The rabbit, a clever creature with a gentle and soft demeanor, is symbolic of the expectations many of us have for 2023. The Year of the Rabbit is one that is anticipated to be a time when patience will be necessary.
I was born in a Year of the Rabbit and I know patience does not come easily. But I also have seen that when I have taken a cautious, deliberate and optimistic path, it has paid dividends.
Therefore, it is best to approach this year cautiously, while still leaving room for creation and growth. This is a good thing for those who are in build mode.
It’s Been a Whirlwind
The world has been erratic over the past few years, and continues along this trajectory. The mass shooting in Monterey Park, killing 11 people as they were celebrating a joyous Lunar New Year, has left their community seeking answers and the public outraged.
Tensions, rightfully so, are high.
The global pandemic that began in 2020 continues to cause disruption. There was a contentious U.S. presidential election followed by an insurrection. Hyperinflation has wreaked havoc on the Venezuelan economy and beyond. There have been three UK prime ministers in one year and Queen Elizabeth, the longest reigning British monarch, died.
Let’s not forget the housing market, which was in a frenzy a year ago because of low interest rates. Then, inflation set in (you can’t print money without repercussions – just ask people in Venezuela).
Now the housing market is deflating, contrary to the local advocates who promise a different turnabout. Hint: cyclical events are never really that different.
The crypto markets also went wild. Bad actors crept up and peaced out. Good actors continue to HODL (hold on for dear life) and build. To say it has been a ride is an understatement.
A New and More (Cautiously) Optimistic Year
I am now taking the time to process the first few weeks of the new year, especially in relation to business and the global economy. After the noise of the past few years, reflection is necessary.
At Davos there was less gloom-and-doom and more “cautious optimism.” The World Economic Forum is a tone setting event and we need an infusion of positivity, even if it is mild.
While the war in Ukraine continues to rage on, the global elites are pledging their support and to “give them the tanks!” The war is taxing for the people of Ukraine. We have team members on the ground in Lviv. Having electricity for only part of the day during the coldest months of the year is taxing. But Ukrainian perseverance has shined through.
Reflect, Discover, Repeat
If we turn our attention to what leading companies are doing, it really does seem to be a time of reflection and discovery. And those who are building continue to do that.
According to the Chase 2023 Business Leaders outlook survey, 64% of business owners agree community support is critical to business survival. Taking care of the communities we work in and are part of is indeed critical.
Growing companies today can use their resources and energy to focus on finding what works. Pivots are often necessary, and changing course can enable leaders to prepare for the future in a new way – with a deliberate and clever strategy, just like the rabbit.
Enter The Rabbit
I long believe many events, good or bad, are mirror effects of those around us. They are psychological by nature. We see it with the tech layoffs. It is almost like a contagion.
My hope for this year continues to be that optimism, along with sensibility, spreads far and wide. I hope we use this time wisely and tap into our instincts, as a rabbit would, to make creative and careful decisions that have long lasting, positive consequences.