Celebrate milestones or die

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years
Abraham Lincoln

You work hard and want to see your business grow. Are you doing the simple things that can mean the difference between sustaining your businesses growth or drying up and dying? How many of you set milestones? I do. I was taught that when we set goals and write them down we are more likely to achieve them (there’s probably a really good statistic that could go here, but I don’t know it). I took that lesson to heart and now scribble new goals and pin them to my fridge whenever I can. Setting goals at the office is a near daily affair. We have to break our projects down into feasible milestones to work hard towards, and then go on to the next one. I’ve found setting milestones to be great. They help to channel all our energy into a focused goal.

Not that long ago I burned out. It was a pretty unexpected, and even though I was tired I didn’t see it coming. My experience had always been that when I became tired I would keep working and eventually I wouldn’t feel tired anymore. You know, the whole “push through it” mentality. It worked well enough for a long time until it didn’t work at all.

I have a good amount of respect for my friend who is a solid businessman in my city. One day after chatting with him he asked, “Do you set milestones?” I replied, “Of course we do.” Almost surprised by his question. They he responded, “Do you take time off when you achieve them?” I had nothing to say. The thought of taking time off to celebrate an accomplished milestone seemed wrong and counter productive. I grew up thinking that celebrating milestones was foolish. Maybe it was my thinking that was wrong?

Bart Simpson punished for setting milestones

Why is it important to celebrate milestones, when we’ve been told that it is a waste of time? If you are an entrepreneur starting your businesses the only thing keeping you moving is you. When you get a little bigger, it’s you and your team. But ultimately, if you go down so does the ship. What I’ve quickly come to learn is that when we celebrate milestones we recharge. Celebrations make the accomplishment real and reinforces the feeling of satisfaction from achieving our goals. It boosts our energy and our entire teams’ moral. However, when we immediately begin working toward our next milestone without taking time to appreciate the accomplishment of the first, the opportunity to recharge our energy can be lost. That’s fine at first, but not forever.

Sometimes we need to break from old school business mentality and create a fresh way of doing business. As Abraham Lincoln stated, “…It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” So with that in mind today I am excited to announce the one year date of this Blog. Milestone reached! A year ago, to this day I published this article Life lesson #1: What do you need to do to succeed in business? You need to be inspired. Thanks for your support visiting this site. I appreciate all the comments and feedback I have received. Let me know what you think!

I help people build better web apps and make a difference in the world. I enjoy sharing what I am learning and find interesting. I live on the Left Coast of Canada with my wife. Follow me on Twitter.

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