In November of 2001, I launched my new consulting/practice. I had first rate training and some proven tools for helping organizations and their leaders to pursue their goals more effectively.
BUT: There were at least two important elements missing:
- Paying clients
- Cash in the business bank account
I had great optimism in my ability to make a difference for my clients. I had a nicely crafted business plan and vision for what the business would become. This was despite the fact that the recent events of 9-11 had put the economy into a state of shock.
An Overnight Success?
I doubt that there is such a thing as overnight success for a start-up solo-preneurial venture. If I knew then about how long it would take to gain those two critical elements, I might have pursued something different. But I mustered enough grit and resiliency to have made enough of a difference for hundreds of leaders that I’ve coached for for two decades.
An Enduring Source of Inspiration
Part of my training for this business was the idea of building a Brag Book. A Brag Book isn’t as much for bragging to others as reminding yourself that your work makes a difference.
From the beginning, I’ve used a feedback form that solicits candid feedback from my coaching clients. The constructive criticism is taken to heart and used to improve. The glowing endorsements are collected for two purposes.
- To share with prospective clients in marketing
- For me to use as an ongoing reminder that my work makes a difference.
Which Was More Valuable?
That’s a chicken/egg question. Whenever I’ve needed positive reinforcement in times of doubt or uncertainty, the Brag Book was a constant source of inspiration. So #2 served that purpose. #1 was a piece of the marketing puzzle that helped attract more clients which in turn created more success stories.
Sources of Fulfillment and Recognition
Beyond the Brag Book, another source of fulfillment is my logo collection. The number and quality of organizations served is beyond my wildest dreams of 20 years ago. I still get excited when I add a new one.
Two additional accolades have come in the past 12 months, as shown below. But, there’s really no such thing as overnight success.
Tools like the Brag Book and Trophy Case are valuable for developing grit and resilience.
How about when times are really good? This quote is helpful for us to avoid spending too much time admiring our trophy case.
“Success is not a destination, it’s a journey.”
~ Zig Ziglar