Are you looking forward to year’s end? Do you find yourself thinking, “If I can just hold on another week or two” or “If I can just make it to January 1, everything will be OK?” If so, you’re not alone. What with the economic ups and downs of 2011, business as usual in Washington DC, and seemingly constant unsettling news abroad, it’s enough to make us all look forward to December and the holidays as a sort of “finish line” for the year. Add to this commitments such as company holiday parties, gift shopping, assorted school activities, family gatherings and more, and it’s no wonder stress levels tend to elevate this time of year.
For me, 2011 has been another great big adventure—from moving to a new city, cranking up the volume on “Barrel O’ Monkeyz,” and engaging in a number of charitable efforts, to hanging with friends and family and just plain living. I’ll be the first to admit that everyone needs time to step back and take a breather from all the monkey chatter and “noise, noise, noise.” What better time of year to do it than December? It’s when the calendar runs out on the current year, only to refresh itself January 1 with all the promise and mystery of what’s to come. Seems like perfect timing, but what does it do to the forward momentum of our businesses when we’re just hoping to cross the finish line. Shouldn’t we want to cross that line and just keep on going?
Unlike Scrooge and his partner Marley, I get that life isn’t all about the pursuit of profit, but can business owners really afford for their companies to go dormant for what could amount to a month or more (December to January) this time of year? After all, December can be a make-or-break it month for many businesses, especially those in the consumer services and retail arenas. This is not the time to let up. If you do, you might just be losing out on your best opportunity for profit all year long. And like it or not, profits equal jobs, and jobs mean economic security and well-being for families.
At the same time, don’t put the pedal to the metal all year long only to leave yourself with nothing in the tank come December. Pace yourself. Take time year-round to reflect, be with friends and family, and recharge. That way, when December comes around, you’ll be in a good place mentally, physically, and spiritually to honor what this time of year means to you personally and to keep your business cooking so you don’t have to start cold in January.
The same “law of inertia” that applies to objects applies to our businesses: an object at rest tends to stay at rest, while an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Simply put, it’s always easier to increase the speed of an object (your business) if it never comes to a full rest. It’s fundamental to the way things work!
So, what’s better for your business this time of year—slamming on the brakes, letting things go dormant, and hoping to find some magic momentum to kick things off come January 1? Or keeping your business on “simmer” through the holidays so that when the new year rolls around you’re not trying to jumpstart things from a standstill?
Share your approach to business during the holidays here . . . curious monkeyz want to know!
All good questions to consider! For me, the holidays do represent a slower pace. I use this time to plan thoughtfully for my clients’ businesses as well as my own. I also use this time to rekindle relationships that I may not have given my full attention during the busy fourth quarter. Finally — and this is difficult to do for me — I edit from my business and personal life things that no longer work for me, such as networking groups, relationships and processes. I like starting a new year lean and focused.
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