This Thanksgiving I packed up my daughter and myself and braved the airlines to spend a few days with my parents and my brother in Las Vegas. Traveling with a young child of any age solo is stressful, as is leaving a 9 to 5 job for 8 days (because who knows what might happen in that time?). However none of those was quite as anxiety causing as trying to navigate what to do about my start-up business.
The truth is that, at least when you first start your business, you’re never really not working. It’s hard to wrap your mind around such an idea, but there it is. This is the 5 things that I’ve learned during Thanksgiving when it came to being a business owner:
- Family needs to be on board – It’s hard to spend time working during a family centric holiday, it’s even harder if your family members start hinting. Make sure that your family knows that although time with them is paramount, there will be time during every day that your focus will be on at least maintaining the business if not moving forward. It will help them know that you’re trying to balance things but that you’re serious about keeping the business going.
- Make sure you have what you need – I have an internet based business and what does that need? That’s right, an internet connection. What didn’t I have when I got here? That’s right, an internet connection. Thankfully I have number 1 in place, so my brother came to my rescue with his hot spot. The moral of that story is to make sure that where you’re going will give you access to what you need to do your work or that you’ve brought what you need with you in case. Yes that means that you might pack heavier than you normally would, but it’s worth it.
- There is no ‘time off’ – Your phone will ring and your email will come through. Just because you have some time away doesn’t mean that your clients do and they have needs and expect notifications. Sometimes they have those expectations even when they know you’re away and have limited resources to work with. Be ready to be patient and to juggle if necessary.
- Clients appear at the oddest times – One of the things about this time of year is that it gets people thinking about their own plans and what they need to reach them. Sometimes it translates to them reaching out to experts and you find your phone ringing. Try not to sound too surprised.
- Ideas keep coming – If you’re lucky enough not to have to work congratulations. (I’m jealous.) Does your brain know that you’re not working? It never fails that the moment you relax your thinking machine feels free to let loose of all the ideas you make it hold on to subconsciously because you are way too busy to add one more thing to your list. Be prepared to to crack open your note taking tool and let your brain do its thing. It may pay off more than you can imagine.
The holiday season is upon us full of possibilities and fun. Even though your business takes a large amount of your focus and energy, don’t forget those who stand beside you. Happy Holidays!