What the Christmas break is all about

Sometimes when you're running your own business, you forget to make time for the most important people in your life. It happens to the best of us. You live among towering stacks of bills, you have to increase sales by 10% before the end of next month or your rent is going to be late again, you work until midnight on a good night and you can't for the life of you understand why there's a gaping discrepancy on your profit and loss sheet. And in between all that, you have to be on top form every time you see a customer.

It's no huge surprise that when you finally get home or eventually get to the pub to meet an old friend for a drink, you're stressed, exhausted, and incapable of normal conversation for any sustained period of time.

Which is why the Christmas break is such a welcome relief. It's time dedicated purely to family and friends. Time for relaxing. Time for reminiscing and being silly. Time for fun and love.

You no doubt deserve it, and we suggest you make the absolute most of it. Turn off your BlackBerry and don't check emails. But can we make one more suggestion? If it feels like ages since you've done this, thank the people who've been there for you, through it all. They're the ones who have to absorb your bad moods and hypertension and soothe you at the end of the day. They're the ones who have sacrificed time with you because you had to throw yourself into the business. They're the ones who were there telling you everything would be okay and encouraging you on.

Make sure they know you appreciate it. And perhaps make a little promise to yourself to put aside an extra hour or so a week to spend time with them. After all, if it wasn't for the support of friends and family, your life would be a lot tougher, and your business might not even exist.

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