One of the most damaging side effects of COVID has been the isolation. And I don’t think it’s just personal isolation, I think it’s professional isolation as well.

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- Hey everybody, Drew McLellan from Agency Management Institute, coming to you yet again from the beautiful coast of Oregon. One of the things that I'm doing here this week is I am meeting with one of our AMI peer groups. And so, one of the things we talk about early on in the meeting is what we need to get from each other during the meeting. And there were all the things you would expect, to the, "I want to hear how you're handling work from home, how you're handling going back to the office," or, "Have you applied for PPP Forgiveness yet?" "How you're doing Biz Dev during this time?" Those are sort of certainly some of the things we talked about, but the number one thing people said that they needed from this meeting, was they needed to connect. They needed to laugh. They needed to tell and hear stories from people who are walking the same path that they are. And I'm betting that all of you need that right now as well. So, one of the things that many AMI peer groups have done is they've scheduled, as you might imagine, cocktail hours on Zoom. We are so hungry for connection right now. And if you haven't done that for yourself, if you have not found a peer group of agency owners, whether it's local agency owners or if you're an AMI, those folks, but you need to connect with people who know what you're going through. And yes, you're going to talk a little bit about work, you're going to talk about your family, but mostly you're going to tell stories, you're going to commiserate with each other, you're going to laugh. And after an hour or an hour and a half, or in some cases, some of these have gone on for two hours or two and a half hours, what you're going to find is that your energy is heightened, that your enthusiasm and optimism are higher, that you feel less alone. And I think one of the most damaging side effects of COVID has been the isolation. And I don't think it's just personal isolation, I think it's professional isolation as well. So find a group of peers, carve out some time, get on Zoom if you're not in the state where you can come back together physically, but somehow find a way to build a little posse of support for yourself and invest the time in both giving them that boost and getting it for yourself. All right? Talk to you next week.

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