One of the biggest strengths required for any Youpreneur – anyone building the business around themselves – is drive and determination. You ARE the business, so you need to work hard and achieve goals to ensure your success.
However, this same strength can also be a weakness. How many of us work incredibly hard, achieve our goals and then… get straight back to work?
I know I do! As soon as I’ve achieved something, I don’t stop to give myself a pat on the back. I don’t reward myself. I don’t celebrate. I simply state “job done!” and move on to the next goal on my list.
This is an admirable trait, but it’s also counter-productive.
The benefits of stopping to celebrate successes
Much as we’d like to be, Youpreneurs are not emotionless robots who can work indefinitely!
We need to stop and celebrate our small wins. Doing so reminds us why we’re working for ourselves.
It keeps our energy levels up — especially when we’re having a bad day in the future, and that voice inside our heads is saying “You’ll NEVER succeed”.
It gives us the confidence and encouragement to go on and crush that next task.
So, how can you integrate a little bit of celebration time into your day-to-day life as a Youpreneuer?
That’s where recording your successes comes in.
I record my successes so I can pause and enjoy the moment without rushing on to the next thing. I also record my successes so that I can refer back to them in the future – often. This definitely helps me when I’m feeling a little low or unenthusiastic. It reminds me of how well I’m actually doing – not just how I’m feeling in the moment!Record successes so you can pause & enjoy the moment without rushing on to the next thing. Also record successes so that you can refer back to them. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
With that in mind, here are two small ways you can start recording your successes to help you maintain your momentum as a Youpreneuer.
Nice things people say
One area of success that is often overlooked by Youpreneurs is the humble compliment.
How many times have you been complimented this month? Probably a lot more than you realise!
The trouble is, we receive a compliment, smile and say “Thanks!” and then move on.
Compare that to how we deal with the opposite comment – complaints.
When we receive a complaint or criticism from someone, we dwell on it. We ruminate. We work hard to address it.
In fact, if you’re anything like me, you can receive a dozen compliments in a day, and one criticism, and at the end of the day, instead of taking pride in the compliments, you focus on thinking about the criticism. What’s up with that?!
Time to celebrate those compliments and refer back to them whenever you need a reminder of how awesome you are!
At the end of every day, before you close down your laptop, before you step away from the work desk, why not take 3 mins to write down any compliments you received that day?
This process alone is valuable as a closing-down exercise at the end of each day – enabling you to finish the day on a strong note. But by writing down your compliments, you can also refer back to them the next time you’re feeling low.
I also do this for compliments I receive on social platforms. I use a plug-in for my WordPress website that enables me to capture any compliments I receive via Twitter for future reference. I simply favourite (or star) the Tweet, and it’s then displayed on my website under “Nice things people say”.
This is a great reminder for me and demonstrates to any visitors to my website the good work I’m doing!
The Jar of Awesome!
In the same way, as we overlook compliments in favour of criticisms, we can often overlook our many victories on a day-to-day basis.
I’ve written before about why I believe perseverance and consistency = success.
But both perseverance (keeping going when you don’t feel like it) and consistency (doing the same thing to a high standard, again and again) are not infinite resources. You need to replenish them.
Yesterday, you won the biggest client contract in your Youpreneur business career.
Today, you got out of the wrong side of the bed and are wondering why you do this.
It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
I certainly found so. Which is why now, as I write this, I can see my jar of awesome staring back at me.
Sorry, Richard – your jar of what?
My Jar of Awesome!
It’s an old glass jar that my wife and step-kids decorated for me. It contains small post-it note sized pieces of paper with my victories written on it.
These victories could include:-
- Business work I’ve won
- Speaking gigs I nailed
- Income targets I’ve smashed
- Gifts I’ve received
… anything that is awesome, really!
Here are some actual notes I pulled out of my jar of awesome while writing this article.
As with writing down compliments (which could easily go into your own jar of awesome!), the goal here is to stop, make the time to slow down and savour the success, and then visibly be reminded of them – often.
When I’m feeling low, discouraged or feel like giving up, I go to my jar of awesome and pull out some random pieces of paper.
They remind me of just a handful of the awesome things I’ve achieved on my Youpreneur journey to-date.
This often is all the encouragement I need to move on to the next win!
As Youpreneurs, we’re driven and goal orientated. This is an admirable trait. It’s what enables us to succeed where others wouldn’t.
But if we don’t stop to celebrate our victories as they happen, then there’s a danger we can get burned out or feel like we’re running on a treadmill.
I spoke to Chris Ducker on the Youprenuer FM Podcast on How to Journal for Business Growth but even if you’re not ready to start full-blown journaling, I’d encourage you to start writing your successes down today.
By stopping to savor the wins – even the small ones – and writing them down, we can train our brains to appreciate the success we’re achieving.
Writing down of successes also enables us to easily revisit those successes, even if (especially if!) we’re feeling low, unenthusiastic or discouraged.
Take 5 minutes to pause and write down some of the successes you’ve achieved this week. I’m willing to bet you’ve got more than you realize!
Richard is one of the best-known experts within the Small Business IT community worldwide. He launched and sold his own IT business before creating a leading IT media and consultancy practice. Richard helps IT business owner’s take back control by freeing up their time and building a business that can run without them. He’s the author of the book “The IT Business Owner’s Survival Guide”.