Christmas is all about giving, of course. But receiving is part of the fun too.
So whats on your wish list this year? Giving yourself something special can be an excellent motivational tool. But gifts dont necessarily mean watches and jewelry. They can also be investments in your business or treats of time.
Here are a few ways to treat yourself this holiday season:
Ponder your productivity.
Sit down and prepare a list of exactly what you feel can improve your business and your lifestyle. Do you need a new computer? How about subscriptions to online services that can improve your efficiency or productivity?
Gifts like this should make your life easier. And they may even pay dividends later on by improving the quality of your work and increasing your capacity through greater organization.
But work-based self-gifting doesnt mean solely acquiring the latest technological gadgets. Something as simple as a new wardrobe can revitalize and instill confidence in any young entrepreneur. Dont be hard on yourself for desiring something seemingly superficial. Theres nothing wrong with looking and feeling good.
Reading is succeeding.
Really effective entrepreneurs never miss a chance to improve themselves. The game is always changing and it can sometimes seem difficult to keep up. So, use the holidays as an occasion to build up your library. Whether you like to read digitally or with an old-fashioned paperback, splurge on some quality literature.
Dont just get one book, though. Buy several or even a dozen and youll have your reading regimen planned out for a few months. Certainly buy motivational and business-advice books, but dont forget to include some good fiction too.
Reading fiction is one of the best ways to insert yourself into someone elses mind, an incredibly valuable skill for entrepreneurs and marketers. After all, successful businesses are all about anticipating customer demands, right?
Time to refocus.
Whats the greatest gift you can give yourself and your loved ones this holiday season? Chocolate? Smoked meats? Smoked meats with a chocolate filling? As disgustingly delicious as a salty snack filled with fudge sounds, the greatest gift is usually not material (or edible) at all. Give yourself the gift of time.
As other businesses around the world go into hibernation at the end of the year, you may feel like its a great time to get ahead of the game by keeping your entrepreneurial gears turning. But theres a reason we all retreat to our caves for a while.
Quality time with your loved ones is priceless. Put aside time to take a little road trip. Treat yourself to a break from business. This can be difficult for extremely motivated people, but rest assured, youre doing a service to your business and your sanity. Youll often come back refreshed and eager to tackle new challenges with enthusiasm.
Give and receive.
Of course, giving gifts to others is what its all about. Make another list of those around you for whom youre thankful, and then pay attention. People start dropping hints around November and you can usually pick up ideas for presents by keeping your eyes and ears open.
Holiday shopping doesnt need to be expensive. Often, small gifts with some thought behind them leave a greater impression than big-money items. And that's pretty rewarding for you too.
What was your favorite business-benefiting holiday gift this year? Let us know in the comments section below.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.