For entrepreneurs, holiday shopping can be an especially big undertaking. We have holiday cards and gifts to send our customers, VIP clients, JV partners, and vendors. And this doesn’t include all the personal holiday shopping that needs to be done for our families, loved ones, hair stylist, pet sitter, nanny—the people in our lives who deserve our gratitude. We’re blessed to have so many people in our personal and professional networks, but unfortunately, there is one person who often gets forgotten: YOU.
Giving yourself a gift is not a selfish act—it’s a way to honor yourself, your business, and your path as an entrepreneur. So this year, when you’re coming up with creative gifts for everyone on your list, add something special that will make YOU happy too. Yes, I know there are bubble baths and massages. But here are a few “gifts” to help fuel your success…
Buy something nice for your office – If you’ve been depriving yourself of a better laptop, printer, a cozy rug, or an ergonomic chair, consider indulging yourself if you can afford the expense. Friends thought I was nuts years ago when I spent $750 on my Herman Miller Aeron chair (it cost as much as my monthly rent at the time), but they quickly understood why I did once they sat in it! It will last forever and my spine thanks me every day. But you don’t have to break the bank. Even getting that big Year-at-a-Glance wall calendar or that fancy planner you’ve been eyeing at Office Depot can be a real treat. And remember, if it makes you more efficient at work, it’s worth the investment.
Hire outside help: I can’t tell you how many successful entrepreneurs I’ve worked with who are completely resistant to this idea. I hear, “Ali, I don’t have time to hire and train someone.”, or “I can just do that myself.” (I confess I was the same way when I first started my business. I made the mistake of doing all my own administrative work, until I wised up.) Whatever your fears are, I will say one thing: Bringing in outside help is one of the best gifts you can give yourself as a business owner.
Sure, it requires an investment. But as I tell my clients, when you have someone take those everyday tasks off your plate, it frees you to focus on the strategic, moneymaking activities that will GROW your business. So think of ways you can streamline your tasks. Get accounts with a virtual assistant, messenger service, errand service, bookkeeper, etc. And when you’re making more money, that investment will definitely pay you back tenfold, with less admin work, and more time to enjoy your life.
Flex your schedule – Last year, I decided to instate two focus days per week as part of my work schedule. These were days where I would be free from meetings, answering emails, approving items—any of the day-to-day tasks that I found were quickly sucking up my time and my mental energy. With my newfound, uninterrupted time, I was able to work on the big visions for my business and my growth, and do the creative writing I needed to fuel my soul. It was eye-opening, and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as a business owner.
Think about what else you need in your schedule to work best. Do you need plenty of breaks, or no interruptions? Do you need a block of time every morning to connect with your purpose? Gift yourself with quiet time, and you’ll be amazed at what unfolds for you.
Connect with your accomplishments – This simple exercise is an extremely powerful, simple gift you can give yourself for the holidays. I start by lighting a candle and writing down my 25 accomplishments from this past year. Then, taking each one in, I read them aloud. After the last one, I blow the candle out, and then IMMEDIATELY make a list of 10 goals for the new year. (After truly acknowledging all the amazing things you did this year, you’ll feel incredibly powerful and set even higher goals!)© Copyright 2012 Ali Brown