30 April 2013

If you feel like you are on the small business treadmill – try this…….

One of the problems of doing business is the sheer amount of data that we have to manage and process. We tend to spend most of our business lives responding to demands from others, which results in a frenzy of “doing stuff” but a sense of not actually getting anything done.

In this frenzy it is really easy to forget what we achieve and accomplish throughout the year, which in turn can lead to a sense of being on the small business treadmill.

A number of years back I started my success board. This is simply a whiteboard in the corner of my office where I record my successes. I wipe it clean on January 1 every year. Then as the months progress I add my victories, successes and “wooohoooo’s” to the board. They might be winning a project, a new client, a milestone of some sort, a trip somewhere, a personal development breakthrough – or anything that I consider a victory.

The year can start a little lean, but by June it looks pretty darn impressive and by the end of the year, holy smoke! This isn’t just a brag board, it is a powerful psychological tool that can have a big impact on how you do business. So what exactly are the benefits of keeping a success board? I think there are many, but the most significant ones that I have experienced are:

  1. It reminds me of the many successes that I achieve during the year which tend to get forgotten in my crazy busy world. It feels really good to see all of your successes in the one spot which is great for self confidence.
  2. It gives me a sense of progress and “getting things done”. Research shows that most people feel a great sense of satisfaction when they are getting things done, and this is a tangible way of illustrating exactly that.
  3. On those days when I feel a little flat one glance at my success board and I feel a whole lot better.
  4. And if I have had a bad experience of some sort, maybe a grumpy person on the end of the phone, lost a client, or a project for whatever reason, rather than going into despair, a quick look at my success board and the world is OK again.

Sometimes the simplest of ideas are the most powerful. If you want your own motivational tool, that can inspire you when you need it the most, start your own success board today.


4 thoughts on “If you feel like you are on the small business treadmill – try this…….”

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Great tips on how to reflect back onto your success through the year. We tent to bog ourselves in the every day stuff and not smelling the roses along the way. What I have found makes life easier for me is to have good systems in place and all the everyday stuff that you do becomes automatic and we have more time doing the stuff that valuable. HR Systems and OHS Systems are great time savers.

  2. Hey Vlasta – absolutely – anything that saves times – save money – and saves sanity! Thanks for the share.


  3. sandra says:

    Andrew – I love this. I too have just woken up to the idea of actually smelling the roses. I worked for many years building my business and once something was achieved off I would go again – head down bum up and not really take in what I was achieving – this is a sure way to burn out. So I decided one day that I would celebrate every win. I love your idea of recording it, especially in the sticky times to take a glance at your achievements will keep you focused and remind you that in fact you are moving forward.
    Thanks Sandra xx

  4. Thanks Sandra – I spent many years on the crash and burn small business roller coaster ride – and I find that doing thinks like a success board really help. Thanks for sharing – I hope you get to do a lot of celebrating today!


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