Do Holidays Actually Exist For Entrepreneurs? GOWRKGRLS Members Sound Off
I was sipping on a “Little Drummer Boy” at a friend’s holiday house party last week when I was asked how I’d be celebrating Christmas this year.
“I’m not,” I said, swirling my sustainable straw around my rocks glass. “I’m working.”
Witnessing the look of pity creep across the faces of my corporate friends, I decided to throw in, “I mean, I call the family and say ‘happy holidays’ and shit, but after that, I’m going to be working on something. Although I did see a cute pink tree on Instagram recently...maybe I’ll get one of those next year.”
While I’m sure that not all entrepreneurs are mildly “Grinchy” like me, I think it’s safe to say that depending on where one is in their business, their holidays probably double as workdays. Since starting down the path of business ownership in 2010, I’ve always spent some portion of my holiday week slumped over a laptop working. Plus, being in a field like digital marketing doesn’t help. Someone’s gotta design and schedule those “Happy Holidays” posts, people!
On a quest to discover whether other entrepreneurs work through the holidays and, if they do, what tips they have to remain productive through the debauchery, I struck up some convos with members of GOWRKGRLS, an Atlanta-based community, and marketplace for women entrepreneurs, about the ways they holiday.
Honestly, I haven’t had a break from working since, well the last ‘holiday season’. My holiday season is typically filled with playing catch up on editing from my busy wedding season (Sep-Nov), freezing my ass off shooting December photo sessions, fighting seasonal depression, and counting down the days until I get to close my computer for maybe 48 hours around Christmas Eve. Both last year and this year I have a wedding on the last weekend of the year. So for me, ‘holiday season’ is like any other: booked and busy.
The main tip to remain productive: Make a to-do list and try to do what’s on it without getting sidetracked.
I make a list of projects that need to start in January, but I actually don't touch that list until the day I return to my office in January. I kick-off the new year knowing exactly how much money I want to make. I set a very specific revenue goal for the new year. I write down exactly the percentage increase and the dollar amount I want to make. For example, if you made $100,000 in 2018, then you can set a 2019 income goal of $125,000, a 25% increase in revenue goal. By setting a specific dollar amount, I can then decide on how much to spend and invest into my business to make that much money. Too many people make the mistake of deciding on how much they want to spend versus deciding on how much money they want to make.
The main tip to remain productive: Set a hard deadline on when you will stop working and have all projects completed.
It’s impossible for me to handle everything at once – I’m juggling my e-commerce business while working full-time. The holidays are a perfect to time to hire help. Having an extra hand aids in stress relief and allows for room to focus on the bigger picture. No matter how crazy people get during the holidays, I never forget to take time for myself and set boundaries. I am thankful for every customer, but I also know that no one will die if I make the decision not to get up at 4 am to ship the order that came across my phone. Nothing is more important than care of self.
Main tips to remain productive: Delegate, care for yourself, and make moves with compassion.
The holidays are such a magical time to share with family and friends. And it’s a great time for online dating and finding love because you get to do all the sparkly, cozy, Christmasy things for date nights too!
Main tip to remain productive (in love): Attend holiday events around your city.
There you have it! There’s nothing wrong with preparing your to-do list to take time off before hitting January goals and there’s also nothing wrong with catching up on projects and spending the holidays setting yourself up for new year success. The most important thing is, that in between the celebrations, planning money moves, delegating task, and hitting the town to find a holiday honey, you don’t forget to implement some much needed self care.