As the Founder of Colleagues on Tap I’ve worked for myself for over ten years, and I’ve found that one of the best things about self employment is that if you achieve success it’s down to you.  You don’t need to flag wave for the sales team, the customer services department, the marketing director or that person in operations that apparently made it all happen – because you wear all of those hats yourself, so success is down to you.

But the flipside has to be that when you work for yourself you’re usually working by yourself too, so there’s no one around to get excited for your successes – not just the huge ones that you might think about tweeting about, but just those day to day achievements that almost go unnoticed as you move on to the next challenge – every item ticked off the ‘to do’ list, each time you eat a frog (you know the phrase), the regular occasions you talk business with a new prospect, the emails and comments you receive to say thank you from a satisfied customer – these achievements all add up to making you and your business a success every day, so they need to be celebrated

So celebrate!

If you work for yourself, don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back, and do it regularly, and find someone (probably someone who also works for themselves) to celebrate the little successes with you too. When I set up in business I was bought a brass bell – the type you’d probably hear alongside a call for “shop”. Whenever something goes right in my business I ring that bell – it takes me back to my days in the recruitment industry when the bell would be rung whenever someone’s candidate was accepted for an interview, and you wouldn’t believe the chaos when there was a job offer! But that open expression of “I’ve done it” gives you such a buzz – it drives you through to the next challenge, and just importantly it just sets aside the moment that you’ve done something that makes a difference to your business – no matter how small it may seem.

If you’re motivated by praise, find praise!

I know that endorsement and praise are real motivators for me. Some people are driven by money – I make money, but I’m driven by doing a great job that’s acknowledged. So I need those pats on the back – they give me energy and keep me focused. So a couple of years ago, when an Associate called me one day to tell me about something she’d achieved because she didn’t want to lose the moment, we agreed that we’d be the person each would call to have a ‘bell ring’ when we did something we were proud of. We still do it now, and ‘ring the bell’ has evolved into a metaphoric way of conveying that things are good.

If you keep your little successes to yourself you’ll get no acknowledgement, no praise or endorsement to drive you on. So why not talk about what you’ve achieved? We all have networks and peers around us – tell them what you’ve achieved so they can ring the bell for you. I’m not talking a press release every time you’ve received some great feedback, but if you have a network on social media, or amongst your business peers, actively support each other with endorsement and praise – for the small day to day achievements as well as the biggies.

Also it’s important to remember that working for yourself doesn’t need to mean working by yourself all of the time.  Through the Colleagues on Tap Coworker Community (you could call that a network, but in the loosest sense), there’s a huge amount of support and camaraderie, and we’re all in the same boat. Talk about your successes – don’t be concerned that you’ll be seen to be ‘bragging’ (someone said that to me the other day) – just put it out there and we’ll get behind you. And if you let me know, I’ll ring my bell for you too.  Get in touch