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Going All In in 2021

by Tony Sorensen

For most of 2020, I really felt like I was in a game of high stakes poker….and now, I’m all in on 2021.

It seems like two or three years since I wrote my blog talking about “Why President’s Club Still Matters,” before we went to Puerto Vallarta to celebrate in March of 2020.  But before I could even unpack my suitcase when I returned home, everything had changed. More than eight months later, most of us would never have expected that we would still be dealing with the pandemic and all the fallout that accompanies it.

In business, it feels like I have been stuck in a never-ending game of high stakes Texas Hold’em ever since the pandemic started. 

Let me start by coming clean and saying that I am a horrible poker player, mainly because I have no patience and I think I can count cards but, in reality, I can’t.  In fact, I am such a notoriously bad player that, every year for the past 16 years, there has been side bets on whether or not I will go out first in our neighborhood tournament.

As this year began to wind down and I spent time reflecting on 2020, I started to see why it reminded me so strongly of a game of poker. 

You see, the really good players wait it out. They might play 1-2 hands an hour. They are protective of their chips, but, when the timing is right and they get their pocket aces, they push their chips in front of them, look at the other players and say, “I am all in.”  This is when the other players look at each other and know this player is serious and must have a hand; they’re  in it to win it!

For the most part, this is how I have felt this year in business. When the pandemic hit, we were hit with a decade’s worth of uncertainty, and there were few places to turn to for advice—no one had ever experienced anything quite like this before. 

I have always been an owner that was all about investing dollars on growth and pushing profits/chips and going all in on the future. This was different.  I had to learn patience (this is very hard for me, you can ask my wife!). I had to wait, I had to protect our company, my future.  

I couldn’t be reckless and go all in with all of the uncertainty surrounding us.  We had to wait and wait and wait to make sure we would survive but, more importantly, we had to make sure we were set to THRIVE coming out of this in 2021.  

We just had an all company Versique/Parqa meeting earlier this week.  Just like in poker, we were patient. We learned from other recessions, we waited for that right time and then, when the time was right, we said to our team, “It’s time to have some fun.”

During these meetings over the past several months, I’ve shared with them and tried to communicate clearly how we have been doing every month.  

This month was different—we finally got our pocket aces.  

I ended the meeting telling the team my patience has run out.  We are all in for 2021! 

Wishing everyone an awesome 2021! 

And thank you Versique/Parqa team for being patient with us.  Let’s have some fun in 2021.  

Who’s in?   

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