It’s no exaggeration to say that 2020 has left us all frustrated, confused and overwhelmed. From COVID-19 to elections, fires to protests – the world has felt particularly heavy and dismal. And for those doing the hard work of establishing a startup in the midst of a pandemic, progress may feel like a slow burn – clouding out the daily, no matter how small, wins. But the wins exist. And championing the successes and wins in our own spaces, as well those around us, can be a meaningful way to uplift and strengthen our communities and teams during this trying time.
After sifting out the discouraging elements of 2020, we should all be able to uncover beautiful moments, victories, and reasons to celebrate. For example: four months ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Another example: for the first time in history, an all-women research team was awarded a Nobel Prize. And another: s2s PR Communications has been growing – we recently hired our third full-time employee.
Your challenge: strengthen your startup by frequently acknowledging your wins – and do the same for those within your startup circle. Here are some tips on how to get started:
Begin with your startup
Wins often have a tendency to pass by without recognition, particularly when they aren’t considered to be significant. Yet, it’s the small daily wins that build the foundation for future larger success. Practice noticing and acknowledging these small victories by asking employees to list five personal & five company wins/moments of progress from the last six months. Remind them to think small because wins, no matter their size, should be celebrated.
- Establish a day of the week to internally share your wins (maybe over virtual drinks?).
- Schedule a regular social post celebrating a team member’s wins.
At s2s we celebrate our wins every Friday. Some are small: “We made it to Friday”. Others are more professionally profound: “We landed a client in Reuters” – they all matter.
Other’s success is your success
Whether or not their achievements are directly related to yours, other’s gains are your gains. And promoting each other’s progress is a win for all – a Robinhood-style rebellion against the negativity and critiques that all too often dominate social media.
We’re championing the PNW startup ecosystem with this recent post on funding levels, despite the pandemic. The figure speaks to the perseverance and adaptability of startup entrepreneurs.
By choosing to publicly champion others…
- You show that you care – potentially bolstering your pre-existing connections in the community.
- You demonstrate that your startup is about more than building your own brand (which, hopefully, it already was).
- You inspire your followers and supporters to pay it forward: your example is a powerful motivator for others to follow.
- Your celebrations may lead to unintended collaborations within your community. For example, someone may read your post about another startup and want to connect with yours – or connect you to the startup about which you’re championing.
- You boost morale in a season where we just REALLY need it.
- You are choosing to practice gratitude, a muscle that needs consistent flexing.
Ideas for championing others
There’s no limit to the way in which, or how often, you champion others in your space. Here are some tips to get your started:
- Create a system for keeping tabs on those in your circles. This may look like signing up for newsletters or paying closer attention to other’s social media accounts.
- Be intentional about engaging others on social media: re-tweet, share posts on LinkedIn, like posts, etc.
- Curate and schedule a regular (weekly/monthly) social post that is focused on other’s wins.
- Reach out privately to congratulate those in your circles. Taking the time to write a personal email displays that you genuinely care.
- Include news of other startup’s successes in your internal communications — not only as a way to celebrate, but also learn from one another.
Championing others keeps us humble, grateful, and grounded. It’s an opportunity to see startups as more than networking opportunities or potential partnerships, but groups of equally hard-working, passionate humans who want the same thing: to spur action and make a difference. By celebrating other’s victories you have the power to consciously disrupt this dark season with hopeful beacons of light. So here’s to wrapping up 2020 and starting a new year choosing to champion all wins.