Movies, TV shows, social media and music have perfected the art of setting high expectations for the holiday season. The big romantic gesture, the perfect family feast, snowball fights with the kids. What is so illustrious about the pictures they paint? They promise an opportunity to be fully present in situations outside of our daily routine. An opportunity to hit pause on all the noise around us and turn to the things that make us feel fulfilled.
For a lot of business owners, hitting that pause button doesn't seem like an option. The holidays can be one of the more stressful times of the year. Months of preparation has led to what is hoped (and frankly is needed) to be the best quarter of the year--an opportunity to put some significant cash in the bank heading into the new year.
Adding to the stress, this reality is often not fully understood by close friends and relatives, which can lead to questions like:
Will you be able to take the whole week of Thanksgiving off?
Do you really need to be checking your email?
When can you unplug and just relax?
Every entrepreneur must answer this question: What does balancing my business and life commitments look like for me personally?
While the internal tension between two important things competing for our attention will most likely never go away, it’s essential to at least put some thought into how decisions play out in the real world.
Start with the end in mind by defining what success at the end of Q4 looks like
Set time boundaries that allow for the key activities (both business and personal) to happen when and how you want and commit to not violating them
Invite others in by sharing your plan with someone close to you who can help support
Stay disciplined and stick to your schedule so that you can be present in the chaos
Our hope is that you become proactive, rather than reactive. Not having a clear game plan heading into the coming weeks is the difference between being tossed by the waves or surfing. And don’t beat yourself up if you fall in the water a few times along the way--what matters is we try and learn along the journey.