2020 was a crazy year, wasn’t it? COVID-19 killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide and left millions of others isolated, financially devastated or in survival mode.

On top of all that, we’ve dealt with political and social unrest. Many people have felt unseen, unheard, and unappreciated. Many have operated in survival mode and at their max physically, emotionally, and spiritually not knowing what to expect next. Many of us have felt burnt out and like giving up.

We here at Disruptive Advertising have been no exception.

Now that 2020 is finally done and in the rearview mirror, I wanted to take a minute to stop and reflect on everything that happened last year. As rough as 2020 was, it wasn’t all bad. There were a lot of opportunities to learn, to grow and to discover what we’re truly capable of.

As I’ve looked back on the past year, I’ve found myself surprisingly grateful for all of the challenges that we’ve endured here at Disruptive. Here are just a few of the reasons why.

Rediscovering Our Purpose

Throughout 2020, I was incredibly impress with the way everyone at Disruptive stepped up to their challenges. Their collective efforts transformed our business.

It would have been easy to simply give in and give up last year, but because the Disruptive team pulled together, 2020 actually became our most successful year to date as a company. Necessity is the truly the mother of invention and I am so inspired by this team and organization.

When the pandemic first hit, we—like most businesses—took a hard hit. Dozens of clients cancelled in April and we quickly adjusted our revenue goals for the year to simply getting back to where we finished out 2019.

And then, the team pulled together.

Despite working remotely, the Disruptive team began working even more cohesively and effectively than ever before. Individuals took the initiative, got creative, provided incredible service for our clients and…incredibly, we began to grow.

As the team began to exceed even my most optimistic hopes, it forced me to rethink everything we had been doing. For years, I had been focused on building Disruptive as a business—adding new services, pleasing clients, releasing new dashboards and products, etc—but when push came to shove, it was the people at Disruptive that made all the difference.

Our Product is Our People

Now, I’ve always cared deeply about the Disruptive team. To me, Disruptive is family. But somewhere in the midst of trying to take care of that family and keep things moving forward, I had become more focused on what we were doing than on why we were doing it.

And as a result, I had lost sight of what Disruptive’s true product is. Our product isn’t pay-per-click management, conversion rate optimization, ad design, email, analytics or any of the other services we offer.

Our product is our people.

Our team here at Disruptive is what our clients love. When the team is happy and successful, our clients are happy and successful…and Disruptive is happy and successful, too.

Of all the lessons 2020 had to teach me, this perhaps was the greatest: the best investment we as a business can make is in our people. Because at the end of the day, that’s what really matters—to our clients, to Disruptive and to me.

A New Tomorrow

The lessons we learned in 2020 have completely reshaped our thinking in 2021. They’ve given me the courage I needed to take Disruptive in a new direction—a direction I think I’ve always known we needed to go, but have been to afraid to pursue.

With that in mind, we’ve restructured many aspects of our business. We’re more focused than ever on trying to find clients where we can create a win-win-win scenario. We’re more committed than ever to making our team the best digital marketers on the plan and equipping them with the resources, training and opportunities they need to succeed.

As we overhaul our approach to business, we’re redoubling our commitment to providing incredible service to our clients. Now, we’ve simply discovered the secret to success: our product is our people and we’re committed to making our people the best team in the world.

Conclusion

2020 was a difficult year for everyone. But, it’s also been an incredible opportunity to rediscover what really matters: professionally and personally.

Here at Disruptive, we’re working to turn the challenges of 2020 into growth opportunities for the future. 2020 forced us to come together and become more than we were. Now we’re trying to figure out how to bottle that and take things to the next level in 2021. Will you join us?

What lessons did you learn from 2020? How have you grown? What are your plans for 2021? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Jake is the CEO and fearless leader of Disruptive Advertising. His face is as big as his heart, and he loves hugs, improving ROI, and coming up with killer account strategies.

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