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Have Yourself a Merry Little Business

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t - you’re right.” -

-Henry Ford

Not so long ago (October, for example) you were at the top of your game, hustling all day every day making every minute count to grow your business. And then you flipped the calendar page, set your clocks back, and BAM! Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down your lane. Time to pour yourself a cup of cheer and put those fuzzy-stocking-clad feet up in front of a crackling fire for … the next six to eight weeks. Sound familiar?

Maybe that plan works for your feet, but what about your business?

Business? What business?? No business gets done this time of year! Everybody knows that.

Admit it - you’ve said it. Aloud or in your mind, you’ve told yourself some version of this little story. Nobody’s buying this time of year! People are too busy to meet! Whatever your version, it’s really just a sneaky limiting belief. But at the end of the day, that’s all it is — a belief. And the great thing about beliefs is that we always have the power to choose (and change!) them.

If you’ve been seeing the hot cocoa mug (with your business logo on it) half-empty for as long as you can remember, may I suggest choosing the much more empowering half-full option this year? There are about 200 business hours between Thanksgiving and January. Imagine how much you could accomplish if you took advantage of all that time! Could it be that the magic of the season can be used to expand more than just your waistline??

Think of it this way: people are very busy this time of year. But not necessarily during the day. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get in front of people when nobody else is vying for their attention. While your competition binge-watches Hallmark holiday movies, you can chat up all the people who are impossible to reach the rest of the year. Also, all that busy-ness creates a prime opportunity for you to add more value (and isn’t that your ultimate goal?). People have all sorts of extra needs around the holidays. Can you give your clients or prospects the priceless gift of time? Can you arrange for them to receive a free car wash/have their gifts wrapped/have their candy-cane-drunk children entertained while they meet with you? And lastly, it’s called the “Season of Giving” for a reason. People are particularly generous this time of year, making them especially likely to respond favorably to you hosting a volunteer activity and/or making a donation to a good cause in their name.

With your limiting beliefs banished to the Island of Misfit Toys, the end of the year can actually be one of the very best times to grow your business. After all, there is no “bad” time to add value. You wouldn’t rest on your laurels for weeks on end any other time of the year, so why do it now? Challenge those old beliefs about what you can achieve between now and the end of the year — ramp up instead of slowing down. Come January, your business will thank you. Instead of starting the new year broke, overwhelmed and mired in self-loathing, you’ll be full of something even more delicious than gingerbread … momentum.

Want to do more business than Santa this year? Here’s how …

1. Make a charitable donation with every sale or offer a holiday discount (bonus points for encouraging people to share it with family and friends!). Warm hearts while you trim cuticles — match every manicure booked in December with a free one for a senior in a nursing home.

2. Get on the horn and schedule as many meetings as you can. Remember to only ask for time during the day - leave the evenings for merry-making (for yourself, too!). Now’s the time to dangle that 2:00-eggnog-latte carrot. And 10:00. And 3:00 … you get the idea.

3.Think about what your clients really need right now and find a way to give it to them. Hint: needs more fruitcake (or seven swans a-swimming). Set yourself apart by doing some truly thoughtful problem-solving for busy prospects — redirect your chocolate budget to dog walking or grocery delivery and watch those tired eyes light up like Christmas trees.

4.Hi, Delores! (I know we haven't spoken in months, but …) I wanted to call and wish you a Happy Festivus! Did you hear I’m offering free cat grooming with every upper lip wax booked this month?” Easy as pumpkin pie.

This New Year’s Eve, you’ll be raising a (half-full!) glass to your thriving business. Very merry, indeed.

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