As our world begins to regain a semblance of normalcy, we are starting to see people in-person again. In fact, a month or so ago I made my first post-pandemic trip to speak on BrokerTech Ventures at an industry conference in Orlando. As I was preparing for the trip (creating my panel comments, packing, and reviewing the agenda and guest list), I found myself in a state of nervousness and anxiety.
How could this be? I've traveled routinely for the better part of my 17-year career. I'm used to being in social settings and leading/carrying on conversations. I've spoken in front of crowds and events. And, for heaven's sake, I should know how to navigate the cross-country travel system.
Shortly thereafter, I began preparing for another trip — one of which would bring me together with Holmes Murphy leaders and shareholders, which had been placed on pause since the pandemic. Many of us would be meeting for the very first time face-to-face.
These back-to-back trips caught me without my fully regained sea legs. I realized what a toll the last 16+ months had taken on me. I would need to reacclimate myself with my pre-pandemic self — the self that made me feel whole and the self that made me feel a sense of adventure and sparked curiosity and joy as I would meet new and interesting people along the way.
These moments also reminded of the power of human connection.
The insurance industry has been built upon relationships, and the human experience is so valuable in this.
My recent travels allowed me to meet (in-person) several special people who have impacted my life significantly over the past year-plus — and yet, this was my first time to see their eyes, feel their hugs, and share in a celebratory toast in-person. It meant so much.
So, after all that, I learned a few things about myself.
- I have a newfound respect for moments of solitude and reflection.
- The power of human relationships can never be replaced. Technology and innovation are on our side to increase our efficiencies and speed to market, but the heartbeat of our industry begins with people.
- And finally, a butterfly does not do well when you try to place her back into her cocoon. The good news is that she can still emerge in full color and spread her wings, finding new and vibrant adventures...back into the wild.
How about you? Are you starting to get back to normal “in the wild”? How is it going for you? Are you learning new things about yourself? I’d love to hear them!