A lot of businesspeople treat December like the off-season. They’re tired — especially after a loooooooong and wearing year like 2009. They want to book as much business as they can before the year closes, sure, but in many cases they primarily want to stay warm, avoid trouble, and limp along toward a bit of time off with their families. Their motto could be, “We’ll hit it hard in the new year.”
Believe me when I tell you that I’m sympathetic to this view. I indulged myself in a real mental vacation around Thanksgiving. I had been traveling for work and juggling lots of tasks in the office (it’s not all ivory-tower thought leadership here at Hoover’s Galactic HQ) while keeping up with my family duties and a steady workout schedule. Spending a week out of the office, including a few days at my folks’ place, was a real breather for me.
But then reality set in: the work doesn’t stop. You know this, I know this, but it’s worth repeating — and in language that puts a fine point on it:
The needs of your customers and your business don’t stop.
Not for the holidays — not for anything.
If you ease up too much on your efforts in December, not only will you fail to serve your customers and your business, you’ll also lose precious momentum that you’ll need when 2010 rolls around.
And if all of that doesn’t give you motivation enough to keep grinding ahead, refer back to the sentence that started this post: “A lot of businesspeople treat December like the off-season.”
Some of those people may be your competitors. Just because they’re sleeping this month doesn’t mean you should. In fact, if they are sleeping, December is the perfect time to steal a march on them.
I’ll leave you with an analogy: the football great Jerry Rice was famous for his durability — he was catching touchdown passes when he was 40 — which arose from his intense off-season fitness regimen. That regimen started the very next day after his team finished its season. So if the 49ers won the Superbowl on Sunday . . . Rice was out on the training field, in the cold and wet of a San Francisco winter, by 7 a.m. on Monday.
That’s how Hall of Famers are built, in business as in anything else.
So, please, enjoy time with your family during the holiday season. Watch some TV, eat some good food, and vegetate enough to recharge your batteries. I know I will.
But use your secret weapon — your focus during December — as a way to elevate your game, for 2009, 2010, and beyond.
What do YOU do in December to build your business?
Reprint of article by Tim Walker – Hoovers.com