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The Worst Thing You Can Do Right Now

You’re not going to like this very much. In fact, it might upset you.

Why?

Because many fundraisers believe it is their responsibility, their duty, to be stressed at this time of year.

In just the same way as many nonprofit organizations and their CEOs believe it is their duty to be “doomed to struggle.” They like struggling. Revel in it. More about that tomorrow.

For right now, do you feel stressed?

It is the worst thing you can do. Stop it.

Three very bad things happen when you allow stress to take over.

And yes, being stressed is a decision you make.

One: you diminish your standing in the office and with your donors. “Wow, she looks really stressed out.” Translated, “She must not have her act together.”

Your boss notices it. Your colleagues notice it. And your donors notice it.

Is that how you want to present yourself to these key stakeholders in your future? No? I didn’t think so.

Even if you feel stressed, you don’t have to look it.

Two: when you’re stressed, the quality of your work suffers. You spend less time expressing genuine thanks to your donors. Strategic thinking and decision-making are compromised. You rush to get things done, and rushing through work is always a lousy idea.

And three, when you’re stressed, you cheat yourself out of the happiness, the beauty of this season. Yes, the holidays, but hey, this is the time of year when most of your donors are saying, “We believe in you. Keep up the good work! We are so glad to support this important mission.”

Don’t you want to savor that? Of course you do. You deserve it.

Being busy and being stressed are two very different things. Yes, you’re busy at this time of year. You want to be busy!

Banish the stress. It hurts you.

Choose to be happy. Make it the gift you give yourself.

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