Startup Tip: Celebrate the small stuff

1993 World Series Walk Off VictoryAs the year, and decade, come to a close, it’s time to reflect and to celebrate some of your accomplishments.

There’s no such thing as unequivocal success in a start-up
Too often in start-up life there is the elusive ideal that you will have those “unequivocal successes” to celebrate. The truth is, those never happen. Too often things move in such a way that there is never a natural moment to stop, take a breath, and soak in what you’ve done.

For instance, suppose you’re working on a big deal with a major strategic partner or sales agreement, when is the right time to pop the champagne? After you reach verbal commitment, you’re probably embroiled with lawyers, terms, and conditions, knowing that things could change with any moment. When the signature finally does come, you’re waiting already for a ong time, and have moved onto the next pressing matter of implementation or transition such that actually receiving it seems trivial when contrasted with what lies ahead. So, there really isn’t such a time where you can have that feeling of “unequivocal success” — it may happen in movies and sports, but not in a start-up, so you have to make those moments happen by celebrating the little victories.

Raise a glass to what you have accomplished so far
So many times, you don’t know when the next big thing is going to come, you’ve been working your tail off so the only way to celebrate your success is to take a pause and look back on what you’ve accomplished. It could be getting your product to market, reaching a sales milestone you didn’t expect but somewhere along the way, I’m sure you’ve made more progress than you thought, in a lot of areas.

So this evening, raise a glass and look back on 2009 (and even the previous decade) and celebrate your hard work and accomplishments, whatever they may be…knowing bigger things are yet to come.

Happy New Year to all.

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