Summer has officially started and folks are in a party state-of-mind, so it's time to talk celebration!
In a recent conversation with a fellow entrepreneur, Lisa Kawski, an amazing interior designer and mom with a 10-year business, I recounted how crazy the last few weeks have been. I hosted a vendor table (my first), hosted a teleseminar (my first) and launched the Bookkeeping Makeover (also, my first). She said that when you’re in business for yourself, and a mom, you have to celebrate any and every accomplishment.
Wise words, Lisa, wise words. It’s tough to juggle entrepreneurship and family life, especially when you're figuring it out each day. When you’re new to business, most of your great ideas (1) need to be implemented, and (2) will likely be implemented by you and (3) will likely take you longer than you thought.
Sounds like a lot of work. When your great idea is actually implemented, you can finally take a deep breath, sit back, and admire your work, then pat yourself on the back. But how many of us actually pat ourselves on the back, even if it's only for 5 minutes?
Until Lisa mentioned it, I was stuck in a holding pattern of "I should do X, Y, Z ..." I hadn't actually acknowledged all that I had accomplished in a few short days, right after vacation as well! What a change in perspective! All of a sudden, I shifted from overwhelm to:
- Really proud about the actions I was taking. It never occurred to me that I'd launch a program to train people how to use QuickBooks. But I did.
- Really excited to do more things like this. Put what I learned to good use. If it's easier to do things the second time around, then the next teleseminar should be much easier for me to implement, promote, and finish. Watch this space...
- Really confident that I'm doing the right things to grow my business.
- Willing to continue taking risks. Will all of them pay off? Maybe not, but every day I learn something new that I can use to help my business.
So, how to celebrate then? It can be a simple as going for a walk, talking with a friend, a spa treatment of some sort, or going to dinner. It feels great to share your accomplishments (and relief at being DONE!) with others who know what it takes to get things done.
Personally, I like the smaller celebrations (and I just don't have the time for big celebrations). Going for a walk, having a non-work chat with a friend, getting a manicure. My favorite way to celebrate is to give myself permission to stop going, going, going, watch a little HGTV before bed, and just get a good night's sleep!
When you acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, you feel on top of the world. Confident. Willing to try new things, take a few risks.
It's a beautiful cycle, isn't it... Take a chance with an idea, it pays off, you feel great, celebrate, then come up with the next idea. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
But what about when things don't go as planned? What's the point of celebrating that? I have a few thoughts, of course!
- There's always room for improvement, and it's the biggest room in the world! A quote from a former coworker, and so true! Do a post-mortem on your project. What worked, what didn't work, what would you do differently, take a different action next time. An example from July 4th: My daughter was upstairs playing for a few minutes, I was downstairs cleaning, A few minutes later, I hear crying and a thunk of something - not someone! - going down the stairs. It was a bottle of bright red nail polish, open of course... My hardwood stairs looked like a crime scene. What worked? My daughter did ask for a napkin which we always put her hands on when putting on polish. Good girl! My message is sinking in! What didn't work? My failure to put away the polish after last week's mani/pedi. What would I do differently? Put the nail polish out of reach EVERY SINGLE TIME. What would I do differently if I could do it all over again? Never paint my nails in front of her in the first place! Nail polish is the number two meltdown reason in our house these days. BTW, rubbing alcohol and a LOT of elbow grease will get out the nail polish out of a finished hardwood floor.
- Give yourself a break, and some credit too! Taking action is key to moving your business forward, but not all actions result in forward movement. Some actions may distract you, but other actions are keys to figuring out exactly how you want your business to go. Even if they don't actually pan out, you still learn something. And you'll apply it to the next decision, fine-tuning your process. They say that Thomas Edison went thru 10,000 prototypes before hitting the jackpot with the lightbulb. Same goes for your business (though hopefully it doesn't take 10,000!). Pat yourself on the back for taking the risk.
- Mum's the word... In most cases, your peeps won't know if your great idea was a bust unless you tell them. This was advice given to me when I planned my wedding seven years ago. To ensure your guests have a great time, don't tell them about the chair covers that you wanted but couldn't afford. Seriously, they will not remember if you had chair covers, but they will remember if you complained about it! Just have a good time, and others will have a good time too. So, no need to advertise when things don't go according to plan.
So, in the spirit of celebration, please share how you celebrate a job well done, no matter how small the job or how small the celebration. I will be celebrating my current accomplishments with (a) a mompreneur's night out with The Story Stylist and (b) a pedicure that does NOT involve any more red nail polish on my stairs!