When you work for yourself, you can’t expect a lot of accolades. It’s not the same as having a boss or co-worker pat you on the back several times a day. You need to be your own cheerleading squad. But what can you do to reinforce your successes?
Tips for rewarding yourself when you work alone
1. Keep track of business metrics. For example:
- number of clients
- hours worked
- leads generated
- biggest sale
- highest consulting fee charged
2. Give yourself incentives. If you increase a metric to a certain goal level, reward yourself. A dinner at a great restaurant, time at a spa, a latte, an hour of bicycle rental, a vacation, a new book — no matter whether you pick a small or large incentive, do reward yourself.
3. Keep track of emails, cards and comments from happy clients and business associates. One consultant I know has a "rainy day box" where she keeps such mementos. Whenever she’s having a bad day, she opens the box and reminds herself of a past success.
4. Focus on your own success. Don’t compare yourself to friends or associates who work in totally different fields, businesses and environments. A few years ago, I got caught up in downplaying my own success, just because a local marketing consulting firm seemed to be doing better than I was. In time, I realized the owners had come from wealth, had no children, had two people running the business full-time and so on. I wasn’t comparing apples to apples.
5. Network. Make connections with new people. The bigger your support network, the more you can achieve and give back.