As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in keeping the business moving forward.
You can always:
- be looking for the next client
- want to keep the best clients coming back
- spend time marketing
- connect with your market on social media
- build a support network
- spend time analyzing results
- get ‘caught up’ in deadlines
As a small business owner, you wear all the hats, juggle all the balls, keep everything moving forward. When you complete a task, you check it off and move on to the next item.
Similarly, when you hit a deadline, it’s easy to check it off your list and move on to the next project, but I think it’s important to pause and celebrate.
And before you say, “I don’t have time,” I disagree. At a minimum, I hope you’ll note the successful deadline completion in your list of accomplishments for the year. Whether it’s a success/achievement journal or a list taped to your wall, list the date and a brief description of the accomplishment.
For example: 4/20 – met deadline for (brief description of project) for (client name) ahead of schedule/on time.
That’s the first activity I recommend. The next is to step away from your desk. Yep, don’t just push the chair back, actually get away from the keyboard so you won’t be tempted to work.
Take a moment to think about how the project arrived at your desk.
- Did you meet the client at an event? Pat yourself on the back for having made the connection that led to work.
- Did the client contact you through a referral? Congratulate yourself for having someone recommend you so positively.
- Did the client find you online? Give yourself kudos for your online marketing and social media efforts
Now think about the process of landing the project. Celebrate your successes of:
- Connecting with the client in a personal and professional way that resonated with the client
- Having your pitch/proposal accepted
- Being able to work with their deadline and other project parameters
And now that you’ve submitted the final work to the client, you get to celebrate the accomplishment, which is not something that happened over night. Recognize that. Appreciate it.
You’ve put in the effort and time, so take a few minutes, at least, to celebrate that fact! The ‘work’ itself may be easy to you, but that alone doesn’t make your business successful. YOU make your business successful with a lot of effort, so appreciate that and recognize it. (I’m repetitive with important points).
Talk out loud to the empty room: “I just finished X’s 2-week project and it feels GREAT!” (give your best Tony the Tiger imitation) “I look forward to more projects from X, and from similar clients I haven’t met yet.”
–As a note, yes, I do these things. I even do a happy dance – sometimes with music, sometimes without – to celebrate. There’s an exaggerated fist pump and a loud “YES!”, too. And laughter, because it *is* funny to be doing these things in an empty room. But it’s good – it’s fun – it’s celebrating – it makes me smile. I love to smile.
I believe that the more you can appreciate what you have, the more you’ll have. Business goals and milestones are worth celebrating.
And there’s another bonus to the celebrating: when you sit back at your desk to get back to work, you’ll feel more energized and have a fresh mind for the next project.
Have you been taking the time to appreciate all that you do for your business?
Lisa J. Jackson partners with businesses seeking to express themselves with words. She loves New Hampshire and is completing several 5Ks in 2013 as a way to get off the couch and away from the screen. She wasn’t a runner until now, and is thinking that someday she wants to complete the Alcatraz Triathlon. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Biznik, Facebook, and Twitter.