Why you’ve got to celebrate the small wins to fuel the feeling of momentum and achievement.
I started working with Rebecca Saunders about 4 years ago and was immediately blown away by her big picture thinking and can do, action oriented approach to running her business. ‘I want to hit $1 million in sales revenue before I hit 30” was her goal at the time.
Her milestone birthday arrived and the goal wasn’t ticked off – but still she kept going.
At the beginning of 2020, she could almost smell the target she’d set herself but then covid hit and challenged her business plan and model like so many around the world. But Bec wasn’t giving up. Through the stress and anxiety, many coaching calls and a lot of tears at times, she dug deep, remodelled her business, and worked harder than ever before.
Last week I received this photo and message, “Got to open this tonight. I got there, like actually got there”.
Yep I pulled out all the beaming smiles and happy dance moves!
We need to celebrate that success isn’t something you simply stumble upon. It’s a reward for having ceaseless tenacity and a consistent commitment to taking action.
Bec has this in spades.
The reason I’m sharing this story isn’t because of the huge $$ goal achieved (of course that’s awesome). It’s actually because of the way Bec celebrates her milestones and incremental steps along the way.
You see every financial year she buys herself a case of Veuve Clicquot champagne. She lines them up along the bottom shelf of the fridge and puts post-it notes on them detailing her goals – big and small, personal and professional. Every time she goes into the fridge, Bec is reminded of her goals and when a goal is reached, her reward is to celebrate with fancy bubbles. I love the way Bec celebrates the small incremental goals as well as the huge ones. In fact, the “7-fig” goal bottle had been in the fridge since the beginning of 2020 before it was finally opened last week!
I think too many of us focus on achieving massive breakthrough goals which can lead to losing sight of all the smaller, incremental goals that you achieve each week, month or quarter. We are so busy chasing perfection or that huge goal that we’ve set ourselves that we forget to celebrate the progress. We forget to celebrate the smaller incremental goals that actually form the building blocks of your future success.
Celebrating the payoffs of a ‘small win’ is equally important as the big wins
Daniel Flynn, co-founder of Thankyou—the social enterprise that directs its profits from sales of water, food, body care and baby products towards ending global poverty – states in the article, ‘Pieces of the leadership puzzle’ that celebrating the small wins as well as the big ones is critical.
He shares the story of being challenged by his mentor on how he celebrates the small wins. Flynn recalls, ‘
I had nothing. I am so driven by the future and where we need to go, the next opportunity, the impact we can make, the markets we could and should be in.’
Yep that’s me!
Sound familiar to any of you?
Flynn recognised that by not celebrating the small wins – the progress being made – but rather always focusing on the big end goal and breakthrough, he was creating the same push and drive among his team. While this may seem okay, the reality, he recognised, was that he was risking team burnout and together they weren’t necessarily enjoying the journey to get there.
Flynn shares, ‘I’m still not perfect at it but I’m trying to get better’, and on a weekly basis Thankyou now celebrates small things teams and individuals have done.
So this week, given it’s a new financial year here in Australia, I’m taking Bec’s goal setting hack and Daniel’s insight and heading out to buy myself a case of champagne to start the post-it challenge. I’ve also decided to finish my working week on a Friday at lunchtime to give myself the time to switch off, enjoy the simple pleasure of taking a walk on the beach with Jason so together we can reflect on the progress we are making each week in our business.
Time to get better at celebrating the small stuff.