And while it feels like we’ve been in this forever, the reality is we will be moving on. We will be moving onto something different, just like we did after every crisis that our country and our world has experienced.
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– Hey everybody, Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute; this week, coming to you again from Pacific Beach, California. You know, I want to remind all of you that we are in the middle of a moment. It is a doozy of a moment, but it is a moment. What we’re experiencing right now, even though here in the United States, anyway, we’re experiencing it much longer than anyone else on the globe is experiencing. Experiencing it, what we are experiencing is a moment in time. Not unlike what happened after 911, not unlike what happened after the Great Recession, not unlike what happened in Asia after SARS, all of these moments feel weighty. They feel like they bring a permanence to them, but the reality is they don’t. And while it feels like we’ve been in this forever, and here in the states, really feels like we’ve been in this forever, the reality is we will be moving on. We will be moving onto something different, just like we did after every crisis that our country and our world has experienced. But I’m seeing a lot of agencies make permanent decisions based on this moment. And that frightens me. You’re making decisions about office space, you’re making decisions about people, you’re making decisions about who you serve, how you serve them, where you serve them. And a lot of those decisions make perfect sense in this perfect storm of COVID, but they’re not going to make sense in three months or six months or a year. So I want you to be very mindful that you are in an altered state right now, sort of like a grief fog that someone goes through after they lose someone important to them, where it’s very difficult to make long-term decisions because you can’t see past the grief. And I think COVID has brought a lot of us grief of one kind or another. And I think many of us are in a bit of that fog, and so we’re making these big life-changing decisions in a moment when we are not really well equipped to make those decisions, and we are making a lot of assumptions about what three months from now, or six months from now, or a year from now, is going to look like, and the reality is A) we don’t know, and B) the one thing we do know for sure, is it’s not going to look like it looks today. So I want you to be very judicious about big decisions. I want you to be overly thoughtful about these big conversations and decisions you’re making, because we have to be really careful that we’re not assuming that now is what tomorrow is going to look like, because I promise you there are changes coming just like there always are. We cycle through life as agency owners, all the time. Remember, after 911, if you were around then and working, we couldn’t imagine people flying the way they did prior to 911. And guess what? We all got back on planes. After the Great Recession, we couldn’t imagine that we would climb out of that economic trough quickly and come back to having record-breaking financially successful years, and yet we did! And you know what? We’re doing it now. I’m hanging out with 13 agency owners this week, and so far, six of them have presented their financials. You know what? All six of them are in the black and most of them, five of the six, are having a better year than they had in 2019. So don’t believe all the doom and gloom. And do not believe that what we’re facing right now is permanent, because it’s not. Make your decisions slowly and carefully, and don’t assume that this moment that we’re in is more than a moment. Because, hopefully, in a blink or two of an eye, we will be on to what’s next. Okay? I’ll see you next week.