Keep Business Sweet, Simple (and Sustainable) for the Holidays

We holistic entrepreneurs and small business owners know that the winter holiday season can be rough. Hectic. Overwhelming and incredibly hard to manage. It’s meant to be a time of celebration and relaxation, but many of us opt for worry and stress instead. We get anxious over year-end numbers, scramble to throw together customer appreciation events, pressure ourselves to add new offerings, and gradually pile more items onto our already-full plates until we’re ready to keel over.

We’ve already chatted about maximizing your time during the holidays to fill offers and secure new clients, and I certainly don’t want you to abandon those tactics! But today, let’s look at the all-important flip-side: Simplification.

If—like many of us—your stress levels creep ever higher the closer we get to singing “Auld Lang Syne,” then clearing the decks, paring down your activities, AND planting seeds of intention for the new year are all beneficial practices. Let’s talk details.

@@ Let's talk about how to pare down your business activities AND plant seeds of intention for the new year! @@

Create a DON’T List

We’ve all got time-sucking tasks that creep in when we’re avoiding harder or more complex work. And we’ve all got tasks that we enjoy and justify as important, even when we secretly know they’re non-essential. So if you’re someone who’s subject to Holiday Inundation Syndrome, force yourself to make a DON’T list of projects and activities that can be temporarily abandoned.

MICRO: List out three things you will NOT do today. Either make a new list each day, or enforce a single list throughout the season. (You’ll know what will work best for your specific business model … and bad habits!)

MACRO: Take a hard look at your business now that we’re rounding out the year. What worked? What didn’t? Slash what didn’t work, and you instantly have more bandwidth to build on what did work.

EXAMPLE: Streamline your offers to reduce the amount of confusion (for your clients) and overwhelm (for you). If you have multiple offers, packages, or services but several of them aren’t performing, now is the ideal time to slash the ones that don’t generate income. Train your focus on your top performers, and let the rest go.

@@The holidays are the PERFECT time to streamline your offers to reduce confusion (for clients) and overwhelm (for you). @@

Get Back to Basics

After you’ve considered what to put on hold or jettison entirely, ponder your non-negotiables. And I’m not talking about “paying the rent” or “making a profit,” I mean higher-level goals and deep-seated needs. Think back to why you love your work, and which aspects of it feel utterly essential. Then force yourself to simplify.

MICRO: Ask yourself, “Which self-care needs must be met for me to feel the way I most enjoy feeling—in business and in life?” Find ways to meet those needs every single day. Seriously.

MACRO: Ask yourself, “Which basic business practices MUST be in place for me to have a happier holiday season?” If you need help keeping those practices humming along, prioritize finding that help.

EXAMPLE: To give yourself more breathing room for self-care and the energy to focus on essential practices, front-load some of the promotional and back-of-office processes that need to run in the background. Pre-write blog posts, pre-schedule social media, automate your billing and invoicing, hire an assistant, do whatever it takes to ensure you can pare down your activities without missing a beat.

Take Baby Steps Toward World Domination (for the Greater Good)

As the year draws to a close, we all end up doing some goal-setting for the year that approaches. But typical resolutions don’t always work for conscious entrepreneurs. So instead, I’d encourage you to gaze into the (near) future by portioning your big visions and dreams into achievable action steps. And challenging yourself to take action on one thing every day.

@@ Define BIG visions and dreams. Then take one concrete action every day that moves you closer to your goal @@

MICRO: Define your primary purpose in this world for more inspiration and energy. Take time to journal, self-study, or reflect on what you feel you are truly meant to do. Try boiling it down to a single mission statement or summary. (Mine is “I am here to be the person I needed.”) Stuck? Try this formula: I'm a ___. I help ___ [do]___ so they can _____.

MACRO: Once you define your big dreams for your business (and life), the next step is putting a timeframe around them. What aspects of your Big Vision will fit into the span of a single year? How about 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?

EXAMPLE: If your goal is to help as many people as possible heal their relationships with their bodies, make a list of organizations doing similar work and connect with them via email or social media, one per day. When you run out, research individuals doing similar work, and connect with one per day. Soon you’ll have a robust network of like-minded healers, and the ability to reach and help a much larger pool of people.

It’s so easy for me to command you to simplify your practices, and far more complicated for you to actually DO it. I know, and I want you to know that I know. But here’s the thing: If you want to make it through this holiday season with less stress, more focus, and a mindset that will prime you for a truly amazing year to come, simplification is the only way to fly. And I hope these suggestions will help you do just that.

@@ Simplification is the key to less stress, more focus, and the mindset to prime you for a amazing new year! @@

Need help finding more concrete examples of how to pare down your practices? Come on over to the Conscious Kula and hit us up for ideas!