by Anne Desrosiers
When you start a nonprofit there are so many things you feel you have to do that you can feel inadequate and overwhelmed when the goals you have are not being reached in the short term. Between trying to launch, taking care of all the legal filings, and fundraising it is easier to feel that nothing is happening than it is to recognize the small strides you've made along the way.
I often get to this place and get stuck in the hamster wheel, but it was after speaking with a colleague in the industry and my mentor that I gained a major pearl of wisdom about motivating yourself as a social entrepreneur and engaging board members to be inspired as well.
The celebration of small victories or accomplishments is a sure fire way to remain positive in spite of the challenges that will undoubtedly arise on your entrepreneurial journey. There is however, always something that can be celebrated and shared so that you can stay motivated. A donation from an individual, a great potential partnership call, and a successful event are all reasons to celebrate and "share the wins" as I've come to call it. When facing roadblocks sharing the wins can help overcome feeling defeated because if you've had a small bit of success there is certainly more that awaits on the other side of whatever is blocking you at the moment. By recalling times of success and accomplishment - no matter how small it may seem, sharing the wins allows you to intrinsically motivate yourself to keep going so you can get more of those small successes under your belt.
As in life, the small things lead to the big things so it is important to maintain a sense of accomplishment and positivity on the journey of entrepreneurship. Through this process, board members can be engaged to work on your behalf while staying abreast of what is happening in the day to day. People donate to causes and issues that make them feel good, so it stands to reason that you too should feel good about where you are and where you are going. Videos are a quick and easy way to celebrate small milestones as reminders you can look back to, along with a journal or phone calls within your support network. Whatever way you choose to celebrate, it is vital to ensure you include celebration as part of your routine. Focus on the smaller victory stripes you earn on the battlefield of making a positive impact in society and larger victories are bound to follow.
If no one has told you lately, you're doing a great job!