Entrepreneurs and the Holidays

Entrepreneurs and the Holidays

From Arlene | Posted by YouInc.com - December 25, 2013 at 12:00 am
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Like many people, Christmas, for me, is a chance to spend good quality time with my family. As my family has grown, we have all worked hard at making sure that we preserve the tradition of quality time spent in each other’s company. This, for us, goes far past getting together for a dinner. We are fortunate enough to be able to take a couple weeks each year and celebrate the holiday season together. This isn’t always easy as competing schedules, competing families (yes, apparently mothers-in-law also have rights at holiday times), and travel logistics come into play. As our numbers have grown so too has the scheduling havoc. But I wouldn’t have it any other way and I feel incredibly blessed that my kids all want to spend that much time together. We all know how small a place can become with a lot of adults hanging out in the kitchen. I often think we should film a movie about all the various scenes that play out daily as we reconnect and get caught up on each other’s lives. We aren’t the Kardashians by any stretch of the imagination – so it would, of course, just be a home movie for us to enjoy!

As a start-up entrepreneur some 30 years ago, I was away from my family a lot. As a single mom, that absence was only amplified. Our Christmas holidays were often the only time that I was able to put the world aside, along with the day-to-day stresses of existence, and focus myself at home (although, full disclosure, even that’s not 100 percent accurate because work was never far from my mind.) The reality of it was this: my clients and suppliers were mostly shut down for the holidays, and that gave me the same opportunity in return. Otherwise I don’t know I would have had the ability to turn off what was, in fact, the only means for us to have that turkey on the table.

If you can afford to, give yourself a break, and give your family the thing that they want the most - time with you

When we had little or no money our Christmas certainly looked different than it does today. But Christmas still felt the same as does now. And isn’t that the goal? In life and in business, we all need to remain grounded. With some success comes challenges – in fact, success itself can present a big challenge. It’s so easy to forget what brought you here and who you were before you enjoyed a modicum of success. And it’s also easy to be so driven by success that it impacts your priorities – and not always in a good way. Personal success can change you. Professional success is no different. Both individuals and businesses can become fat and lazy and complacent if they rest on their laurels and quit trying to excel. How many gifts there are around the tree is not a measure of anything.

I try each and every day to remember the past. Not because I want to be rooted in it but because I strive to be grounded by it. We need to make sure that as entrepreneurs we stop, take a deep breath, and put everything in perspective of why we do what we do every day. Christmas is one of those days where we can be with those we love and contemplate the very gift that this, in and of itself, is.

I hope each and every one of you has the opportunity to enjoy this gift of time with your loved ones. If you do have to work, and I know that is true for many of you, then try and remember why you are doing it all. It’s impossibly hard to be away from family and friends as you pursue a goal that is, at the end of the day, for them too. I have been there and I know just how difficult it is for everyone. If your family is what’s motivating you then don’t forget to tell them. And then, if you can afford to, give yourself a break, and give your family the thing that they want the most – time with you. A couple of days off is good for anyone’s soul, even an entrepreneur’s.

Sometimes the best present is simply being present.

Tags: family time, holidays, traditions, blog, arlene dickinson

Comments
Carol Fysh
December 25, 2013 at 9:56 am
A good read on Christmas morning. With four children and four grandchildren between my husband and I, there are many sets of parents. As our kids became older, the door was always open and our children were able to make their own decisions without pressure. This year, we will be blessed with all our children and grandchildren. My Mom and Dad will not come this year as it gets loud and crazy, but it is all good, we shall visit them tomorrow. I remember every day why I chose to be an entrepreneur and never a day goes by where I do not remember where I came from. Nobody said it would be easy, but taking the harder road helps to define who we are. At this point in my life, 54 years old (young), I wouldn't change a thing and am grateful for every day. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas to you All. Carol Fysh, redbeauty.ca
Jan Dymond
December 25, 2013 at 11:44 am
....and sometimes your only job is to show up, eh? lol Christmas as we do it will always be about the children, and going the extra mile to bring joy to a child's Life. Even if that child is Me; the mother, grandmother, great grandmother to people who know that they will get great Love and Glee and Attention from the child in me that wants Christmas to always be restorative to the soul.

And this year.....with so many I know and love affected by the darkness of the ice storm....my daughter's home included....I am humbled by the resurgence I see of Community and Sharing and Spirit at warming centres and spare bedrooms and even floors with sleeping bags. THIS will be the kind of Christmas we will all learn from most I think, eh?

Merry Christmas Arlene. Thank you for caring to Share!! You make a Difference in my Canada. Thank you.
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