December is here which means that, ready or not, we’re down to the final 4 weeks in the calendar business year.
When I ask most of my clients how their feeling the very, very common response I receive at this point of the year is simply… “done”.
So, if you’ve landed here with an overwhelming sense of burnout, know that you certainly are not alone.
In my experience, come December, many entrepreneurs and small business owners are experiencing 1 of 2 things:
Your business is smack dab in the middle of your busiest season of the year. You’re likely running on a consistent diet of caffeine and adrenaline to keep up with the holiday-hustle-bustle…knowing that it’ll be a few more weeks until you can come up for air.
Your business falls victim to the fa-la-la-ness of the season. Where holiday lunches and clients tieing a bow on unfinished projects leave you wondering where the heck everyone went.
One thing is for sure - no matter what you’re experiencing in this last month of the year, you’re probably starting to feel like your low-fuel light is on and wondering if you can make it until the end of the year before you’re running completely on empty.
So, how do you make it over the finish line successfully?! Whether you’re experiencing the holiday-hustle-bustle or the holiday-fa-la-la’s, read on for some ways to effectively tackle these next 4 weeks.
1. Adjust Your Timelines
Please, give yourself permission to adjust your timelines.
When we start to see everyone around us talking about how their strategic plans and goals are set for the new year, it’s easy to feel like you’ve fallen behind before the new year has even begun!
Don’t beat yourself up. It’s quite likely that those brag posts are from entrepreneurs whose businesses fall into the second category.
Drop a double-tap-heart on that post and stay focused on what you need to be doing right now - making sales!
Bonus Points: Open up your calendar, flip to January and make a date with yourself to do your strategic planning and goal-setting session for your business. You’ll feel much better knowing that you’ve got a plan in place that works with your reality.
2. Find Your Metric & 15 Minutes
During this time of year, it can feel like we’re in a constant state of go-go-go. It’s easy to feel like we’ve lost all control and are simply reacting to the pace of the season.
Here’s one thing you can to do take care of yourself and regain some control in your business throughout the month:
Take a few minutes today to go back and review those goals you set for your business way back in January. It can help to clearly connect the busyness of now to your goals and know that your efforts are worth it!
Pick a metric that you can track for the next 4 weeks and take 10 - 15 minutes every day to track your progress. The consistent, real-time measurement will provide you with motivation to keep going.
Bonus Points: Pair up your 15-minute metric tracking with a moment of self-care. Remember, sometimes your need to unplug to recharge (wait, what?!)
1. Honour Yourself and Your Business
If your customers and clients have checked out for the season, it can be easy to start feeling anxious or a bit panicked.
Remember, there are things within your control and things that are outside of your control. So, if you find yourself with a less-than-packed schedule in the coming weeks, consider how you can use the time effectively.
To help you out, here are some ideas from the top of my head:
Catch up on the to-do list that may have been neglected during the busy times.
Plan a strategic planning day. It can be as extravagant or simple as you’d like. Go for an overnight, spend a day at your local coffee shop or at a conservation area and go for a hike - you’ll be amazed at what fresh air and exercise do to foster creative and strategic thinking!
Take some time to recharge. Time is currency and, sometimes as an entrepreneur, we don’t get and/or take as much time away as we need throughout the year - this can be a great time to focus on you!
Complete an audit of how you’ve spent your time over the last year. Are you spending your time in the areas of your business that yield the greatest results? Are there areas you should consider handing off or building a support team around?
Lean into the socialness of the season and book a few long-overdue coffee chats or lunch dates with people in your network.
2. Get Ahead!
Constantly feeling behind or that you’re just keeping up can be emotionally draining. Imagine how it would feel to begin the new year knowing that you’re ahead of the game!
Would it help your business to be more consistent with your social media content? Spend an afternoon planning out and creating January’s content now.
Is your bookkeeping often behind? Get it back up to date and consider what systems or processes would help keep you on track in the coming year.
Believe me - planning now is the gift that keeps on giving!
Bonus Points: Decide how you want to show up in your business in 2023. What do you need to Start, Stop and Change in order to reach this next level in your entrepreneurial journey?
No matter what scenario you find yourself in right now, adding some intention to your time can go a long way in successfully closing out the business year.
Lastly, please (please, please) have grace with yourself during this time of the year. Schedules are jammed. The pressures are high - both professionally and personally for many of us. And, let’s be real - December 31st is really an arbitrary timeline. Not meeting all of your goals on this day does not mean that you failed. It does not mean that the race is over. Entrepreneurship is a journey. Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint.
You can pick back up again in January with renewed energy and vision in your business IF you take the time to recharge your entrepreneurial battery now.
Stay Well & Keep Being Awesome!