“It’s time for America to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again with people. People working from home can feel safe and begin to return to their offices…We’re doing that here in the federal government. The vast majority of federal workers will once again work in person…Our schools are open. Let’s keep it that way. Our kids need to be in school…With 75% of adult Americans fully vaccinated and hospitalizations down by 77 percent, most Americans can remove their masks and stay in the classroom and move forward safely.”
— President Joe Biden, State of the Union Address, March 1, 2022
A little less than two years ago, the lives of people on planet earth were changed forever. No, this isn’t yet another column about the coronavirus pandemic. Ok, maybe it is. However, the president’s declaration during the State of the Union gives us all a reason to pause and reflect.
As an observer of business and marketing, I have witnessed quite a bit of change over the past 24 months.
I have told countless people the pandemic didn’t create many of the market shifts we’ve experienced. It simply accelerated them.
Prior to 2020, work-from-home was a protocol embraced by a choice few. Now, many businesses have made it a regular staple, not reserved just for entrepreneurs and MLMs.
As entire industries saw massive downsizing, the American workforce saw the need for more “side hustles.” As a result, many side hustles have become main hustles, presenting a problem for legacy businesses trying to return to normal staffing levels.
Not all the pandemic-related pivots were new. The QR code, a flash-in-the-pan marketing tool, was revived as the idea of contactless ordering and sharing of information became more mainstream.
Unrest globally, coupled with high levels of consumerism, have contributed to inflation we have seen in decades, and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
Where do we go from here? That seems to be the question most in the business community are asking. To steal a phrase from the U.S. Marine Corps, we need to “improvise, overcome, and adapt.”
But how do we do that?
The ability to pivot should be a well-honed skill for most now. From restaurants who embraced take-out/delivery to businesses that embraced Zoom meetings over in-person ones, we know how to make the best of a situation. That attitude, followed by action, needs to continue for the foreseeable future.
Regardless of your political leanings, we can all agree with the president that it’s time we quit living in fear of what might or might not happen. Times will continue to change, and we along with them. I, for one, will not allow “sacred cows,” to stifle the direction our businesses head. You shouldn’t either.
People are looking for leaders to lead. Will you be one of them?
“It’s time to get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.” – Morgan Freeman, “Redd” in The Shawshank Redemption.
David A. Specht Jr. is publisher and editor of BIZ. and President of Specht Newspapers, Inc.