How to Grow Your Network Influence and Business in 2021

If there’s one thing that many of us have learned in 2020, it is to expect the unexpected, and to adapt to change quickly. Many of us had lofty goals for 2020 when we were writing them in late 2019, and almost no one predicted what happened shortly after.

Words like pandemic, zoom, virtual, and pivot have a whole new meaning for most of us as we close out 2020. Sadly, there are many that lost family members, workmates or perhaps their own lives to the horrible COVID-19 virus, and we aren’t out of the woods just yet.



What has worked well

On a positive note, several sectors and businesses have actually flourished and thrived during these challenging times, especially if the business model was based online or was able to quickly pivot online. 

For example, prior to the pandemic CEO of NightLight Pediatric Urgent Care of Houston, Texas, Zawadi Bryant, said that “our telemedicine volume was a fraction of our in clinic visits. Once lockdown orders were in place, we saw a sharp increase in our virtual visits. The pandemic accelerated telemedicine adoption by at least 10X. Out of necessity, providers and patients realize the convenience and efficiency of telemedicine.”

NightLight is an example of a business that pivoted quickly to adapt to changing conditions. We also saw grocery store chains quickly adapt their business model to offering more curbside pickup or delivery options for customers. Large businesses like Amazon, saw record profits and growth as well. Overall, Amazon’s revenue increased 37.4% to a record $96.15 billion. Its net income also set a quarterly record at $6.33 billion, an increase of 196.7% over the third quarter of 2019, according to Digital Commerce 360's October article.

Analyzing Our Current Situation

Leah Ramsey, Vice President of HR Maximizer, Inc., says, “This is a great time to take a look at your internal growth strategy, from all angles, as the cost to advertise positions on all the major platforms like Google, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram has gone down significantly during 2020. Small to mid sized organizations can now advertise on a similar level as much larger organizations and competitors in 2021.”

However, even if our business was not one of those that thrived, perhaps when we run a personal inventory, we find that we:

Learned a new skill (virtual communication platforms, live streaming, a new language, etc.)

Made important new network connections

Discovered something really wonderful about ourselves

At the very least, you have escaped 2020 with your life and health intact if you are reading this article, so congratulations!

The question is, how can we take the information we’ve learned so far to make 2021 the best year it can be, and perhaps the best year of our lives? 

Preparing for 2021 and Beyond

I’ve asked a panel of several leaders for one piece of advice on the subject of how to grow either our network, influence or business in 2021.

My esteemed panel includes best selling authors, business leaders, health leaders and talent management experts, here is what they said. 

Our Expert Panel of Experts on Growth

1.“Whether we’re talking about leadership or sales, understand that to the degree you focus on genuinely bringing immense value to others, that’s the degree to which your influence will grow.” - Bob Burg, Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author

2.“Leverage your story to build your brand online... It’s the only thing that no person or economy can take away from you. It’s the medium through which people will be able to resonate with you, trust you and be more open to learn about how you can help them. You, like I did, can start with no money, connections or experience... and still connect with millions of people. Grow your brand, grow your business, grow your LIFE.” - Shanée Moret, Founder of Growth Academy & Growthpreneurs Podcast

3.“Invite like-minded people into your network to see your vision, passion, and purpose to make a difference. Their advice and similar journey may be the key that will ultimately unlock your ability to grow your business and succeed.” - Noelle Kohles, MSN RN, Leadership Vitality and Retention Coach at Ascend HR Corp | HR Maximizer Inc.

4.“The number one thing to focus on while growing your business, is to be 100% authentically you. It might seem silly, and unrelated to business, but I'll tell you why it makes perfect sense. The more we get brave, open up, and expose our true selves, the more we attract followers, employees, and clients, who align with that true self. This way, we're never hiding who we truly are or wearing a mask in business. Be who you really are, the rest will fall into place.” - Shay Rowbottom, CEO of Shay Rowbottom Marketing & Shay Rowbottom Healing

5.“Pay attention to the emotional well being of your employees. 2020 wasn’t just stressful, it was actually traumatizing for some. All employees handle it differently, and some better than others. As leaders, we have to pay attention to the emotional wellbeing of our workforce and provide additional support as needed. Not only is this the “right” thing to do, it sets people up to do their best work and will be the key for companies that thrive on the other side of COVID. Nothing elevates employee engagement like a team that feels cared for.” - Quint Studer, Speaker, Author, Founder of Studer Community Institute, Studer Group and Owner of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos

6.“My advice for businesses to experience influence and growth in 2021 is to lead with integrity and human kindness.” - David Theobald, MS RN CSP, President and CEO of Stat Staff Professionals Inc.

7.“If these times have taught us anything, it’s that we need to feel connected! As 2021 approaches, my advice would be to learn new ways to connect with your target market. Your market is craving connection and context. Be real, genuine and humble in those connections.” - Shelly Luhning MSN RN, Owner of NCLEX Education (Canada)

With all of this great advice coming from our panelists, we hope that it helps to make a great impact on your network, influence or business in 2021.

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