The Best Gift

I think the best holiday gift is to make the most of ourselves, when it comes to personal development, whether that means sales and marketing training, whether it means personal training, whether it means meditation, whatever it is for you, prayer, whatever it is that allows you to get to a place where you can really focus, really be present, and be your best for yourself, and those around you, is really important.

David: Hi and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, co-host, Jay McFarland and I will be discussing the best holiday gift you can give yourself and your family. Welcome back, Jay.

Jay: Thank you so much, David, for the opportunity to be here. And I love this question. It’s a little off track from some of the things that we normally talk about. But I think as we talk about running your own business and the amount of time that it takes, taking a little bit of time out to think about your family and how you can make their holidays special, I think it’s a critical topic.

David: Yeah. And of course, because of the nature of the things that we talk about, what I’m really thinking about when it comes to the best holiday gift you can give yourself and your family, I tend to look at it as “a better you,” right?

If you can provide yourself and your family with a better you, a smarter you, a more motivated you, a more inspired you, that is going to really make a huge difference in your business life, in your personal life, and the life of the people that you care about.

And of course, this time of year a lot of people are focused on actual gift giving, which of course is a traditional thing as well.

But when we think about what really is going to help ourselves, our family, our loved ones most, it’s going to be, you know, a healthier, happier, safer, more productive you, generally.

Jay: Yeah. I love this line of thinking because you could give them all the presents in the world, but if you’re stressed out all the time, if you’re angry, because of what’s going on at work and those types of things, you can’t buy their love or their gratitude with gifts.

Maybe they’re a little bit happy in the morning, but by the end of the day they still remember what kind of circumstances you’ve left them in.

David: Yeah, I remember when the kids were really young and we’d have gifts in the morning and by afternoon , it was like everybody was kind of cranky because you kind of get what you wanted out of the day and have too many sweets and all that sort of thing.

But again, I think if we think really more in terms of what we’re going to be doing and how we’re going to be living and interacting with each other. A great example of this about a week or so ago on social media, Charity Gibson, who is involved in the promotional products industry in a lot of ways, and is just really inspiring for a lot of people.

She posted something on Facebook about what happens when, at some point, you’re doing everything for everyone else and you’re not doing anything for yourself. You’re not taking care of yourself. And I think it’s such a great point, because a lot of times people can fall into this trap of thinking, well, I don’t want to be selfish.

But there is a big difference between selfishness and what I refer to as rational self-interest.

In other words, rational self-interest is what keeps us from stepping off the curb and into traffic, right? The desire to look both ways before we cross the street. That’s rational self-interest.

Nobody would really look at that and say, oh, you’re being selfish.

But I think a lot of times people tend to, for themselves mostly, think, well, I should be doing more. I could be doing more. They want to help everybody else. And if you don’t put gas in your own tank first, you’re not going to have any energy left for anyone else.

Jay: Yeah, such a good point. In fact, I saw a study just yesterday and it was talking about the high levels of anxiety in our youth, but also in adulthood.

And they said, you know, anxiety is something you don’t want to have to deal with, but it’s a warning sign. It’s your system telling you something.

Something’s going on. And we tend to just want to medicate it instead of saying, you know, what’s going on in my life that’s causing that? And one of the things they identified is what you’re talking about.

We’re not taking time for ourselves. We’re putting so much pressure on ourselves that we’re never taking a break. And our body is telling us, look, this is too much. You can’t handle it. And instead of listening, we’re going “just drug me up and I’ll figure it out.”

David: Yeah. I think the whole idea of making the most of ourselves, when it comes to personal development, whether that means sales and marketing training, whether it means personal training, whether it means meditation, whatever it is for you, prayer, whatever it is that allows you to get to a place where you can really focus, really be present, and be your best for yourself, and those around you, is really important.

And so, just taking some time to ask yourself, okay, what do I need to do to get myself to a place where I’m feeling better about myself? About my work? Those around me?

I mean, we’ve done podcasts recently where we were talking about quiet quitting and things like that. And if you’re at a point in your life or your career where you’re just not really happy with the way things are, the way things are going, now is just a great time of year to be able to say, “okay, what do I really want?”

And I think next week we’re going to be doing a podcast on the week between Christmas and New Year. That’s usually a good time for planning and that sort of thing. So we’ll sort of continue this discussion next week. But in the meantime, I think for people who are just looking to make things better, it’s a good time to just sort of evaluate, take stock, try to figure out what we want so that we can start to put together some plans to achieve it.

Jay: Yeah, and one of the things that comes to my mind is so many people get into entrepreneurship because they have this picture of quality of life. Right? That’s what we want.

I’m going to start my business. I’m going to have this income stream. I can take vacations. I can be with the family. So I got this quality of life coming on.

And what they really did is they created a full-time job. Maybe double what a full-time job would take. They now have less time away from the family, less time for themselves. And it’s a very easy trap, as you know, to fall into.

David: Yeah. And of course I know that from personal experience. Because I’ve fallen into a time or two myself.

And it’s interesting, too, because I mean, people who love what they do have a tremendous advantage in the sense that when they do end up overworking or doing more than they should, they’re still pretty happy about it.

I consider myself one of those people where I really just love what I do. So It’s work, but it’s the kind of work that I really enjoy.

This year is a great example. I could have taken a lot more time off than I did, and I kind of forgot because I just really enjoyed what I was doing. I love the people that I work with. I love interacting with them. I love helping them grow their businesses and grow their sales and get the results they’re looking for.

And I mean we had a lot of great personal things going on this year as well. My son got married this year and so we were able to enjoy that whole experience.

So I think, as you look back on the year, you say, okay, well what was great? What wasn’t so great? What could I have done better? What could I have done differently?

And what do I want to do for next year? And again, we’ll get into that next week. But just thinking in terms of what we can do for ourselves and our family, as it relates to being better, being more present. I think that’s a good place to be.

Jay: Yeah, I love that. Being more present. But I also think about all the podcasts we’ve done over the last months, and we’ve talked about systems and ways to make your business run better, to make it grow better. To have these systems in place. I think having a plan, implementing a plan, having goals, all of those things.

Those things, if they’re implemented properly, are going to de-stress your life and ideally allow you to be present with your family. Because you’re not sitting at the dinner table, if you still eat dinner together, because I know that’s a rarity today even with the way things are going on.

That you can be present and instead of, you know, having your wife saying something to you and you’re thinking about a client at work and you’re just going, uh-huh, yeah, sure, whatever, you know?

David: Yeah. If you have your cell phone turned upside down on the table while you’re eating with your family, that doesn’t count as being away from work, it really doesn’t.

Jay: Yeah.

David: And again, I know there have been times where I’ve done that. It’s like, what’s the point? As if it’s upside down, like it’s not really there, like it’s not really going to impact you.

Jay: Yeah. I think just maybe reminding yourself why you did it. You know, why did you start this and what were those initial goals?

And if you’re not able to translate that down to time with your family and being present with them, then maybe it’s time to reassess your priorities.

David: Yeah. I think that thinking also is something that we really need to focus on. And again, it’s a good time of year to do it. Thinking in terms of what we want to have happen, learning from the mistakes of our past.

There’s a lot of talk in the news lately about the recession that is likely to be coming in 2023. I don’t like buying into all that. I don’t like listening to it. I don’t like thinking about it. I especially don’t like talking about it on a podcast.

But I also feel like if we don’t acknowledge what people are saying is likely to happen, then we’re not going to be prepared for it.

So I think another gift that we can give to ourselves and our families this holiday season is to really think ahead in terms of how we’re going to do what we’ve done in the past better and differently, so that we can get the results that we need as the environment changes.

Jay: Yeah. Learning how to pivot, you know, and so many people had to learn how to pivot during the pandemic, and now they’ve had to pivot after the pandemic because supply chain dried up. And so now it’s supply chain comes back. Are they going to have to pivot to a recession?

I mean, we are learning to pivot back and forth and I hope eventually we can get back to some sense of normalcy. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen very soon.

David: Yeah. I don’t know when it’s going to happen either. But I think there’s also a tendency, I know in my own mind and probably in other people’s minds as well, where when you get through something like we did with the pandemic, and you get through the supply chain stuff, and you get through all these things, that when somebody says, “okay, now there’s going to be a recession,” there’s a tendency to say, “oh, well no, that’s, not here yet.” Or, “I’m not going to deal with that,” or “I’m not going to think about that.”

But thinking about it in advance, perhaps planning for it a little bit and saying, “okay, in the event this happens, what am I going to do?”

And we should probably the tackle that in a future podcast, but we’ll wait till after the holidays for that one.

Jay: Yeah, yeah.

David: But really thinking in terms of what are the specific things we can do to prepare for that?

Because the good news is, if it doesn’t happen, which I’m hoping it doesn’t happen, but if it doesn’t happen, you’re still miles ahead.

So by thinking it through, planning things out, you just have a tremendous advantage over those who just prefer to take each day as it comes and not really trying to think things through.

Jay: Yeah, and the other thing I love is that you don’t have to do it alone. I mean, you offer tremendous resources for people that already have plans and actions that they can take today, even as they go into the holidays.

So how do they find out more about that?

David: Well, you can go to, that’s Schedule a call with myself or my team and we can literally just have a conversation about what it is that you’re looking to accomplish for the remainder of this year and into the new year.

Any concerns that you have about recession or the types of clients you’re going to need to be able to attract to get around some of that stuff. We can just have a conversation and if it makes sense for us to work together, we’ll figure out a way to do it. And if not, hopefully you’ll still get a lot of great value from the call.

Jay: Well, and I know for a fact sometimes just talking to somebody is enough to get those gears turning, make you feel like you’re not alone, and de-stress you a little bit. So I highly recommend it.

David: Yeah, especially when you’re in a particular industry, you’ve got very similar concerns. You’ve got very similar issues, and just to be able to talk to someone else who has been through it and say, “Hey, listen. What did you do in this situation?” Or “how do you deal with that situation?”

It’s just a great opportunity. And a lot of our clients, we participate, we have a mastermind group, a discussion group where they interact with each other via email and that sort of thing.

And it’s great to have a community of people who understand you, who understand where you are, and who are committed to help you to get to the goals you’re looking to reach.

Jay: Yeah. I love it. Such a great resource. David, thank you for joining us today.

David: Thank you, Jay.

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