The importance of rewards and celebration

By Jill Chivers

It takes an awful lot of work to get a new enterprise off the ground.

Many entrepreneurs and start ups do the hard yards, and they keep doing them because they have a dream. A dream of a beautiful business, a business that will help people, a business that will bring them a life and a lifestyle they crave.

But before they know it, they’re working so hard there’s no time to stop. No time to rest, to rejuvenate, to relax, to reward themselves.

They are fearful that if they take their attention away from their business for longer than a day, or perhaps a weekend, their business will flounder, or fail, or at least start to fail.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (and Jill a dull girl). Not only is that true – how many of us know people who all they can talk about is their business? — but it isn’t a great way to live your life.  And I’ll bet that it isn’t part of the equation you had in mind when you started your business in the first place.

If you were employed by someone, you wouldn’t expect to work all the time – that’s why there is mandatory paid annual vacation time. Even the government knows we need respite from working all the time!

They’re not nice to have – they’re necessary

But the really big reason for factoring in rewards and celebration is for motivation. If all you do is work, work, work, toil, toil, toil, then your spirit starts to become deflated.

Not only your body, but your soul becomes fatigued. It’s dispiriting to have no time to celebrate, to reward yourself for all that hard work, and to never have a proper break.

It’s very hard to keep going when all you have to look forward to is more hard work.

It gives you heart and soul a big lift to have something to look forward to – when the work is done.

For me, if I have an especially big week or fortnight of work, I factor in some “Friday time”. This is where I take all or part of Friday off and do something I really enjoy. I look forward to this all week, and sometimes, if it’s mid-week and I’m knee-deep in it, the thought of my “Friday time” is a big part of what keeps me going, what keeps me motivated to carry on.

And it’s one heck of a great milestone to have – it focuses me on my work so it’s all finished by Friday (which means I don’t have to go back to work on the weekend to pick up what I should have been doing on Friday).

However you do it, make sure you factor in rewards, celebration and down time. It’s imperative to your mental, physical and soul health, as well as to the health of your business.