Here’s your homework…
Next time you’re at your local gift shop or office supply store, pick up a little notebook (and a super awesome pen).
Begin paying very close attention to your physical and emotional reactions during your workday or any time you’re doing something for your career.
Rethink the phrase, “Go big or go home.”
Reflect on the phrase, “Success is a series of small victories.”
Now, jot down daily or weekly (all work-related):
- What makes you smile big
- When you impress the hell out of yourself and when someone impresses the hell out of you
- What makes you feel deep gratitude
- When you say the words “thank you”
- To whom you say the words “thank you”
- When your heart soars
- When you meet someone with whom you can be friends/allies
- When you make a new reader
- When you’re inspired
- What gives you unbridled energy
- When you’ve mastered something however big, small or outright silly that you’ve feared
- When you did something out of your comfort zone, big or small
- When you gave a resounding “yes” to someone or something
So why should we do this?
Because there is no need to risk everything.
Because you can build slowly, intentionally.
Because what sparks, excites, and invigorates you matters, a lot.
Because being on top is terrific but knowing who you are and what you have is something.
My friend and longest client Sharon Rowe, author of The Magic of Tiny Business , helped me to accept much of this. She doesn’t know it, but she’s one of my greatest mentors. In reading her book I came to conclusions about my business and in turn my successes and failures, and how I evolve from them.
I would say small victories have gotten me through my adult years. You see, I spent the last year of my 20s and early 30s processing my mother’s suicide all the while launching Ann-Marie Nieves Communications which would become Get Red PR. At the same time, I had just moved to upstate New York, so my boyfriend–who would become my husband–could complete his MBA. Four hours away from my base of friends and family. Not a lot of new business in my cold and rural albeit beautiful environment. I had a hard time meeting new people with this dark shadow surrounding me.
But I had my aspirations.
So I spent a lot of time in my little office virtually pounding the pavement. I dug into social media, something completely new at the time. I connected with fellow PR people online that I learned so much from—Keith Emmer of Startegix  and Ivy Cohen of Ivy Cohen Corporate Communications .
And I made friends—Emily and Rick—and they made me smile super big.
That rural environment? Long walks in crisp, fresh air with my pugs gave me energy; they fed my natural creativity.
Playing on MySpace (remember it?) blossomed into meeting incredible new writers. Incredible new writers led to launching incredible new books, which led to growing brands.
The boyfriend getting his MBA? Colleges had first access to Facebook…eventually I would add social media services as part of my business offerings.
It will be 14 years since my mother’s death this October. When I told her I was quitting my job to go out on my own, she gave me her blessing.
Even though I have heard “no” each day since I started my career in public relations more than 20 years ago…even though rejection is regular and competition is fierce…even though tremendous loss irrevocably changed my life in an instant, I can say still say with all certainty that I am blessed.
You may or may not have your notebook purchased and ready to use yet, but let’s share answers to one of our most important questions: What makes you feel deep gratitude (as relates to your work-world)? The floor is yours.