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Were you like me when you started your journey as an australiabusinessblog.com? You’d come around mid-November and get frustrated because all the momentum seemed to come to a halt. Your suppliers take longer to deliver. Your customers don’t call or email for weeks and there is a feeling in the air that nothing is wrong (apart from the current messages, of course).
The delay of the Christmas period has begun!
This infuriated me as a young man trying to make his way in the business world. Why does everyone just throw away tools and give up for the year?!
There is a general feeling that December is a write-off as people slow down and look to the new year. But what is that about? Why do we have this collective agreement, and what can we do about it as frustrated “go-getters”?
The first thing to recognize is that this is a collective agreement – even Christmas is just that. We think of it as the time of year when we take a break from the cold. But at the end of the day, the reason why we all engage in traditional behavior around this time is purely that we all agree.
Related: 6 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged During the Holiday Season
Everything in our society is really a collective bargaining agreement. Most of us agree with:
- Pay our taxes
- The rule of law
- Adhere to the results of the elections (largely!)
- Participate in traditions and the conventions of society
There are clear reasons why we agree with these things. For example, we understand that there will be consequences for breaking the law, but it is still just an agreement.
We are all free agents within our realm. If you want to go home, strip down and cover yourself in hot sauce…you can. I wouldn’t recommend it, but you can.
But in that (admittedly ridiculous) example, by not doing so you are still complying with the collective agreement that your family would likely view you as a danger to yourself and others and also that it would be physically unpleasant.
Our business practices are the same way. We generally agree that there are specific ways to behave, such as when onboarding a new client or holding meetings. Contractual obligations are another very literal agreement that we enter into with an understanding of the consequences if one of the parties defaults on their obligations.
So why should delaying the Christmas season be any different?
It seems like something that people assume is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Such as rock formations or aurora borealis. “Well, we’re all getting into the Christmas rush at work now. It’s just what happens, isn’t it?’
But that’s not it! It’s only a thing because we think it is.
The truth is, you don’t have to stick to it if you don’t want to. After all, it is a relatively harmless agreement. Instead of getting frustrated like I used to be, think of ways you can reduce the impact on your business by changing the way you work.
Related: How to Build Trust and Keep Motivation High in Your Business
Use December to finish all those tasks that will be put off for the rest of the year. Work on your preparation for the coming year by, for example, reaching out to customers and asking for feedback. Or you could make those updates on the website you’ve been grumbling about since 2020.
But in addition to household chores, you can also use the time to work on yourself!
If you find that the stress of running a business is getting to you, now is the time to question that and find out what you can do about it. Start incorporating mindfulness practices into your daily routine. Learn to listen to what your body and mind are telling you.
Read more: 5 texting tips for businesses to succeed in 2023
If you’re in that precarious business ownership phase where you’re trying to focus on growth but also have to do the work, now is the time to sit down and determine how you’re going to correct that. Make a step-by-step plan for next year that you can (and crucially: will) follow.
It’s easy to think of the Christmas holidays as a letdown to a final destination, but there’s something on the other side! And it would be best if you prepared for it. Come swinging out of the “New Year’s Gate”, and you’ll steal a march on your competition. Plus, your existing and potential customers will see that energy and what a chunk of it!
The ultimate truth about delaying the Christmas season is that you don’t have to get involved. Others can sign that collective agreement if they want, but you can simply take advantage of it by reframing the situation.
Happy holidays everyone.