Philadelphia, PA – We live in a world where instant gratification is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Our society has re-created itself to provide its people with any and everything that we want at the exact time that we want it. There is no longer a thrill in the hunt but comfort in the provided. I must admit, that I miss the beauty of the good ole days, but enjoy the fast-pace lifestyle that we’ve grown accustomed to over the years.
However, this fast-paced lifestyle doesn’t only apply to our smart phones, laptops, creative apps, and speedy relationships. The business world has quickly adopted the style of “now” as well. I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting on this and though I’m a consumer and supporter of this new age of living, it makes me uncomfortable that we no longer celebrate the small victories. In college, I had a friend who called it, “sweating the small stuff” also known as small victories. This is a phrase that we rarely use anymore. It is the act of celebrating the actions or situations that didn’t necessarily make the ground move from under your feet but secured your place in the next phase of your personal and professional goals.
During my career, I’ve had the privilege of mentoring several college students and interns. I noticed that during my time with them, their ideas of success were clearly molded by this new age of pursuing a dream. In a world where you can become an instant celebrity via YouTube or Facebook, many expected to obtain their college degrees and land a job immediately and secure a six figure salary. I was raised with the idea that it took a great deal of little steps before I would get to that point and being a recent college graduate placed me on the lower end of the totem pole. Have we set them up for failure?
Originally, I saw this as a generational problem until I noticed that it was shared by many of my colleagues and business owners. On a basic timeline, it takes 2-5 years for any business to gain credibility, build a customer base and finally start gaining profit or generating revenue. However, in my experiences, I’ve had professionals give me a shorter timeline when discussing their business plan. In most cases, they were looking to build a business and be on their way to making millions of dollars in the first 6 months. How is this realistic? How can you expect to acknowledge the strides you’ve made along the way when your fictional end date is always around the corner? The act of building a business is similar to being an artist. It starts with an idea and from that point; you are working to bring that idea and vision into reality. I’m sure that any artist can tell you that it takes more than several months to create a masterpiece.
When I started Au’loni Media & Global Marketing over two years ago, all I had was the “small victories” as measurements of progress. The last thing that I expected was monetary gain as I worked day and night to simply build my brand. I created my website, established a social media presence, built a network of partners, and secured clientele. I didn’t have the money that I wanted or the notoriety just yet so I counted every client, website view, inquiry, and step towards building my business as an achievement. I would celebrate by treating myself or family to dinner, take a few hours off as a snap vacation, and even standing up and cheering or having a dance party in my living room.
Honestly, I don’t think I would have made it through my first year without taking the time to recognize when a small victory had occurred. Two years later and I still take a moment to get excited about the small victories that occur daily and I also encourage my staff to do the same. Instant gratification is kryptonite in the world of entrepreneurship. My advice to all my fellow visionaries and entrepreneurs is allow yourself to take a break from the big picture and occasionally sweat the small stuff!