Thrive or Just Survive in 2020

Thrive or Just Survive in 2020 _ Epplett & Co Chartered Accountants

The question to ask is…..are you going to thrive or just survive 2020?

We are living in extraordinary times. Our lives as we have known them have been tipped upside down, all within a week. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Is this uncertainty becoming our new norm? I hope not.

Thrive is a verb that could be easily replaced with prosper, flourish, blossom, bloom or even boom

Survive is also a verb that could be changed with live, last outlast, endure or live through.

They mean very different things. Let’s be clear though, in order to thrive, we must first survive.

The following steps are mostly logical, but also can seem counter-intuitive, and go against our survival instincts or human nature. Some examples what be considered normal or safe:

  • Being self-focused, predominately focused on your business and your family’s survival. Such as keeping your butchery retail shop open when it’s not defined as an essential business or panic buying your groceries.
  • Cutting all unnecessary expenses such as firing your business advisor or cancelling your Sky subscription.
  • Withdrawing into ourselves and relying mainly on our own thinking. Then communicating less and putting on a brave face with your business partner, key relationships or family and friends.

As a leader of your business and family, those around you are looking and depending on you to provide strong leadership and reassure them that we can overcome the current situation, including the fear it brings. It takes courage to step into the unknown to choose to have a positive and optimistic attitude despite the circumstances.

With that in mind, here are my recommendations for you and your business to THRIVE in 2020.

Step 1. Take Stock…. Where you and your business are at

Take some time to take several deep breaths, give yourself permission to be still unto you get some peace. Focus on one day at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Focus on what is going right and what you are gaining, it’s much more productive and energizing and remember you can’t control the uncontrollable so only focus on what you can control. Review the situation, your financial position and what decisions you need to made today for your business and family then act. If you need advice, reach out and ask for it.

Step 2. Develop a business continuity plan and a personal plan 

A business continuity plan pinpoints the most important parts of your business, identifies the risks to critical aspects of your business and prepares you to recover from the lockdown as quick and easy as possible. It’s how you’ll get your core parts of your business up and running again.

You could ask your Business Advisor or Accountant for help to develop your business continuity plan or you could ask them to direct you to a template to work through. I would always encourage you to involve your Business Advisor or Accountant as they can add value in the process. It’s good to surround yourself with the people who can help you make good decisions right now.

Developing a personal plan is just as important as you lead your business and family. They both need you. Developing a personal financial plan is a must which would include a review of expenses and a budget. If you are now working for home, you would have set up your home workspace with the technology required to function as normal as possible. Working from home or not you will need to review, work out and then set a new routine that works for you, your business and family.

Your routine would involve such things as a set time to start work, regular breaks, time to finish work, family time, eating time, rest and relaxation time, partner time, exercise time, bedtime and ‘me’ time. This will enable you to be more focused and productive in your day. This will take time and discipline, be intentional but not rigid or hard on yourself or your family.

This challenging time is an awesome opportunity to create some great habits that will serve you further in the future.

3. Invest in your business, yourself and others

You’ve steadied the ship, now is a time to ask the bigger questions for your business and you personally. Important questions like ‘what does success look like in 5 years?’ Or looking more short term, ‘what does success look like at the end of the next financial year?’ The key here is to ask yourself “if I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I achieve?”

Take some time to consider the possibilities and think bigger. It needs to be a stretch that requires massive focus and action to achieve it.

I encourage you to take the opportunity you have before you right now. Invest the time and money required into your business and yourself. Now is not the time to shrink back and play small. Get clarity of vision, get a strategy, grow in skills and confidence to achieve your business and personal success. Then go and achieve it.

Now that the chips are down, and as a nation our backs are against the wall, this is our time to show the very best of humanity by rallying around each other looking for the opportunities to invest in others and respond generously to the needs we see around us. Whether that would be helping a staff member financially, going over and above for a client without charging them, buying someone their groceries or simply picking up the phone and asking how someone is. Whether these gestures seem big or small to you, they make a big difference to the people receiving them. They restore people’s belief in humanity and give fresh hope to face another day. People will remember how you treated them during this time and well beyond.

Remember to value your key business and family relationships

Business and life are done with people who all have, fears, dreams, aspirations, family, strengths, weaknesses and they all have their own stuff going on.  They are not just a number or a transaction. I see so many business owners have transactional relationships with staff, suppliers, contractors, customers and even their family.

Our business and personal success depends on the quality of people we choose to surround ourselves with and the depth of relationships we have with them. 

Now is a great time to build better relationships with our key business relationships and family by spending more time connecting with them, being more vulnerable (risking and sharing your feelings and thoughts more), valuing them more by considering their feelings, their situation and involving them in your decision making process.


We are in an extraordinary time in history right now. There is a massive opportunity to take this time to set up your business and yourself to not only survive but to thrive in 2020. I challenge to you take stock, develop your plans, invest in yourself, your business and other. Be kind, caring and value your relationships.  And together we will get through this. Actually, you will thrive.

Robert Miller is a business coach who has been serving businesses and their leaders for over 15 years in the Hawke’s Bay and throughout New Zealand. He is a partner and founder of Tandem, a business consulting and coaching firm based in Napier, New Zealand.

Robert and his business partner, Steve Connell are happy to speak to you, with no obligation, and share tips and hints to help you in this season. Just give them a call and mention you are a client of Epplett & Co. Their details are:

Robert Miller, 0274 794 064,
Steve Connell, 021 557 055,

“We’ve had Tandem partner with us now for a number of years. As Chartered Accountants, we have found Robert and Steve to be a great resource. During that time, they delivered an excellent & very practical series of presentations for our clients and staff. We have also referred several clients to Tandem, and Tandem delivered outstanding results and value for our clients. We also use Robert and Steve to work with us in our business”

Sarah Walker, Director, Epplett & Co Accountants