Celebrate the Tiny Wins Like Super Bowls

Building a startup isn't about big victories. It's about tons and tons of tiny victories that eventually lead to a big victory.

January 6th, 2020   |    By: Wil Schroter    |    Tags: Strategy

When we talk about celebrating startup wins, it's not about a big funding round. It's the fact that we just made payroll again.

Along the way, we forget to celebrate those tiny wins. Instead, we get distracted by the day-to-day problems, the emotional roller coaster, and the grind that is startup life.

What Kind of Wins Should we Celebrate?

Every possible positive step.

We just shipped a feature. We increased site traffic by 10% over last month. Our last customer just sent us a glowing review to the team. Every last one.

Each of those victories compounds into the overall goal. When we overlook them, or worse, fail to recognize them within our team, we lose out on the opportunity to build positive morale and momentum.

In a startup, morale and momentum are our most valuable assets because we're building something out of nothing — and the only fuel to make that work is optimism.

How Should We Celebrate Tiny Wins?

More than anything, with recognition.

We need to stop and thank the people who put in the work, and that includes ourselves. In the formative years, so much of what we do is incredibly thankless because often, we're breaking things more than we're fixing them.

Going day after day with that kind of pace is brutal, which is why we have to stop and recognize every win that we do make, to give us fresh energy and enthusiasm to get back in the slog.

Think about it as refilling the gas tank, which has a giant frigging hole in the bottom as we're driving this car!

So Treat Recognition Like Compensation?

Absolutely! Especially since we're probably paying our staff next to nothing in actual cash!

The only thing worse than being paid very little for hard work is doing it without any recognition or appreciation.

Everyone appreciates a high five. It motivates the team and reminds folks that when the next impossible project comes up, it won't go totally unnoticed.

In Case You Missed It

F*ck Big Announcements — Small Victories Drive Startups. If you’re waiting for home runs all day — you’re going to be waiting a long time. That’s not how this game is played. It’s a daily struggle, but in the end it’s how big victories are won.

5 Tips to Boost Employee Morale in the Workplace. Using these five tips will aid you in creating a positive office culture where your employees will enjoy coming to work, feel taken care of, and in turn be more productive.

The 7 Culture Mistakes that Startups Make. If you want to be in business forever, you need to build a culture that sustains the business —  but there are seven common mistakes that startups make when creating their culture.

About the Author

Wil Schroter

Wil Schroter is the Founder + CEO @ Startups.com, a startup platform that includes BizplanClarity, Fundable, Launchrock, and Zirtual. He started his first company at age 19 which grew to over $700 million in billings within 5 years (despite his involvement). After that he launched 8 more companies, the last 3 venture backed, to refine his learning of what not to do. He's a seasoned expert at starting companies and a total amateur at everything else.

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