Growing up, I used to go to an amusement park in Farmington, Utah, called Lagoon. It had a ride called the Wild Mouse, and for any of you have ridden it, you’ll remember just how wild the ride was. Described by the park as a “full-fledged fun trap that is sure to send your tail spinning,” the Wild Mouse, which is still in operation for the enjoyment of ride warriors and thrill seekers today, is a rollercoaster that drops and spins you through 180-degree turns, negative G-forces, and camelback hills, eventually dropping you back to the surface 50 feet below. My head is spinning just writing about it.  

With all of its twists and turns, 2020 felt exactly like taking a ride on the Wild Mouse, and I for one am glad to be moving on to the next ride—2021. I’m hopeful that this year will be more like the Peter Pan’s Flight ride at Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom, which was also one of my favorites growing up, and is still one of my favorites to this day, because of its smooth, feel-good ending. I’d definitely say that’s more of what we need to have this year.  

Here are some tips and suggestions to hopefully make 2021 feel better than last year:

Keep practicing personal protection safety.

We’re not out of the woods yet and predictions are that it will probably be the fall of this year before things start to get to any type of normalcy. Down time for your business costs time and money—trust me, I know. My company has been dealing with employees having to quarantine due to the virus in addition to product supply shortages, and the combination of the two has thrown projects completely off schedule. Do your best to stay safe, and be sure to remind your clients that while you are trying to stay on schedule, there may be delays due to COVID-19 and/or product availability.  

When possible, try to buy your supplies in bulk.

You’ll typically get a better price and if it’s something you use quite a bit of, you’ll bank a few extra dollars. 

Raise your rates. 

Supplies, vehicle maintenance, food and many other things aren’t getting cheaper and those costs go up every year. If you’re working for the same rates as one to two years ago, you’re working harder to make the same wages you did back then.  

Step out of your comfort zone.

If you don’t push yourself, you become stagnant. You are the captain of your destiny. Use your rearview mirror to see where you’ve been, your side mirrors to make sure you don’t get sideswiped and to check when you want to make a change, and always keep focused on what’s ahead of you. And most importantly, have a destination. 

It’s not always easy, but try to stay positive.

Laugh. Hug your loved ones every day. Check in with friends and colleagues. Find a hobby, take a class, or attend a seminar, hopefully attend a convention. And most importantly, do your very best to stay healthy!