We are at that special time of the year where businesses are winding down on activity. It follows the Christmas season and many are preparing for the brief holiday.
But we imagine the average startupper (busy entrepreneur or employee) will face Christmas with mixed feelings.
For one, they are used to a busy and fun-filled life working at a startup so taking a break can ironically prove difficult.
However, taking a break this Christmas is essential and here are a few convincing reasons why.
Opportunity to reflect on business performance
It’s pointless recounting the tendencies to work all round the clock while living the startup life. Still yet, all of that exercise is necessary to achieve organisational goals.
Suggested Read: 11 signs that you work at a startup
As an employee or a founder, there is a role required of everyone to play in attaining organisational success.
However, a time must come when everyone needs to reevaluate their roles and contribution to see if they are adding enough value. To be honest, this is best achieved under deep solitude. One can use the Christmas break for such period of deep reflection.
If anything, it should hold greater significance to founders, for whom such time-out will allow proper reflection on their performance over the course of the year to see what actionable plans can be implemented for the new business year of course.
Bad business during Christmas
The Christmas season happens to be a time where more retail, commercial and institutional businesses are simultaneously closed, than any other period in the year.
Technically speaking, save for niches that are completely dependent on the season, Christmas of all days is considered the least active day of the year for business.
If we take a look at countries like England and Wales for instance, the Christmas Day (Trading) Act 2004 prevents all large shops from trading on Christmas Day.
Whether or not the law requires such in Nigeria, the practise of rounding up business calendar year during Christmas has become a tradition. For startups, following the bandwagon wouldn’t seem a tad bit odd.
Spend time with family and loved ones
Normal itinerary for a founder includes all round travelling. Be it is in search of corporate partnership, funding or merely to represent the company at functions both locally and internationally, we would agree that travel takes a lot on the yearly calendar of many founders or top executives.
While this activity may be fun and exhilarating, it can also mean keeping the founder away from important people in his/her life; family, team members, friends.
Ironically, Christmas can offer the perfect opportunity to take a break from such activity to spend time with the most important people in one’s life. It could be spent watching a movie or just staying indoors.
Those are moments to be cherished because you never just might tell what the new year travel itinerary could look like.
Finding inspiration in the unlikeliest places
Running or working in a startup requires a lot of creative energy and, at times, this won’t come within the four walls of ones organisation or amongst regular company that one keeps. Sometimes, with startups also, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of trying to do far too many things that don’t come with the job description.
Well, the beauty of Christmas is that you can actually get on the road and meet new people (at the cinemas, beaches etc). That meeting can stir up conversations that fix the missing link in your puzzle. Other times, such conversation could create a path to a completely disruptive idea to busy oneself with in the new year.
As business people, we’ve probably had many of this light bulb moments in the unlikeliest places, so why not take advantage of the Christmas opportunity.
Health is wealth
Last year, the Nigerian tech space lost a few prominent players to the cold hand of death. A few years backward, 2013 to be precise, a study by Bloomberg put Nigeria on the top of the list of the most stressful countries.
It goes without asking the question, “should health be sacrificed on a platform of seeking wealth?”
Keeping up with the requirement of working in a fast-growing startup could sometimes pose some health strains. And because time is one luxury most startups (while trying to scale) don’t have, it could get worse.
Suggested Read: The inevitable health risks of disruptive tech innovation
So, in this break, the time afforded to go examine oneself is one good reason to embrace the holiday. Especially as you plan to disrupt the world in 2019, you should do so with a sound and healthy mind. Afterall, health is wealth.
Jan. 18: Bonus Built in Africa episode: Town Hall meeting with Peter Salovey, President of Yale University
On March 25, 2021, Techpoint Africa will be hosting the brightest minds in decentralised finance/crypto at the Digital Currency Summit tagged “Building the money of the future” Click here for more details, registration and sponsorship. Location: Fourpoint by Sheraton, V.I. Lagos.