Navigating Stress and Burnout This Holiday Season

By Tally Mack

This blog post is part of Bravo’s 90 Days of Retail Marketing Guide for Specialty Retailers. Visit our 90 Days of Retail webpage for more small business tips and insights.

The holiday season is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for many business owners it can quickly become the most stressful. As you juggle increased customer demands, supply chain issues, staff shortages, and more, it's easy to lose sight of what matters most - your own health and wellbeing.

This holiday season, I'm reminding myself of some lessons I learned from my father and mentor, Steve Mack. As the founder of SuperPawn and Bravo, he taught me that there is no business without people. His insights have stuck with me as I lead Bravo today.

Here are three timeless lessons as you navigate holiday stress:

1. Take care of yourself first.

It's tempting to put your own needs last, but burnout benefits no one. When you're burned out, you lack the clarity and patience needed to properly manage your team. Self-care isn't selfish - it allows you to lead by example.

Eat nourishing meals even when you're busy. Prioritize exercise and rest. Take regular breaks to clear your mind, stretch your legs or meditate. Don't neglect your personal relationships. Your own health directly impacts your ability to serve your customers and support your staff. Model self-care rather than self-sacrifice.

2. Delegate wisely.

Doing everything yourself sends the wrong message and wastes your unique skills. Delegation shows trust in your staff to handle more responsibility.

This holiday season, thoughtfully identify tasks like reporting, promotions or customer service that you can train others to take on, or lean on Bravo to help with! Free up time and mental bandwidth for high-level strategic work only you can tackle. Employees will grow their skills and feel valued.

3. Express more gratitude.

It's easy to only recognize your customers. But genuine appreciation of your team goes a long way, especially during stressful times.

Make gratitude a daily habit. Recognize efforts both big and small. Write thank you notes or give small rewards for exceptional work. Publicly praise good work at team meetings. Positivity is powerful, boosting morale, loyalty and performance.

Ultimately, work should support your life, not subsume it. That's why my father started Bravo - to make retail operations more efficient through technology, freeing up precious time for owners.

Now, at the close of 2023, I invite you to reflect on your goals for the coming year. How can you adapt your business and habits to align with your personal values in 2024? What support do you need to avoid burnout? Cheers to a restful and prosperous new year!

About the Author:

Photo of Tally Mack Bravo CEO
Tally Mack | CEO of Bravo Systems

Tally Mack is a fifth-generation pawnbroker and eCommerce enthusiast. She loves traveling, being outside, and working out.

Before taking the reins as CEO, Tally served as Bravo's Vice President of Business Development, leading the company's sales and marketing organization. She's been instrumental in leading and executing many of the company's strategic shifts, including the acquisition of CompuPawn and the launch of

Tally earned her Doctorate of Law (J.D.) from DePaul University College of Law in 2013 after attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she earned her B.A. in Communication Studies. She also completed the Key Executives Program from Harvard Business School in 2013.

Tally is a pawnshop lover and eCommerce enthusiast—dedicated to the success of both her employees and customers!