Ask yourself - when did you last celebrate a win?

I don’t mean your favourite sports team winning, I don’t mean when you decide you’re having a takeaway tonight, I mean when you’ve achieved something, maybe when your squad/team has launched something or when a loved one achieved something special.

In the past couple of years, I’ve noticed a trend, it’s pretty daunting – I don’t see or hear the wins.

Since working alongside my wife - assisting in the web/marketing content of both the Etsy shop and website, before I got near any work I had to dig into my personal rule book and set some rules.


Before we joined forces, Emma was aiming for the stars, she wanted success - she’s been doing this since 2015 and she has been very successful - since 2015 (December to be exact), she has run her own company, been a full time mother - she has somehow managed to do all of this in the same 24 hours that I went to work, came home, put my daughter to bed and moan I didn’t have time to watch football.

Sounds great doesn’t it?

Not really, now our daughter is at school Emma wants more success, she wants her products to rush off the electronic shelves and be sold out in hours instead of days or weeks. This disappointment could lead to days of un-motivation, lack of great ideas or worse - closing the company down and giving in.

So what did we change? What difference could we make to this process, to the business and to her and my success?

We simply made some rules:

We made goals
We spelled out the wins
We called out the failures.

What did we do?

Agreeing on mini goals:
It’s worth reminding yourself - setting goals, especially big goals is all about getting what we want, but if we set goals that are too large we are talking about the far future - you do need to set these, but sometimes you can loose heart if you do not achieve these quickly. Smaller goals, mini goals are easier to set, quicker to land and even better - quicker to learn from.

Setting goals is great, it helps set out the landscape - expectations, direction and the truth.
To set goals you need to think about: launch day, 1st week, 2nd week, 1 month, 3 months to 6 months and so on. What do you want to achieve in those?
Emma and I decided on setting goals for just the launch, 1st week and 1 month - that way we could quickly change direction if needed.

Launch was the toughest to set - during this process I had to share my learnings and best ways of working - these included being as simple as possible, using the RAG rating system (a personal favourite) and just being open about what we want to achieve or find out.

It’s as basic as (not in any order):

  • agree on logo
  • set launch date
  • research competitors
  • finalise designs and export
  • discuss with the manufacturer about processing designs
  • update all social media accounts with new branding

We used Google sheets so we both could access and amend, this helped Emma keep focus, and work through a list at speed - whilst waiting on one thing she could action the next.

I won’t discuss too much on how to set goals (that’s potentially another post), but I also set goals to start a habit, like “post to Instagram every day”, “research keywords for insert product - 1 product per week”, “spend an hour per week reviewing stats on Etsy and website” and finally “celebrate your first sale with a treat!”.

Celebrate the wins:

Feeding on from the goals we set - we needed to celebrate the wins, Emma has never done this before (where as I celebrate everything, as I know the knock-on effect of it) - every “done” was a moment, a huge moment for her.

For example, when she sent her first order to the manufacturer, we celebrated with a meal, this meant a lot of things, it meant she had signed off her designs, she trusted someone with her designs, she was ready to start selling. It didn’t need to be as big as this, but just something to announce “you did this, and you did it well”.

Personally, I make sure the team celebrates the good, and sometimes the bad. I tend to call out the winners during Retros (however good a Retro is, I don’t always use this to announce people who did good things as its also a moment where we are saying what went wrong with a time limit), so maybe it can be during a stand-up, or the answer to “has anyone got anything else to add?” in another meeting - either way its nice to call someone out and let them know we have noticed their effort.

Final thoughts:

Dream big and get those small wins.

If I could write this down on everyone’s desk and remind them of this every hour I would.

Since working with Emma, and doing a lot of back-ground hunting, researching and digging into the data I could get my hands on - I’ve realised that success is not linked to good luck - obviously that can play a part in it, but it’s a lot down to the effort and how well you allocate time - working out what are the quick wins, the big wins and the expensive possible-might-work are key to a successful launch and first couple of months.

It’s always a learning curve, but having your work planned out with value and then celebrating when completion of the bigger or tricky items has led to keeping us motivated.

Basically, be kind to yourself when you are working - notice when you have a win and celebrate yourself, small wins are all part of the plan for the “big” win.

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