As an entrepreneur, you often find yourself working around the clock--you've forgotten the meaning of weekends. I've personally doing this for years with all my many different projects. If you're in year two, three, or four of your entrepreneurial project, you may not recall the last holiday you had off. You're scrambling to finish a client request until the turkey is pulled out of the oven and may have even been checking work emails as the kids tore open Christmas gifts last year.
And you may be wondering: Is this how it's always going to be?
The answer is it's up to you. There's definitely no shortage of sacrifice when you're starting your own business, but when will the madness end? Is it noble to work on one of the biggest family holidays of the year, or stupid? There's a case for both sides, and it all comes down to your own personal give and take.
As turkey day creeps up on us, it's time to ask yourself: Should you be working this Thanksgiving weekend or not?
A Case for Working Through the Weekend
First, it's perfectly OK if Thanksgiving isn't (and never has been) a huge holiday for you. For many Americans, it's simply an excuse to (over)indulge in favorite treats and watch football guilt-free. If that's you and your family, then you don't need to feel guilt for shooting off a few client requests on turkey day. After all, it's prime time to catch up on business since many of your clients will be distracted by their own cranberry and pumpkin food coma.
As long as you're not shirking your family duties (like making someone else create that sweet potato casserole monstrosity when it's always been your job) or missing out on making memories, there's no reason you can't work on Thanksgiving--or Thanksgiving weekend. If you're on the fence, trust your gut (before it's brimming with turducken) and ask yourself if you'll regret "missing" part of Thanksgiving when you're 80 years old.
If the answer is no, then give yourself full permission for a working holiday.
On the Other Hand...
Maybe Thanksgiving weekend is one of the few times each year when the whole family gets together--and that's something you consider precious. Do you have fond memories of this holiday weekend playing games, catching up, or do you and your loved ones have a tradition of trying a new fancy buffet each year? If that's the case, work can wait (seriously). At the very least, carve out Thanksgiving Day as much-needed family time.
If you want to compromise with your entrepreneurial pursuits and the holidays, you can always work Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. After all, you may have a few family members who will be camping out for Black Friday, giving you an empty home that's prime for taking care of business. You can even get up with them at 4am, indulge in some hot cocoa, and send them off before buckling down to your project.
No matter how you spend the upcoming holiday weekend, remember that it's all about balance (both in work and in how high you pile your plate). A single day of missed work isn't going to bring down your business--but choosing to work instead of making small talk with relatives you don't particularly care for isn't going to put you on Santa's naughty list either.
Note: if it makes you feel any better. I'll be working this Thanksgiving on my latest free hosting startup Hostt. So don't feel to bad if you're working!