Celebrate Your Victories


Working, business, performance. It can be stressful. In a start-up or small business environment, it can be all consuming.  This is

especially true if you are passionate about your work. If you work with purpose, and you care deeply about the outcome and how it affects your customers and your team, then you probably think about it in the shower.

If you’re like me, then you struggle with retaining the stuff  that you write in your mind as you drive. There is so much going on at one time, and it can be at every level, from the strategic to the dirt-level tactical. How do you keep from having your head spin-off like a top?

Keeping perspective and making progress requires that you celebrate and learn as you go. This means that it needs to be part of your Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annual and Annual R-O-U-T-I-N-E-S to celebrate every victory, no matter how minor. Determine what is progress, be it learning from a foul-up or completing a proposal. Never focus on what did not get done, what you regret or that you just didn’t cross “enough” off your list.

We make this company policy. Never rattle off a list to a loved-one or co-worker asking what they crossed off. Never go down a list with the intention of getting to what we did not get to finish. Instead, ask people what they are proud to have accomplished.

super hero boy with mask, blue cape “What are today’s victories?” or “What’s a good memory from your weekend?”

It’s not much different than talking to your children at the dinner table and asking, “What was your favorite part of your day?”

“I closed a sale,” or “I completed a batch of code,” or maybe it’s, “I tweeted something stupid from our company account and learned all about a social media crisis.”

Have a sense of humor. See the learning as part of the path and embrace mistakes. Keep moving! Don’t let yourself wallow in what looms ahead or the bear trap you just freed yourself from. Stay away from the people that have you on constant peer-review. It’s quicksand. Instead foster and champion peer-celebration and then offer help.

The most successful teams (and families) know that they are in it together.  We are aligned in our common mission. We are working on the same goals together. We are all going to make this effort a great and successful one, so:

A. We trust each other. We love each other. We care about each other.

B. We will help each other when we are stuck. We will ask and offer for help early. We will find additional help if it is needed.

C. Our expectations are all high with ourselves and each other.

D. We are tough enough on ourselves when it comes to our shortfalls, missteps, frailties and stupidity. When it comes to others, ask, remind and share victories.

E. Victories are accomplishments, proud moments and lessons.

This is a component of culture, in home or business, that is happy and productive. We are courageous because we are vulnerable. Engagement is high and we can be nimble.

Do you do this or something like it? Perhaps it’s part of your Agile Business model? Maybe you think it’s nuts? Let me know.


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Naively thinking I had mastered the art of 'multi -  multi' tasking - self imposing the name of the s(t)upor Mom... all the  while, my head seems a frantic merry-go-round.... of guilt, semi mediocre production and a (wait, did I mention already?) whole-lotta guilt, sleepless nights and reaction to what I could have done better. Realizing that there are many people out there that have the same story, I know and am assured that we are becoming not so fearful of telling each other that we have had a bad day, and are able to support each other all of our shortcomings

... and laugh about it.

Thank you for sharing yourself with us Jeff - now, I am even a few baby steps further into accepting the universes' path as well as I know I have no choice but to continue with the faith that I have (even on my off days) that I am living on purpose.


The timing couldn't be better for me reading this coupled with what I've been reading about and some of the podcasts I've been listening to lately. I think it's so second nature for us to focus on our shortcomings and our mistakes, but those negative thoughts only prevent us from moving forward and growing. This post really resonates with me. Your own self talk is what fuels you for better or worse. Being your own cheerleader is the best way to have a healthy self esteem and we should really take the time to savor our accomplishments and victories. We celebrate and encourage others that we love so why shouldn't we do the same for ourselves. No matter how small or how seemingly inconsequential your accomplishment or step forward is, there is no shame in patting yourself on the back and reflecting on how far you've come from five years ago, one year ago or even a week ago.


It is hard to celebrate when your head is consumed with unfinished details.  It's tough to give yourself permission to celebrate when you know so much is outstanding and that precious time used for celebration is a distraction from the unfinished business.  


While I find myself recommending celebration to others, it is hard to heed this great advice.  But, really, it is a way to nurture a happy and productive culture.   And I do believe that we are courageous because we are vulnerable and that when engagement is high, we can be nimble and at our best.  


After all, until moment we die, we are just masses of unfinished details.  So, we better take time to celebrate openly and often.



jeffmarmins moderator

 @stuporMom Wonderful perspective and thanks for wearing your heart on a blog comment :). I learned much later than some to not take myself too seriously. I'm still not always good at it. When I recall the kids in school that seemed the happiest - that's what they had in common. Not being too hard on themselves or others. It's easier to be patient, kind and loving with each other and our families if we are not waling around in a state of self-dissatisfaction. 


When you go to bed tonight, run through the list of things you are grateful for and proud to have done. 

jeffmarmins moderator

 @cwilliams Well said!  No one gets very far by kicking yourself while you're down. As someone that has managed other people, you know it's so much more than positive feedback. It's a culture of mutual respect and working toward a common goal. Thanks so much for commenting!

jeffmarmins moderator

 @ShellySK I agree that my suggestions about open culture, especially for more traditional employers, can be a challenging road. When I say "celebrate," I'm not talking about taking the afternoon off and rolling in the Margarita machine. It's an acknowledgement that work was completed and an effort was made. Learning and progress took place.