As an entrepreneur or small business owner, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are tough ones. To work or not to work? If you’re new to this, you might be wondering if shooting off emails for 20 minutes on Thanksgiving morning will lead to a downward spiral of always putting work first. It’s all about balance, and especially in the early days of a startup or your entrepreneurial pursuit, you’re going to be spending a lot of time focusing on your career.
This doesn’t mean you’ll never have a holiday, “totally off,” from work or that your family is on the brink of leaving you. There are many positive reasons to work during the holiday season—even if it means spending a few minutes working on the actual holiday. If you’re feeling some holiday guilt about finishing that project before 2015, don’t.
There are plenty of good reasons to work this holiday season:
Just because everyone wishes they were on a ski holiday doesn’t mean your clients’ needs are any less. If you’re in a field where customers want or need your services during the holidays, you just might be the only business offering it up. After all, on Christmas Day, there’s still a need for a web host, emergency towing services, and milk. Deliver on the days that count, and your reputation is sealed.
What’s really more important: Spending 20 minutes sending that important email on Thanksgiving day or starting the cranberry sauce brewing 20 minutes earlier? The reality is that you can do a lot on a holiday without missing out on anything. There are 24 hours in that day—one of them can easily be dedicated to work.
Does your family wake up at 7am on Christmas to open presents? Set your alarm for five and squeeze in those needed tasks before the holiday hustle starts. Have tickets for a champagne dinner for New Year’s? Spend the morning taking care of business so you can celebrate at night.
As a small business owner, every little deduction and tax write-off can make a world of difference. December is your last month to upgrade your office furniture, supplies, or make charitable contributions and ensuring it counts for the 2014 tax year. Take care of your plan for office upgrades early, like now, but, if that means doing a little research on energy-efficient appliances for your business on New Year’s Eve, so be it. The you of April 2015 will be grateful.
The time you spend with your loved ones will be even more precious if you balance it with a thriving business. What’s better: Spending all day on Thanksgiving sitting in silence while everyone watches football for hours, or a 30-minute engaged game of Gin Rummy? (However, if they are watching that football game, you can usually sneak the laptop out and get an article or two written.) It’s how you spend your holiday time, not just ticking off the minutes.
Nobody likes to work during the holidays, (well, I do), but for entrepreneurs sometimes it’s unavoidable. Spend the time wisely, plan your work ahead of time, and accomplish what you need to early in the day. You’ll be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Image sources: bienvenidos.org, blog.wavecrestcomputing.com