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Prepping for the holidays

Photograph: iStock

Text: Laura Wintemute

Denmark at Christmas is by far my favourite times of the year. It's simply magical. The entire country transforms into a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. I always enjoy walking through the outdoor Christmas markets, julemarkeder drinking mulled wine Glögg and eating æblerskiver (no direct translation - but they are like pancake balls). Not to mention the fabulous smell of roasted almonds brændte mandler at every street corner.

While most of the world gets excited for the holidays, some of you are wondering how you are going to get it all done before it's time to hang up the business suit and put on that ugly Christmas sweater?

It's never easy for an entrepreneur to take time off even during the holiday season. I have discovered that the traditionally quiet period up to and during the holidays is an opportune time to recharge our batteries for the year ahead. Time to clear our heads, our diaries and our desks to make room for the new year. The sense of being in control and prepared gives me a sense of much needed calm to relax during the time off.

Now is an excellent time to create a plan and map out what needs to get done between then and now to free up time to relax, unwind and spend time with family and friends during the holidays. Taking time off can fill you with feelings of stress and anxiety rather than as it should be – the excitement of a well-deserved break.

Get yourself ready for the new year

Try to create a list of what you need to deal with before you go on vacation, so it won't be as stressful when you return. Make a list of what needs to be done while you are away and ensure it is either done by someone else or can be done by you in advance. Then try to prioritize the tasks in the order they came in, and depending on how urgent they are, it will be easier to catch up.

"Some of you are wondering how you are going to get it all done before it's time to hang up the business suit and put on that ugly Christmas sweater?"

Make contact with all your clients, businesses, suppliers etc. to let them know you will be offline during the holidays. This shows a high level of service and that customers can expect the same delivery times and customer support as during the rest of the year.

Some of the other things you can do to prepare for your time off:

✔ Ensure your business finances are in good order

✔ Develop a marketing strategy for the year to come

✔ Plan and schedule your holiday Social Media posts

✔ Set up automatic bank transfers to take care of your obligations.

As a small business entrepreneur, 2020 has been a challenging year (for lack of a better word) and as this year draws to a close and I reflect on this 2020 whirlwind, I can't help but feel very, very fortunate. Fortunate because I live the life I live here in Denmark. I want for nothing. I'm healthy, my family is healthy, we have a lovely home in a beautiful neighbourhood. I have a company (who thanks to the Danish government is still in business) and have a great professional and social network. I am happy.

Believing in yourself is one of the necessary attributes of a successful entrepreneur. We all have dreams for the future, big visions of where we want to be in life and business. And as we approach the start of a brand new year, I am very optimistic that it can only be better in 2021.

I wish you all a happy holiday season — and a happy and prosperous new year!

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