life can be found. Brands, employers, and workers who have figured this out are taking the lead.
It's time to show up for yourself
A consistent theme we saw in work and in life this year was related to self-care. Whether you are a person or an organization, you won’t be strong enough to be there to serve others if you don’t take time to nurture your own needs first. Businesses have to invest in their own operations if they want to grow, caregivers need to take care of their own health to stay healthy for others, and all of us need to prioritize “me” time to manage our own mental, social, and emotional wellbeing. Showing up for yourself may have been seen as a selfish act of the past, but it’s being redefined as a wise and preserving act of smart leaders of the future, and we think that’s a good thing.
Commitment is everything
Although we want to believe things are getting back to normal, we know there isn’t a new normal yet. This period of transition has been taxing. Sometimes the best way to get through uncertain times is to keep your head down and move forward, trusting better things lie ahead—like a bison herd that doesn’t try to hide from an incoming storm, but rather marches into it, knowing the fastest way out is straight through the other side.
This requires a bit of attitude and a commitment to swiftly move forward. It also requires you to realize the world doesn’t change overnight, but small changes can add up quickly. Here in Minnesota, the two extra minutes of sunlight we’ll get each day in January will make all the difference. As a team, we also recognize no one makes big changes on their own. Just like a herd, all of us working together making small steps in the right direction add up to big things that matter. This has been true in our business, in our personal lives, and in what we have seen in the world around us this year.
The future doesn’t come easy
Let’s not forgot, change is hard and moving into this new future we see where people engage in difficult conversations, find more meaning in life, show up for themselves, and move ahead swiftly with commitment isn’t going to happen without a bit of work. Change may not always feel natural, but it’s inevitable. There will always be new challenges and new things to learn. 2022 has certainly taught us that. And it has left us with the confidence that the struggle will be worth it.
In the end, if you learn something, you will grow, you will evolve, and you will be more than you were the year before. 2023 is coming and we are ready to keep on keeping on. Happy New Year everyone!