Holidays are meant to be happy times of celebration, a time for strengthening our relationship with God and our families, a time to relax…but instead we feel tired, irritable, and unable to have a good time.
Why? Because the Holidays bring on additional stressors in our lives and that is when we may be having a Holiday Stress Response!
But first, know your triggers. Holidays often have these added stressors: ...Time pressures (deadlines, too many things to do, extra preparation activities) ...Congestion - long lines and slow moving traffic ...Loneliness ...Lack of finances
While we can’t change others or some of our circumstances, we can take some actions that will help us to better manage Holiday Stress and make our holidays more enjoyable and healthy.
Here are 5 suggestions:
1. Time Management can be one of your best skills for dealing with Holiday Stress. Some people overload their schedule and others need to add some activities to their schedule. It is important to Plan your time schedule in advance. Write your plan out on a calendar to make it a visual of when you can do what you need to do and create balance in your time.
2. Be grateful – count your blessings and be thankful. Then set new goals to move forward.
3. Reach out to others. Join a group to meet others. Meetup.com is a good place to start. Do something for at least one person to help them to balance their time or who may be less fortunate.
4. Creative Gift Giving – don’t feel pressured to go the traditional route with gift giving. Some families exchange names or agree to only give an edible present. 5. 10-Second Relaxation Response – Whether you are standing in a long check out line or waiting for traffic to move or some other situation when you feel you are about ready to lose it… try this little exercise to help you to remain more calm. Practice it in advance so you have this ready for the next time one of your stressors begins to get to you. .Take a deep cleansing breath .Think to yourself “My Body does not need this stress.” .Take another deep cleansing breath and picture calmness coming down over your head and moving into your body as you breathe deep .Exhale - Feel the tension leaving with your exhaled breath .Continue to breathe and remaining in control while dealing with the situation.
Don’t let Holiday Stress get the better of you this season. Plan now to implement one or two of these suggestions to help you to have a more enjoyable and healthy Holiday.
Every business has two goals, get customers and keep customers. In today’s busy market place, competition for customers can be intense. Therefore, it is important to create a competitive advantage that will help you to stand out from your competitors!
What is a competitive advantage? It is what makes your potential customers chose you over your competition. In order to be successful, Entrepreneurs and Business Professionals need to think about what they can do to help customers make a decision to chose to use their products or service.
Here is an activity I have used in my business management classes and workshops. Please feel free to share this activity with others.
This activity is called the “Paper Clip Activity.”
Imagine you are starting your own paper clip company. Think about paper clips and then brainstorm ways you will create a competitive advantage over the "other" paperclip companies.
The activity is most effective when you can do this with another person or between small groups. However, as you are reading this pause for a moment to think about your responses and then complete the article.
There are two types of customers, those who are attracted to lower price and those who are attracted to quality. If quality is important to your customer and your product is perceived to be a higher quality, then a “reasonable” higher price is not an issue. If two products have the same quality, then price becomes most important.
Here is the interesting thing, while yes there is a difference in quality of some products in the same industry – but for many businesses, the quality is based on the perception of the consumer.
There are also two types of business strategies – low cost or differentiation. Some entrepreneurs and business professionals make the error of trying to compete on price rather than find a way to differentiate themselves from their competitor. This is why a small business can compete against large organizations, because they have found something they can do differently to meet the customer’s needs. They are then able to charge a fair price and make a fair profit.
Let’s go back to the Paper Clip company. Think about each of the responses you made. What were some of your immediate responses? Color Materials Size and Shape Packaging Price Promotional/ Marketing
While you may implement one of those ideas and gain a short-term lead on your competitor, they may also implement similar strategies. And your customers may switch to your competitor.
Again, the two goals of any business are to attract and retain customers. So, how do we build our competitive advantage in order to do that?
Yep, I am going to give you the #1 Key in just a little bit, but first let me have you think about one more thing. Are you a long-term customer for someone else? What attracted you and why do you continue to do business with them?
Chances are you were attracted to their product or service but you stayed because you of good customer service. Customer service can be what creates the difference so you can better attract and maintain customers.
There was also a study was done to determine the reason why most customers leave or why an employee leaves an organization, at they found it is because of a negative attitude and the way they were treated by someone at that business.
So, the #1 Key to creating a competitive advantage? YOU.