I don’t know about you all, but man, what a busy winter season it was for me and my business! It literally kicked my butt, but in an excellent way. Through some challenging circumstances and unpredictable weather, I learned a lot about myself and my team this year. We are walking away from this winter smarter and stronger. 

Here are the lessons I learned and the pivots I made during this hectic season for my business.

1. Let Go of Your Plans

Sometimes, even with the best-laid plans, you can’t be prepared for what’s ahead. I mean, I had my trucks ready, and my employees were all set for a busy time of year. But no matter how well we prepared, we couldn’t have anticipated the conditions this winter.

Typically in February, we may see one or two weeks of freezing temperatures. This year, it was the better part of a month! And then, when things finally started warming up… It snowed. My team was out on the road battling either ultracold conditions or snowy ones. 

No matter what the forecast threw our way, my team ROCKED it. They did a fantastic job with amazing attitudes. My dispatchers kept up with tons of calls, and every member of our staff stepped up their game. I couldn’t be more proud of them and what they pulled off during a crazy time.

2. Take Help, and Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For It

Here’s something you may or may not know about me: I’m not very comfortable asking for help. I’m more of an “I’ll just figure it out on my own” kind of girl. And you know what? That’s usually not the greatest way to go about things.

Throughout the winter, people offered to help me with everything, from relieving me of phone duties to helping me take time off. I appreciated all the offers, but I felt like I needed to be there. It was important to me that I show my guys that, you know what? I’m part of the team. I’m going to go through this with you. And I don’t regret it, because WOW, what an amazing season we had! I’m so grateful for my team and that I get to live life in the trenches with them as much as possible.

When I ultimately did ask for help, it was amazing to be met with thankfulness. I always forget that when you ask people for help, it makes them feel good. Not only are you helping yourself, but you’re complimenting the person you’re asking for help. They feel important in your life, they know you value them, and really, they’re grateful they can help you, too. 

I’m super grateful to the people who helped me this season. It meant the world to me!

3. This Too Shall Pass

Look, things happen during a busy season. Trucks break down. Employees get sick. The power goes out… You get it. There’s a lot that can go wrong, even when a lot is going right. But the most important thing to remember in the midst of it all is that this too shall pass. You can wallow in challenging circumstances, or you can deal with it and move on. 

It’s a lesson I learned this season, and I’m grateful I could put it to practice. It made me a better boss because I’ve gotten better at dealing with whatever scenario comes my team’s way and finding ways to move forward. I’m even more positive, I’m equipped to support my team through tough moments, and we take them on together. And you know what? We’re stronger for it.

4. There is Power in a Good Company Culture

When you nurture and cultivate a positive company culture, the entire team will want to see your business succeed. Camaraderie and teamwork have been an incredible part of my business’ success this past year, and it powered us through some rough winter months! I’m so grateful that my team stepped up and that they’re the kind of people who will say, “I’m here to help you. Call me if you need me.”

When you put in the work to create a work environment where people come to work and enjoy being there, they’re more productive, and they’re happier. Even the employees who aren’t naturally the most positive find themselves getting out of their headspaces and finding the good at work!

I loved watching all of the ways our culture changed for the better this year, and it certainly showed during a crazy winter season. I can’t stress enough how vital a healthy work environment is to everyone in their business. I definitely learned that lesson this year.

Have you had a crazy season in your business recently? Or maybe, has the past year thrown all sorts of curveballs your way? I’d love to hear from you about what you took away from those experiences and the lessons you learned. Send me an email at michelle@michellesukow.com, or send me a DM on social media!