Do you celebrate in your life? In your business? Are you the party planner behind the good stuff that happens as you achieve your goals, small and large?
I’ll be honest, I’ve recognized this tendency in myself in delaying joy and I’ve been trying to unpack why that is. It’s like I’m afraid to celebrate something because when I do acknowledge it’s good and I’m proud, it could be taken away from me or that I worry that I didn’t totally earn the right to rest or a party or the bottle of champagne.
Celebrate, by definition, means to “acknowledge a significant or happy day or event.” Celebration can look like a hundred different things – it might be taking a moment to breathe and say a prayer of gratitude, it might be booking a dinner out at your favorite restaurant, it might mean going on a nice long scenic run in your area, it might be getting yourself a new item you’ve been eyeing, it might mean a day off or it might be simply sharing your win with a loved one.
It’s less about the “how” and more about the habit of doing it regularly, with wins both big and small. If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to pause and celebrate, today I’m sharing 17 wins for business owners to honor in your own way, because these are the things that truly matter!
1. Sharing your dream out loud for the first time.
It can be scary to even admit that you have an idea or a dream or that you want to start something new. Sharing a post on social media with the world or even speaking about your business with your friends and family for the first time isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s vulnerable because you’re sharing something you’ve been dreaming about, working on behind the scenes or pouring your heart and soul into, and by putting it out into the open, you’re creating space for feedback that you might not necessarily feel ready for!
Yet this is a move to be championed because you aren’t just sharing your business – you are claiming the position as your own publicist and biggest cheerleader. No one will know what you can do to serve them unless you’re willing to tell them, so good for you for getting the word out.
2. Claiming your title.
I remember the first time I said the words, “I’m a photographer” I was at the dentist and I probably would have led with my fancy corporate title first if the dentist’s hands weren’t in my mouth, but that feeling that I claimed that title as my own left a lasting mark and made the whole thing feel real. Claiming your title or business into the world?
I realize it’s so easy to sell yourself short when starting out or even when you haven’t reached what you consider a major milestone of success. I used to say “I’m in HR but I do photography on the side,” but simply saying “I’m a wedding photographer” was a BIG deal. Speak the words over yourself, embrace your dream and your direction, and claim that title because YOU DO deserve it!
3. Getting your first sale.
Ask just about any entrepreneur about their first sale and chances are they can tell you every detail about it. There is NOTHING like that feeling you get when you make your first sale as a business owner. It’s equal parts “YES, someone believes in what I’m doing!” mixed with “holy crap, I hope I don’t disappoint them” with a side of all the prayers and finger crossing that if you found one, hopefully there’s more people who will believe in you enough to hit purchase.
It’s tempting to breeze past your first sale and just keep chugging along because – after all, one sale isn’t necessarily going to put dinner on the table – but you can and should pause and give yourself a little recognition that you have proof of concept, that someone is willing to invest in your offer! Not only is this life changing, it also indicates that if one person’s willing to buy, there are many more who are also willing! Let yourself soak in all the feel-good endorphins and get a little confidence boost in that truth that you are officially an entrepreneur.
4. Getting your first sale… from a stranger.
Okay, not gonna lie, I’ve totally made my mom and Drew test-purchase a few of my new products when they go live just to make sure all pieces of the puzzle are running how they should be and that my online shop actually works! Maybe you’re in the same boat, and your first sale… or 5… are all family and friends rooting you on or testing things for you, and if that’s the case, hug those people in your world who are backing you up and supporting you.
But, once you get that first sale from a legit stranger?! Oh my goodness, nothing in the world feels more liberating, like “ahhh, I’m really doing this, and people really care!” Pop a little bubbly or La Croix, and bask in this for a little while. Getting your first sale from someone you DON’T know is a big step and you should truly be SO proud.
5. Making your business legit.
While legitimizing a business feels like a bunch of complicated or boring hoops you might have to jump through, and while it can be a whoooole lot of time-consuming paperwork, it’s actually a major, major accomplishment.
So many people go through the motions of dreaming up a business CONCEPT or starting some of the vanity pieces of running a business like setting up social media pages or even a website… but, when good old Uncle Sam sees you as a legitimate business and you have the paperwork and deep-dive lesson in legal jargon to prove it, that means something big. You no longer just LOOK like a business, you’re a legit, legal business and that deserves some mega celebration! It shows you’re in it for the long haul and care about doing things the right way!
The Big Picture
Want the other celebration-worthy milestones you should be celebrating? Hit play for the full episode.
If you needed a nudge to acknowledge or honor your hard work, growth or evolution, I hope something on this list encourages you to pause and schedule in a little celebration time. I’ve found that keeping a “win” journal (similar to a gratitude journal) is an incredible way to record small and large moments of progress in business, and looking back you’ll see just how far you’ve come with baby steps of growth that so many of us can easily forget even just a few months later.
I hope you know today that YOU are worth celebrating, and I am over here cheering you on along your path!