If you’re thinking about how your business in 2023 will look you’re not alone. The period when December draws to a close and January begins is often a quieter time for Australian companies. It offers founders, business owners, managers and employees alike a much-needed chance to catch their breath. So how are you planning to make the most of the festive season and summer break? If the stress of the past few years and fears of a recession are playing on your mind, we’ve identified three ways you can relax, reset and return refreshed in 2023 to take your business to the next level.
Take a step back and look in the mirror. If you have black circles under your eyes or eye bags, grasp the opportunity that the slow-paced Australian summer presents. At this time of year, you don’t have to worry too much about losing ground. Most businesses shut down for Christmas and New Year. So take some time off, relax and catch up on sleep. You, your family and your business will reap the benefits.
Burnout is real
You’ve probably heard about the burnout epidemic sweeping through the workforce globally. Australian employees are the worst affected with 62% of Australian employees experiencing burnout, compared with a global average of 48%. But did you know burnout isn’t unique to employees, it can affect founders and entrepreneurs too? 
Building a successful business can be as stressful and exhausting as it can be exciting and rewarding. According to the World Health Organization, burnout is an occupational phenomenon that results from prolonged exposure to stress. It’s no wonder founders are succumbing. The tell-tale signs of burnout include, feeling depleted or exhausted, feeling mentally distanced from your business, negative or cynical about your venture and decreased professional efficacy.
How to recover
Whether you’ve succumbed to burnout or are hurtling towards it, the good news is that it’s not permanent. And you can use the extra time you have over the summer to turn things around. Take the break you need, and reconnect with family and friends. Get some exercise and pick up old hobbies you haven’t had time for this year, or take the plunge with some new activities you’ve always wanted to try. It will do you the world of good whether you have burnout or not because you’ll feel refreshed and ready for 2023.
What if disconnecting from the world of work entirely is not for you? Try a balanced approach instead. That way you can pepper fun activities and relaxation with a light diet of podcasts, books or those online classes you haven’t gotten around to. There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest, kicking back, relaxing and doing new tasks that differ from our main goals helps us unlock creativity and find solutions down the track. Indeed, getting yourself into a relaxed, playful and positive mood, triggers what leading keynote speaker, author, and advisor on innovation, Stephen Shapiro, calls ‘drowsy brain’. The ‘drowsy brain’ state suppresses our tendencies to judge and overthink. Instead, it encourages insights and enables us to access the parts of the brain where we’re naturally in a state of flow. Shapiro says it is one of the secrets to creativity. It doesn’t really matter whether you dabble in professional or personal development. As long as you relax and have fun along the way.
To get your creative juices flowing, we’ve pulled together our list of holiday podcasts, online courses and books to get you started with a balanced approach to the summer break.
Our top 5 books for founders and leaders
If you’re heading somewhere off the grid with no mobile coverage, make sure you throw some of these classic business books in your suitcase before you leave.
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz.
This book is packed with crucial advice on building and running a start-up from one of Silicon Valley’s most seasoned and successful entrepreneurs.
- The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch
A timeless gem that explains how we can all work smarter rather than harder.
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
A business classic that unpacks the secrets of successful marketing. If you haven’t read it, make a point of doing so this summer.
- The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly
A business parable that’s a must-read for anyone looking to attract and retain a high-performing team.
- Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish
The book reveals the practical tools and techniques that a business looking to scale-up needs to succeed.
Our top 5 podcasts for founders and leaders
If you’re not leaving modern technology at home and want to listen and learn while you relax or enjoy other holiday activities, then try these podcasts.
Often named the best business podcast on Apple podcasts, in each episode, Tim gets the inside track on world-class performers from all sectors to extract their tactics, tools and routines so you can use them too.
This inspiring podcast series tells the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies and the founders who built them.
Kara hosts and interviews movers and shakers from business, politics and tech and anyone else who’s about to change the world.
Tony has helped over 50 million people from 100 countries change their lives. In his podcast, he shares proven strategies and tactics so you, too, can achieve massive results in your business, relationships and health.
Radium Capital client Hello Coach’s free weekly podcasts are designed to help you live your best life. Hosted by Founder & CEO Victoria Mills, the podcasts share insights from world-class, expert coaches to help you maximise your well-being, relationships and work success.
If you’re more of a visual learner rather than a reader or a listener, then a few carefully curated short online courses could be just the ticket for your summer holiday.
- The Lean Start-up by Eric Ries
In this 2.5-hour on-demand video course, discover how to apply the lean start-up methodology to building and launching your new products and services.
A step-by-step guide to launching and scaling a business condensed into 10 hours of content featuring videos and exercises.
Master a new skill or discover a new passion by learning from the experts.
If you’re not experiencing burnout and you’re not going away this summer, then it could be the perfect time to review and reset your business for the year ahead. Fewer employees, suppliers and clients working during December and January equals fewer meetings and fewer distractions. So you’ll finally have those long stretches of uninterrupted time you’ve been dreaming of all year. In the weeks ahead, you can update your strategy and business plan, finish off your marketing plan and see how your finances are tracking for the financial year. It’s also a great time of year to explore new funding opportunities or grants. If you want to make sure you’re not leaving any Government grant money on the table, take a look at the Federal Government’s online Grants and Programs finder tool.
Refreshing your capital supply
If you discover that your business is eligible for the R&D Tax Incentive (R&DTI) refund, your company will be eligible to apply for a Radium Advance to access your expected refund early. That means you don’t have to wait 12-18 months for your R&DTI refund to arrive from the Australian Tax Office. Check out the Radium Capital Calculator tool to find out how much of your tax refund money you could access in just a few business days. Your capital and cash flow could be in great shape for 2023.
Awards can reward
Awards are another option to explore. They can help you raise your venture’s public profile. If you’re wondering where to start when it comes to throwing your hat in the ring for a business award, have a look at this blog from GreenDoorCo on The Top Business Awards You Can Enter In 2022 and 2023.
Select for success in 2023
There’s no-one-size-fits-all when it comes to recharging your batteries to set yourself and your business up for a successful 2023. Whether you disconnect from work entirely, weave some professional or personal development into your holidays or use December and January to plan and strategise will depend on your circumstances. If you’re not sure which pathway to follow, think about which option is most likely to help you achieve the most personal and professional success next year. Doing so will bring you closer to your goals faster.
 news. 2022. Australian workers suffer most burnout in world: Microsoft Work Trends Index | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/australian-workers-suffer-most-burnout-in-world-microsoft-work-trends-index/news-story/b2e047251cf1009b57c9de4b3d30f95f.
 Burn-out an “occupational phenomenon”: International Classification of Diseases . 2022. Burn-out an “occupational phenomenon”: International Classification of Diseases . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.who.int/news/item/28-05-2019-burn-out-an-occupational-phenomenon-international-classification-of-diseases.
 WomensMedia. 2021. Why It’s Okay To Do Nothing Sometimes For True Success. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2021/07/01/why-its-okay-to-do-nothing-sometimes-for-true-success/?sh=19c3b656dd9e
 IdeaConnection. 2022. Four Innovation Styles – Interviews with Corporate Innovation Leaders. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.ideaconnection.com/interviews/00242-Four-Innovation-Styles.html.