If you’ve been in the campaign industry for a few cycles, you’ve got a decent idea of how December is supposed to go.
You’ll probably be on a beach somewhere for at least a week of it. Or if you did that in November, you’re mostly running around to various holiday parties and lazily returning emails until you fully peace out of your office for a full week between Christmas and New Year’s.
But lately, something different has been happening. Cycles don’t exactly come to a full stop the way they used to. Next cycle’s ramp-up isn’t waiting until January. In fact, it barely waited until after Election Day in November.
If you own a business, you’re bound to be noticing your peers are suddenly back in the office, working on their marketing, putting out job descriptions, figuring out new office space and bringing on new partners—before they’ve got all of their business lined up for 2019-2020.
And they’re exactly right to do that. And you should be doing it, too.
Look, I know that you’re tired and that you just want a break. I know how tempting it is to just throw up your hands, totally unplug for the last week of the year, and just declare that you’ll deal with everything in January.
But here’s what’s going to happen if you do that. You’re going to start next year a disorganized mess. (Maybe just the way you started this year?)
Kicking the can down the road and making shit tomorrow’s problem is tempting, especially when everyone around you is drinking eggnog and slamming cookies. But we both know it’s not the way successful business owners operate.
In fact, the most profitable entrepreneurs are the people who dig in and work while everyone else is off baking all those cookies. The smart folks are getting their you-know-what together now so they’ll be well-positioned to hit 2019 running—and way out ahead of all the folks who said “eff it, it can wait until the second week of January.”
I want you to have the best year you’ve ever had next year. I want you to increase your revenues and scale your business to a level that you never even dared to imagine. And I want you to be able to take time off next December with money rolling into your account and all of your plans for 2020 ready to go. But that’s not going to happen if you take your foot off the gas now.
I know you’re going to take Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off. And you totally should. Rest, relax, and be with your family. Go eat Chinese food if you don’t celebrate. Come back rested.
Then take advantage of that next three days when everyone is out of the office and your email isn’t going crazy and you aren’t expected to respond to 70 things a minute. Sit down at your desk and get proactive.
Write up and post those job descriptions. Email that broker about new office space. Figure out your Q1 marketing plan. Write the next 10 emails that you’re going to send out to your list, and calendar out your next 20 social media posts. Do all the stuff you know that you’re supposed to be doing, but never have the time to actually execute on.
Don’t wait until you need people to start hiring. Don’t wait until you need clients to start marketing. Don’t wait until you need systems in place to figure them out. Trust me, a little bit of work now is going to save you a lot of New Year’s stress.
Michelle Coyle is the founder of BGSD Strategies.