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5 Easy Ways Entrepreneurs Destress During the Holidays

5 Easy Ways Entrepreneurs Destress During the Holidays

With many major holidays happening, entrepreneurs may find themselves stressing out. With the rush of preparing for the end of the year, having major holiday sales, and managing the to-dos of the holiday season, the end of year can be a very stressful time for entrepreneurs—especially those who are stretched to capacity running a successful business and are now trying to squeeze the additional activities of the holiday season.

As an entrepreneur, there is always something you can be working on to grow and improve your businesses. You wear many hats and often take care of the sales, marketing, accounting, and other duties for your business.

For many businesses, the holidays bring more customers in the door, and sales are at their highest levels for the year. This means you have to be on top of your game to make the most of the opportunities. In order to manage your work life with your family life, we need to keep a few items in check.

To help entrepreneurs destress, the tips included in this blog post are simple and easy to do.

1. They slow down.

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”

~Lily Tomlin~

During the holidays, it’s very easy to let things speed past you and get out of control. Sometimes it might just take you stepping back and allowing things to slow down. What does this look like? Good question:

  • Make sure to that you allow yourself to take off time from working your business on the holidays.
  • If you have a team, give them time off during the holidays too.
  • Look at cutting back the hours that you work during a holiday week so that you can slow down.
  • Spend time with family and friends so that you can remember the importance of the holidays.

2. They let it go.

“Give your stress wings and let it fly away.”

~Terri Guillemets~

When you hold in all of your stress, in can affect your mind, body, and soul. Give yourself permission to let go of the stress. As you do this, you can open yourself to healing.

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One of the ways you can let it go is by taking a break. According to “The Importance of Breaks At Work”:

“Break laws aren’t just there to make employers take it easy on their workers, they are there for the good of employees. Did you know even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity up to 13%? Or that a 15 second break from staring at your computer screen every ten minutes can reduce your fatigue 50%?”

3. They plan smart.

“God didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?”

~Author Unknown~

Putting plans in place that can help you keep your business running smoothly during the holidays is very important. The plans could include time when you are closed, or special sales for VIP customers, or even team celebration time.

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During the holidays, normally my team and I shut down our offices. We alert our customers to let them know when we will be open and closed. Having this plan in place, gives me and my team time off and it allows my customers to prepare accordingly.

4. They think things through.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

~William James~

Stress comes from fear that things are not going to work out. If you choose to believe things will work out, you’ll be a lot more comfortable in your decisions. You’ll be able to stay in the moment, and focus on what’s right ahead of you. Stress is a choice, one we don’t have to choose.

You have everything you need—all the joy and sadness you have experienced has made you who you are and brought you right to this place. Eliminate the bad, live in the good and don’t allow being overwhelmed to rob you of your happiness that you could be living in. Take a moment for yourself to rejuvenate and choose to think on health, well-being and prosperity.

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5. They take “me time.”

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”

~Ovid~

When you take “me time,” it helps you incorporate free time into your schedule where you spend time taking care of yourself. How well are you doing at taking rest when it is required? Sometimes it boils down to making choices that require eliminating some things to maintain other things. Prioritizing can be a lifesaving practice when done regularly and mindfully.

Breaks are necessary for you to regain perspective, be more creative and ultimately feel good about yourself and the way life is going.  Sometimes what you need is to do is rest. I use Pomodoro to manage my time so that I have a 25 minute timer that buzzes me to take a break. Then I can use it to time my breaks. It all about self-care by taking “me time.”

Featured photo credit: 52.HolidayWindows.Georgetown.WDC.19December2013 by Elvert Barnes via Flickr via flickr.com

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Kim Beasley

CEO/Business Visibility Strategist

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

More Tips on Advancing Your Career

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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