A Win is a Win (Celebrate, Damn It)

Ari Meisel Featured Image

There’s no bigger jerk in the world than an entrepreneur talking to himself.

Seriously, nobody. Ever heard your own self-talk? It’s brutal. There’s a innate terrifying and natural tendency to downplay every little thing that comes with being a great entrepreneur.

I like to call it “productive paranoia” (or “why you’re spending your Friday evening looking up your churn rate”).

Want a quick lifehack to making running a business more fun? Celebrate wins. Any win — automated away 10 minutes of your weekly work? Boom, celebrate that. Cleaned up some old work that’s been lying around for weeks that nobody wants to touch? Celebrate the hell out of that.

Sing a song. Do a little dance. High five yourself.

It sounds nuts, but in many ways making your dreadful Excel spreadsheet more palatable is just as big a win as, say, selling your entire company.


Because the second you sign on the dotted line you’ll be right back on the wagon thinking of what to do next. That’s the nature of entrepreneurship. Hell, that’s the nature of life — it’s in our biology to constantly strive to do more.

If you don’t appreciate the little things you accomplish every day, you’ll very quickly become very unhappy.

Tim Ferris has this idea of a “jar of awesome”. Every night, he writes down the small victories he accomplished that day and puts it in the jar. Whenever he’s in a funk, he pops open the jar and reads it.

It sounds corny, but it’s deeply rooted in our psychology. We need positive reinforcement, even if it comes from ourselves. It’s been shown psychologically that simply smiling boosts our energy and dopamine levels — patting yourself on the back can have a similar effect on motivation.

It’s doubly important to celebrate the simple things if you directly manage others.

The Harvard Business Review ran a research study trying to figure out what makes workers tick. They tracked “step forward days” and “step back days” — days where there was a sense of positive & negative progress respectively. There was a whopping 76% correlation between step forward days and employee satisfaction.

Celebrating wins makes you happy. Celebrating wins makes your workers happy.

So, tl;dr?

  1. Celebrate the small wins. Write down the victories. Sing a little song.
  2. Reflect. Go back and look at your small wins. Remind yourself of your triumphs.
  3. Be nice to yourself. Business will continuously kick your ass, you should at least have yourself in your corner.

Just a high five here and there. That’s it.

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