Reward Yourself

After almost 19 years in corporate America, I was done with performance reviews.

No more stress from quarterly reviews given by a supervisor who knew less than I did. No more number-crunching sales quota sessions, where I realized I had to increase sales by 20% again next year.

I was free!

The writer’s life was shaping up to be everything I had hoped.

Then it hit me.

While I no longer had the stress of answering to a boss, I also didn't have the perks of a job well done either.

No plaques. No awards. No "Salesperson of the Month" (seriously - I thrived on recognition). No incentive trips.

It’s all up to you.

Which is why you need to give yourself an award. Or at least a reward.

Let me explain...

I'm big on celebrating victories, large and small.

Picking up a new client usually warrants a dinner date with my wife at our favorite restaurant. Equaling my corporate income with full-time copywriting income was a major goal, and I'm rewarding myself (and my family, who put up with me) by taking a major trip to Ecuador this summer.

I don't just reward myself for the bigger things either. If I have a goal to finish a program, like How to Be a Social Media Expert (on my plate right now), I'll motivate myself to complete it by cutting out early on a Friday for a movie.

See, for a lot of copywriters I've talked to, the money isn't enough. Earning a very comfortable income is motivating up to a point. It won't always sustain you, though.

Here's an example. Let's say your goal is to make $100,000 this year (and if it is, Mindy Tyson McHorse would be a good person to emulate).

If you wait until December to celebrate (or whenever you hit it), you could have a difficult 12 months go by of peaks and valleys, challenges and pitfalls. And unless you possess iron will and determination, you could experience some demoralizing moments along the way (yes, even on the road to six figures).

Why not celebrate the little victories along the way to the big one?

It's a great way to stay motivated, especially if you're just getting started on this path to the writer’s life.

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Published: February 18, 2011

2 Responses to “Reward Yourself”

  1. Steve,

    Thank you for contributing this article.

    You make a valid point: it is important to celebrate big and small victories.

    You can't delay gratification forever unless you are a yogi living in the Himalayas on a shoe-string budget and a tiger for a companion.

    It is more feasible to give yourself a pat on the back, every once in a while, once you reach your goal.

    We all need positive reinforcement to keep the momentum going and stay sane.

    Best wishes to you. Have a good one.

    Archan MehtaMay 17, 2011 at 5:10 am

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