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Keep on Swingin’!

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We have all felt the economic stress and business disruption over the past year. Certainly, that has been the case at The Allen Morris Company. In spite of the disruption, we had a year of surprising business landmarks & progress (see 2020 AMCO Year In Review video).

It has been hard on all of us emotionally, relationally, psychologically, and financially. Although the residential real estate markets for homes and condominiums in Florida and Georgia are now booming (see Forbes article), the business sector overall has been slower to rebound.

Most office leasing stopped in 2020 and is now coming back to life in 2021. There have been delays and uncertainty in planning business operations, and in determining the amount and style of office and retail space business will want post-pandemic. The good news is that most businesses now see the very real “light at the end of the tunnel” and are now finalizing their expansions for 2021. Many restaurants and retailers in Florida and Georgia that had suffered terribly in 2020 are now very busy. They are now actively securing their new locations. While many restaurants are still operating at 50-percent capacity, demand is growing and it’s now hard to get a restaurant reservation at top locations in Miami and Atlanta. 

As more Americans get vaccinated in the coming months, we will sense the deep national sigh of relief and elation. Schools will be able to fully open. Offices will open and people can get back to work with their colleagues. Some may keep working from home, but the vast majority of businesses and workers want to get back into their offices and workplaces where they can collaborate and work together.

I love the story of hope a few weeks ago that played out on the Tonight Show. Jimmy Fallon heard the song Swingin’” while on an errand in a hardware store. Using the app Shazam!, he discovered the song was written by Thad Cockrell, a 48-year-old singer in Nashville. The song describes the singer’s dilemma, “If I’m gonna go down, I wanna go down swinging.” Having written the song pre-pandemic, Cockrell was inspired by the biggest upset in boxing history: Buster Douglas vs. Mike Tyson. Tyson knocked down Douglas, but Douglas got up and kept swinging and won the fight.

On January 3, Cockrell made his list of goals for 2021, which included “find a new career.” His latest record, on which “Swingin’” was introduced, landed flat on the billboard charts. He was running out of money and thought it was time to end his career, and so he notified his manager. Two hours later, his manager called him to say, “Jimmy Fallon has fallen in love with your song and wants you to perform on the Tonight Show!” It was the break he had been praying for. The morning following the show, Cockrell was interviewed live on the Today Show and his glee was unmistakable. “Swingin’” hit #1 on the charts within days! You can read the whole story in People Magazine.

I added his song to my 2021 personal playlist, a list I make each year in January for inspiration. Thad Cockrell’s song can be an inspiration for you, too. Just when you think all is lost, or at least in jeopardy due to events outside of your control, things can turn around just as suddenly and remarkably. 

Have hope! We are experiencing the markets waking up and taking off. There’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Let’s all keep swingin’! 

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