The year-end holiday season gets a bad rap, doesn't it? It's supposed to be a time of joy, peace and warmth to be welcomed, but sometimes it's characterized as a time of angst, stress, and even depression. What happened?
Don't wait for someone else to sprinkle great tidings upon you; choose to do that for yourself and, more important, for others
Plenty, and it could be argued that it begins and ends with you, with each of us, really. What was once a time marked by excitement and anticipation from our childhood has been twisted into weeks of anxiety and uncertainty; and when you're running a business, this can be doubly so.
But it's time to smile again and reclaim those magical feelings you had when you were a youngster. The sparkle is still within you. Maybe you've just forgotten to bring it out each year along with the lights, the tinsel and the sparkling decor. If the holidays have been leaving you feeling less than enchanted, here are a few strategies to bring back the magic, in your business and personal outlook.
First, some tough love
So no sugar coating here: You'll get out of the holidays what you put into them—it's all up to you.
It's a reassurance you're in control of your situation. If you yearn for feeling that genuine glow of the season, you have to put in some effort. Don't wait for someone else to sprinkle great tidings upon you; choose to do that for yourself and, more important, for others.
That's really where the joy of the season can be found: working with, connecting with and being in service to others (our family, friends, and "fellow man") in genuinely human ways. Although that might sound corny, it's what Mark Banschick, M.D., emphasized in an article published by Psychology Today:
"In today's busy modern world, we are often so engrossed in being in touch (via our mobile phones, emails, Facebook, Twitter and the like) that we —ironically—lose touch with people, and with ourselves," he says.
And how well are we able to connect with others, perhaps by decorating holiday decor and demonstrating holiday cheer, if we have our faces buried in our computer screens or hand-held devices?
Show your customers and show yourself that you're just a merry as the next guy. Then let that merriness spill over to your customers
Bust out the garland
But what about for your business? That requires your full attention and arguably takes away from the time to "make merry." Maybe, but maybe not. Surely you can devote a day or an hour each day over the course of a week to add some holiday cheer, be it visible decoration, including online store decor, or the timely rewording of your usual customer correspondence.
If you elect to ignore it, you likely won't feel a part of the big celebration after it's all over.
So what's the point of all of this? Simple: Get involved in the celebration. Show your customers and show yourself that you're just a merry as the next guy.
Then let that merriness spill over to your customers in a way that might make their experiences jollier. That's where the real warmth of the season can be found. It would be a shame if you let it pass you by.
Take these approaches
Once you've chosen to bring the season into your heart, here's how you can help that "jingle" chase away whatever might get you jangled:
The magic is still out there
However you choose to celebrate the holidays—including whichever holidays you choose to celebrate—try to get involved in one way or another. Engage yourself in the festivities, engage your customers in the spirit of it all and engage with others around you to share the season.
You'll feel more connected for it and you might even feel that magic again, too. It's there; all you need to do is indulge in it. Enjoy!
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Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay…and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues.
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