Daring to Celebrate


Recently I listened to Brene Brown’s new book “Dare to Lead,” and in one section she talks about joy. We don’t often discuss this in business because it’s a “touchy-feely” topic. Much of Brene’s work is on “touchy-feely” topics applied to business. Her comments got me thinking.

According to research, when we feel joy, we immediately expect something awful to happen. We don’t allow ourselves to bask in the happiness of the moment. We become fearful our joy will be taken away, so we preemptively brace for the loss.

In my company, I aim to be modern. I define that as being down-to-earth, helpful and compassionate. One of my values is to have fun. Business and life are what you make of them. We make both fun and uplifting when we celebrate the big and small things.

Here are some ways to celebrate:

  • Handwritten thank you cards

  • Pointing out accomplishments

  • Looking for the silver lining in difficult situations

  • Celebrating when you complete a project

  • Recognizing someone for their strengths

  • Birthday cards

  • Seasonal surprises

  • Work anniversary gifts

  • Welcome guide

  • Holiday cards

  • Sharing jokes

Now, I admit I don’t consistently do all these things. This is where Brene’s advice hit me: I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. For example, what if I express my gratitude to a client, but they are looking for the right moment to fire me? That would be so awkward and embarrassing.

We entrepreneurs go through so many ups and downs.  It’s a tough job, and we all need a supporting team. For our own mental stamina, it is vital to be thankful and celebrate the good. What’s more, it signals to others that we can have fun even at the office. 

In response to this insight, I’m going to celebrate in the ways mentioned above. Some I do regularly, others occasionally, and others not at all. I challenge myself to do more. I’m thankful my eyes are open to a way I’m holding back from building the company I aspire to create.

Now, in your business, do you see any places where you may be holding back? If so, let’s have a conversation. By shining a light on our negative assumptions, we can free ourselves to move forward.