“The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for”. Zig Ziglar
Sometimes we get so hung up on the bigger picture and where we want to be, that we forget to celebrate the small wins. We’re quick to berate ourselves when things go wrong or don’t go exactly to plan, but we don’t take the time to acknowledge all the little things that fall into place along the way.
When I was first starting out as a wedding photographer, the tutor leading a course I was on explained how important it was for us all to celebrate whenever we got a booking. No matter how much we were charging, no matter how little profit we were making, we needed to celebrate ‘the small wins’. When first starting out in his photography career, he told us how he would get hung up about how little he was earning for how much time and effort he was putting into everything. He had the mentality, like a lot of us have, which was I’ll celebrate when…. This could be anything from hitting the magic number of how much we want to earn each year, to having a new car on the drive or going on two holidays a year instead of one.
So he changed his outlook and decided that whenever a wedding booking came in, it was cause for celebration. Instead of waiting to celebrate when he was shooting 20 weddings a year, each time a booking came in he bought a bottle of champagne, or went out for a meal with his wife; because every booking was a milestone. Every booking was something to celebrate and every wedding he shot was another step towards shooting 20 a year, and every time he bought that bottle of champagne or sat in a restaurant across from his wife; it was another step closer to the life he was working so hard towards.
When my first order of wrapping paper came in, I grinned from ear to ear; I was ecstatic. And when the orders continued to come in the following year, I continued to grin. Yes, I sometimes felt frustrated that the orders didn’t quite match the tally I had in my head, but every sale of wrapping paper was a reminder that another person liked what I was making. Truth be told, I didn’t actually feel that full sense of gratitude until last year’s Christmas rush. I text Ian one day at work in a panic ‘I can’t keep up, you’re going to have to take some time off and help with orders’. All the stock I had been so carefully preparing in advance had ran out the week before and I was struggling to get ahead again. But, each night when I went to bed exhausted and each morning when I woke up, I felt warm and fuzzy with gratitude.
“What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it”. Oprah Winfrey
I can’t celebrate each sale of wrapping paper with a bottle of champagne or a meal out – I’d be broke! But, I do take the time to stop and think about where I am now compared to where I was last year; and the pair of earrings I didn’t get for Christmas? They arrived last week; a little Christmas gift to myself 😉
This time last year, I never imagined that a year down the line I would be starting a blog for my handmade business. And this time last year, I never imagined that I would be sat here writing a blog post thanking people for their continued support; and yet here I am, saying thank you. For every order, like, tweet, retweet, comment and kind word of encouragement; from the bottom of my very grateful heart, I would like to say a great big thank you.