Busy entrepreneurs struggle with balance all year long, but during the holiday season it can seem unbearable. Here are some things to remember during this busy, yet wonderful time of the year.
Busy entrepreneurs struggle with life balance all year long, but when the holiday's role around the challenge can feel insurmountable. How can you maintain your business, fulfill family obligations, and actually enjoy the season? It seems like a lot to ask, doesn't it?
It may seem as though you're lowering your expectations ands standards if you put your business on auto pilot or allow it to slow down, but what you're really doing is fulfilling a dream. Afterall, isn't freedom one of the main reasons you became an entrepreneur in the first place? While freedom takes on varying definitions, every entrepreneur I've met values it above all. And during the holiday season, allowing yourself to indulge in a bit of freedom is a beautiful reminder of your success, no matter where you are on your journey.
Here are some of the things I've reminded my coaching clients of as we enter this magical time of the year. I hope they assist you in bringing balance and joy into your life as well.
Create a Plan
Taking time takes planning from most business owners. Will you shut down your business or have a skeleton crew in place? How will you handle incoming calls and emails? Have you scheduled social media updates? Think about critical questions to ask yourself and get a plan in place to manage every detail. Otherwise, you'll put pressure on yoursefl every moment of every precious day off. This is the time of year to accept that you are not superman/woman and to step back from the persona. With contingencies in place you can enjoy some time just being YOU!
If your shipping department or offices are going to close be vocal about your schedule and what you can and cannot offer during the holidays. Setting bondaries all around will make your time off much more enjoyable. Send email blasts to your list, display your holiday hours on your website and social media pages. If you have a team working through the holidays be clear about when and why you are willing to be disturbed by them during your personal time off. Also let them know if and when you will check your email and phone messages. And most importantly, once these guidelines are available stick with them!
Apologizing for taking a much needed, much deserved break is akin to apologizing for donating to a good cause. You are doing something good: for you, your family and friends, and yes, your business. Why would you apologize for that? Be confident and give yourself permission to enjoy this reward and time with your loved ones. When others experience your confidence they will support you in your actions.
People struggle with pleasing everyone in their circle of family and friends during this time of the year. But most often theese are self-imposed expectations. When you feel guilt or pressure about not doing enough or spending enough time with someone, ask yourself if it's their expectation you are struggling to meet or your own. If it truly truly is someone else's expectation rather than your own assumptions, then follow up with this question: Is there anything you can do to fulfill this person's expectations? Ever? Chances are no matter how hard you try the answer will be no.
Ok, you've set your boundaries, prepared as well as can be expected, and now you're off to enjoy the holidays. Now it wouldn't make much sense to be preoccupied during the whole process would it? If you're constantly checking email, text messages, and social accounts you're taking the "ho, ho, ho" right out of the holiday's! Leave the smart phone tucked away and focus on your family and friends. Easier said than done but you'll get used to it. Just remind yourself that your business may be important but without healthy and happy relationships it truly is meaningless.