2020 was the best year of my professional life. Why? I lost my job due to COVID-19.
For a couple of years prior to 2020, I had been flirting with leaving the corporate world and starting my own business, but I was hesitant to take any real action in that direction. I had an excellent position in learning and development with an international company and a decent salary, yet I knew that I was bumping my head against the corporate ceiling.
I was no longer fulfilled in my role. It was time for me to spread my wings and accelerate into my potential, but I was scared to let go of my secure perch.
I had a burning desire to become a professional speaker under my own brand. It was a move that had me energized with possibility but paralysed with fear. I rationalised my procrastination by proclaiming that I was at the beginning of a 'transition’ and wanted to be ‘strategic’ about my career move, not rash or abrupt.
Then 2020 happened and all of our prudent long-term visions went sailing out the window.
My redundancy came in April, rather early into the great coronavirus upheaval, which I’m grateful for in hindsight because the bandage was ripped off for me.
Once the initial shock of unemployment settled, I realised that life was handing me a choice. I could choose to see a setback that I lost my job and income, or I could choose to see a clearing of the path and courageously launch my own business and brand.
The power would be in my perspective.
Over the next several months, I threw myself into learning everything that I could about speaking professionally. I allowed myself to be an awkward beginner. I said yes to every opportunity and reached out to influencers and organisations where I could grow from.
I learned that asking for help is the bravest and the wisest thing we can ever do. I learned that when we lean in and show a willingness to be teachable, the teachers appear. I learned power is always in our perspective.
This year was a raging success for me because I chose to see it that way. I chose to make sacrifices. I lived lean. I did hundreds of hours of work for free. Things didn’t happen in my desired timeframes. Sometimes it didn’t feel good, but I kept reminding myself that everything that happens can be either a setback or an opportunity, the power is in our perspective.
I sprouted a business. I filled my resume with dozens of virtual speaking events. I built a brand. I showed determination and resolve by staying true to my goal and weathered the storms of discouragement. I learned how to maintain discipline and focus for long periods of time. I succeeded because I kept the power in my perspective.
As we dive into 2021, I have supreme confidence that it will be my best year yet. Thank you 2020 for teaching me about the power of perspective.