What are you building in 2020? (And why it is the perfect time)

One advantage to being in business for a couple of decades is learning that even in the bleakest moments, there is hope for a better future.

I will never forget the economic crash in 2000, when I was working inside startups and technology companies in Silicon Valley. There were so many years of riding high that we were all a bit drunk on ourselves and the economy.

When it corrected (as it always does), for the first few weeks, it felt very terrifying. Then I realized that despite some clients cutting back projects or laying off workers, that others were continuing to do business, and still needed help running the human side of their business.

Part of my job as a coach is holding space for my clients’ rough spots, the time in their growth stage when it feels like they are riding a dragon while fighting off attackers mid-flight (metaphorically, of course). It is HARD to grow. But when you do meaningful, transformative work, focused on what you can control, despite the external circumstances, the hard times never last.

And because you are super consistent, your body of work will build over the year and the decade, into something that makes a true difference in the lives and systems you care about changing.

What if there is a recession?

What if there is? When faced with the “will there be, won’t there be, when will there be” discussions about the recession, do you know what most people do?

Hold back.



All that does is cement an overwhelming feeling of dread, and slow down your creativity and enthusiasm for building your business.


Seed like crazy

Remember those clients you are eager to work with? That website you have been meaning to build? That book proposal you have been meaning to finish?

Now is the time to activate that work.

Now is the time, no matter what is happening, because the way you will insulate yourself from twists and turns in the economy is to develop consistent habits of expanding your markets and generating new opportunities.

Focus on what you can control

I can never promise that your new program will sell.

Nor that a publisher will buy your book.

But what I can promise is that you will have a much better chance at doing either if you build what you can right now, despite imperfect circumstances.

Why it matters

When we look back at this time in our history, we will see it for what it is: a major fork in the road where we get to decide if we will live with fear and despair, or if we pick up our skills, talents and will and build a more stable, equitable and sustainable world.

I don’t have a lot of stomach or patience for sitting around lamenting about what we have become.

We are how we show up every day.

In our work.

In our relationships.

In our community.

In our shared systems.

I know that many of you are working on things that will make this world a better place for me, my family and future generations. Thank you!

My promise

I will show up and do my work, and never, ever lose faith in your ability to do yours.

Together, we can and will make a change.

Let’s make 2020 the year we activate our heart, soul and community.

Onward into a new decade!

Reader Interactions


  1. Ruth Carter says

    My theme word for 2020 is “create.” Instead of thinking about what I might do, I’m going to put pen to paper and fingers to keyboard more often to tinker with ideas, giving myself permission to share things that are less than perfect and to walk away from things that seemed like a good idea in my head but not so much when applied to reality. There’s no shame in trying and testing.

  2. John Marra says

    My theme word for 2020 is “grow”. I launched my web development/design business earlier this year after much delay in trying to get it perfect. 2020 will be about growing my business and building a client list. Thank you so much for your book “Escape From Cubical Nation”.

  3. Lawrence Fox says

    I haven’t figured out a theme word (or words) for 2020, but I’m working on them. In the meantime, I am building a mailing list, website and blog for my watercolour art (because I love sharing that hobby that I need for the right side of my brain) and looking at expanding the consulting side of my accounting/bookkeeping practice (where I spend most of my life using that left side of my brain!)

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