One year ago it seemed as though the term “the new normal,” was flying around constantly. The world was thinking about what post-pandemic life would look like. What things would change? How do businesses operate post-pandemic? Little did we know post-pandemic life would be much further away than many originally thought.

As I book flights and hotels for upcoming industry events, (my brand new luggage set I bought last February will finally see the world) I can’t help but reflect on where we were last March, April and May. So much has changed. We have learned, adapted and found silver linings through all of this, all while individuals and businesses have experienced a lot of loss and hurt. The resiliency and growth is especially evident to me as we prepared this issue, specifically the annual Premier 150 list. 

The May 2020 list was full of uncertain projections; distributors were unable to project or make plans for the remainder of the year because of the pandemic. As I read comments from the 2021 survey, it was beautiful to see the record-setting sales some achieved in their businesses, along with the optimism for the year ahead and thankfulness to be in an essential industry.

There are still some unknowns, and factors making it hard to project 2021 and beyond, but you all note being armed and ready, having endured the unthinkable over the past year. Even those demographic areas where distributors have been particularly impacted by the pandemic commented on plans for the future, not dwelling on the hardships but instead having faith in our industry and your teams.

At ASA’s Women in Industry event ELEVATE2021 Virtual (which took place April 20-23) both Tracie Sponenberg of The Granite Group and motivational speaker Tami Evans spoke about ways to connect and engage your team in a virtual setting, and the importance of check-ins for team moral and the mental health of your employees. 

Sponenberg advised to be extra-available to your team, and plan more frequent meetings than you normally would. Evans emphasized the importance of levity and how laughter can help your team be more positive and more focused. Something as simple as scheduling a 15-minute meeting at the beginning or the end of your week can give employees a chance to share how they’re doing, pros and cons of the week or offer a status update for your business. 

Maybe ask your employees to reflect on the pandemic-year and say one thing they’ve learned or one change they like that has come from it all. Never underestimate the power of a positive attitude.

So here we are, finally living in that “new normal” we all talked about; preparing for projects to pick back up and more technologically savvy than ever before. You’ve made it. Take a moment and be proud of that.