Running a business is hard. I always say that being an entrepreneur is like being Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; one minute you’re confident that you will thrive and then the next minute you feel like everything is going to crumble.
The best way to cope with building a business is to celebrate the small and large milestones. It is natural to think of the tasks and steps that haven’t been taken yet but if you start to focus on the progress you are making, you will stay encouraged.
It is also vital to keep a list of your accomplishments so you don’t fall victim to comparing your progress with others. This will allow you to chart your own path of success and to remain confident in your abilities and leadership.
One way I stay focused is to keep a journal where I keep track of my successes. Daily, I fill in at least two milestones or accomplishments. It can be anything from beating a deadline by one hour to securing a new contract. Whenever I feel down or challenged, I bring that journal out and read all the successes and milestones. It shows me what I have achieved and that I am on the right path to success.
This is also great for your mental wellbeing. In a 2011 Harvard Business Review article, researchers analyzed nearly 12,000 diary entries from 238 employees across seven companies. They found that capturing small wins every day enhances a worker’s motivation. Recording progress helped to boost self-confidence, which was useful toward future success. In the long run, this also helped behaviorally because people felt more joy and gratefulness, which reflected in their interactions with their staff and teams.
Another tip that has been useful in celebrating the milestone is to commemorate what you deem a big milestone with a symbol. It could be a magnet on the fridge, a pen, or even a certificate of achievement. Having a memento you can reference and can see visually is a great way to help remind you daily that you are doing and achieving.