The holidays are coming. You know it. I know it. I see Christmas lights going up faster that lightning strikes, and people have started asking me, “Bought your kids any gifts yet?”
I have. But before I planned what I’d buy for my family, I thought of what I’d buy for myself.
This goes against popular thinking. Buy for yourself? No way. Other people are supposed to buy you gifts!
Except when they’re not.
Take Care of Number One First
Years ago during a talk with my brother, he pointed a firm finger at me and said, “Take care of Number One first.”
I was young. I had no idea what he meant. But as I grew older, I learned… the hard way.
I took care of others first. I clocked long work hours. I gave too much and got very little in return. I trained people to take advantage of me – and they did. I was overly generous with my time, my money and my friendship, and got burned for it. I cut back on my sleep. I neglected my nutrition.
I ignored my general health and happiness for the benefit of other people.
Never a good idea.
Eventually I realized I was exhausting myself, getting walked all over and being taken for granted. And slowly I learned how to start taking care of myself by pushing back.
I finally understood that if I didn’t take care of myself first, no one else would.
Give to Yourself Before Others
I decided one day that I needed to give to myself first – and I made that a literal gift. I wrote a wish list, and I started making steps to give them to myself.
I choose gifts I knew would improve my quality of life. Gifts that eliminated an annoyance of mine, that made me more productive or relaxed, or that helped me increase my financial freedom.
They were business-related gifts. Gifts that increased my potential, that helped me accomplish goal after goal. Gifts that let me attain all my dreams, and desires.
Think about it: Would you be able to earn more money if you improved your skill set? Would you be able to widen your service offerings with some training? Would a better website boost your sales? Would more focused web copy turn more visitors into clients?
Of course. And when you gift yourself with these and other business-related investments, they pay off.
Your customer base increases, your products sell faster, your services become in demand and your bank account starts growing.
The Real Magic: Taking Action
Here’s the real magic that happens when you decide to gift yourself: You take action. You start making steps towards reaching your goals. You work harder on your business to bring in new customers and sales. You clean up your act, get on it, and get going.
And the gift? Not only does it increase your business potential for years to come, but it becomes the reward you give yourself for your hard work.
Double-win, I’d say.
So sit down right now and make a list. Think good and hard about the gifts you’d like this year. Then make yourself a promise that you’ll take steps to get them. And don’t just promise – actually commit to taking action.
Don’t Make Money Excuses
Some gifts you want (or need!) may cost a lot and you can’t get them right away. That’s okay. In fact, it’s even better if you have to work towards saving up for your gifts slowly, because you’ll work harder to earn them, with more intention and with stronger motivation.
Work harder on your business. Set sales goals each week. And set money aside from those sales each week too. Stash 10% of your earnings away. Cut spending and expenses. Give less to others. Go frugal. You can even get a little stingy for a few months.
It’s not selfish, believe me. Buying gifts for yourself means you’re taking care of Number One.
And when you do, you’ll soon realize you’re in a much better position to take care of everyone else around you.