Is it beginning to feel a lot like Christmas to you? Meaning you are starting to panic because time is drawing nigh and your Christmas gift list is still longer than Santa’s beard? Here’s a short list of Christmas gifts if you’re still trying to think of that perfect gift for a special someone who already has everything:

Keep Your Wallet In Your Pocket For These Christmas Gifts

  1. Time. As a business owner your time is very valuable. Every minute of your day is occupied by customers, vendors, employees, meetings, deadlines, emergencies, etc. Time with friends and family is rare, like a precious jewel. Think of the statement you make when you purposefully sacrifice to carve out time for someone special in your life. Write a letter committing a set amount of time each week or two that you will spend with this special someone. Promise to keep your phone in your pocket, make eye contact and talk. Yes, talk! Write the letter on nice stationery, put a bow on it and tuck it under the Christmas tree. It may be the most valuable of all Christmas gifts you’ve ever given. Here’s a blog post that may help: The Small Business Owner’s Key to Work/Life Balance.
  2. Mentorship. As a successful small business owner you have a cornucopia of wisdom that you could impart. Shouldn’t you pass some of it on to the next generation? Your son, your daughter, nephew, niece, the struggling college kid next door. The Millennial Workforce Needs Mentors, Not Managers according to this author from Forbes. Millennials have the most spending power of any generation and will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025. i.e., they will be running the country, dictating policy and setting trends. Give the gift of mentorship to someone you know. It’s the gift that will keep on giving.
  3. Forgiveness. Look over your Christmas gifts list. Who did you leave off? Come on, look again. Or maybe that someone is on your list for an obligatory Starbucks gift card. But the person would much rather have the gift of your forgiveness. It’s completely free and ironically, you receive the greatest gift. “According to the Mayo Clinic, forgiveness brings with it plenty of health benefits, including improved relationships, decreased anxiety and stress, lower blood pressure, a lowered risk of depression, and stronger immune and heart health. Letting go of negative emotions can often have a remarkable impact on the body.”
  4. Kind words. This one is hard to wrap, but the impact will be huge. Begin sprinkling praise, kind words of encouragement around to the important people in your life. Your employees expect to be corrected when they do something wrong, but make it a point frequently to catch them doing something right and praise them for it. Try the same with your kids and your spouse and even the cashier dude at the grocery store. This is another one of those magical gifts like forgiveness in which you get more than you give. Oh, and if appropriate you better find something to wrap to put under the tree, also. These folks are still expecting boxes with Christmas gifts.
  5. Free Passes. What are you good at? Are you an IT whiz? Can you clean up a storm? Are you a DIY home handyman? A landscaping, gardening extraordinaire?  A personal finance, budgeting ninja? Give free passes for one hour of your services. Stipulate that you need 2 weeks notice to get the dates on your calendar and then show up to do your thing.

And because we love business owners across the country, we encourage you to think about a gift for yourself. If you manage remote, hourly service-oriented employees and still use handwritten time cards, we have the perfect gift for you. You will thank us later.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

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