Small Victories

Philip Manzano • Apr 11, 2017

Some Monday Motivation: Small victories are important to celebrate. The post Small Victories appeared first on Keela.

“Stop missing the small victories.”

This is the single best piece of advice I received in my professional career in the nonprofit sector.

When you work in a cause-based organization, the trait that everyone shares is passion. Everyone is invested in the work because they genuinely care about the outcome.

So emotions run high when something doesn’t go according to plan: missing out on a grant, losing a major donor – even coming late to the lunch room when someone brings in free food. It can throw off your day, and unfortunately it can affect your work.

Nonprofit work is difficult. You work an insane amount of hours, and while it’s always worth it, you live and die with these little moments. You feel everything – especially the losses.

So – don’t miss the small victories:

  • Someone subscribing to your newsletter
  • The fact that one of the programs you fund is still operating
  • Your proposal was approved
  • Your computer didn’t crash
  • You didn’t get locked out of your system.

At first it might seem silly to celebrate these things. But it really isn’t.

Your work is impactful, but the beneficiaries of your impact aren’t your peers. Sure, they share in the happiness – and they might even get some high-fives when things go well. But the people who feel the impact of your work the most are the members of the community that you are serving. So if you these small victories don’t happen – the bigger ones won’t happen either.

It’s just like dollars and cents. You can’t make a dollar if you’re missing a penny.

Lost opportunities have a way of eating away at us. And while, it is unfortunate – it doesn’t have to dampen the rest of your day or even your week. A helpful practice that you can do with your team is to take some time to identify the small victories. Get together and brainstorm a huge list (believe me, there will be a ton). Once you do this, start dissecting what made these small victories important to the community.

Understanding this places more value and importance on your work – and it helps to encourage larger victories down the line.

So, stop missing the small victories. Your community will thank you for it!