2020. It started with a bang. Then gave us a kick in the teeth.

So did we learn anything? Yes and no. The main outtake was our existing habits helped us thrive.

Be prepared.
If you exist for any meaningful length of time as an agency or even during a typical career, it’s smart to expect things to be challenging at times. This sounds a touch pessimistic, but we’ve always built the studio to be strong when things are tough, then make hay when they are good.  So we’re less shocked or vulnerable when the situation changes on us.

Foster an optimistic view.
We’ve found maintaining a positive mindset when confronted with difficult situations far more productive than succumbing to fear. We also don’t buy into other peoples negative agendas or outlooks. Better to preserve your energy to improve, adapt and reinvent.

You can only control what you can control.
We can’t do everything, and we certainly can’t change many of the more significant drivers affecting us. So whatever challenge hits remaining focused on the things you can best control helps avoid being overwhelmed. Doing fewer things, resetting targets, refocusing on the things that matter most.

Believe in something.
We’ve always felt it’s easier to doing something difficult if it is meaningful to us. It’s even more critical if things a really tough; in fact, it is vital. Without a clear sense of what you value and why you do what you do, it is far too easy to waver or doubt yourself. We use our love of the work we do and the way we work together as fuel to push forwards.

Change before you’re changed.
When real difficulty hits the more entrenched and static your approach, the bigger the shock is. It is far easy to adapt and react if you’re already hard-wired to change and improve. It becomes a habit of continual growth and learning that builds the muscle to adjust under duress.

Plan for a new plan.
It’s okay to rip up your existing playbook and rewrite another one. Intuitively clarifying focus and a redefined sense of direction. Look for opportunities. Lose things that don’t matter any more. Concentrate maximum effort on the things that will bring the most significant positive impact first.

Doing it together.
Whatever change you’re confronting, you can’t underestimate the power of doing it together. Whether as part of a team or as an individual, don’t face it alone. Reach out, support each other and share the burden.

Bring in positive external influences.
Fresh perspectives and objectivity are hugely beneficial when you’re under duress. It helps share the load but also helps reframe challenges and bring crucial additional energy and ideas.