I’m self-employed, where’s my reward and recognition?

When you become a business owner, a lot of things change. Some things are easier, some are harder and some things just aren’t present anymore, this often includes Rewards and Recognition. 


As a business owner, there is no one to push you to work, no one looking over your shoulder and keeping you on track. There’s no one other than you around to recognise the hard work you’ve been putting in and the results you’ve achieved. 


The temptation might be to overlook the human need for Reward and Recognition, however they are proven to be vital for continued success.


The Harvard Business Review conducted a study that looked into the impact of small gestures of recognition on employees of a not-for-profit organisation. It was found that even small, symbolic gestures like a thank you card or public recognition really had an effect on the mood, productivity and performance of those employees.

In an employee setting, your success is recognised in rewards, promotions and pay increases. 

You work hard and you more often than not get recognised for it. That is why companies have performance reviews, awards nights and a management hierarchy to climb. Employees have something to aim for, and are rewarded when they get there. 

As a business owner, you’re constantly working. Do you get anything for this investment? 

You’re often the admin, the marketer, the account manager all while actually working with clients and customers. There are often late nights, no lunch breaks or weekends. There’s no one around to pat you on the back and thank you for putting in that extra time. There’s no one to tell you that you’re doing great things for growing the business.

Without recognising the milestones you’ve reached and the millions of steps you’ve taken in your business journey, it can feel like you aren’t making much progress at all which can lead to burnout. 

Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to put a plan in place that helps you to monitor and acknowledge your business growth, your personal development and your wins. 

Why not use a project manager like Trello, Asana or Monday to create a list of goals, projects or targets, that you can then check things off as they are completed. Not only does this provide a sense of accomplishment, but it also acts as tangible evidence of how you have moved your business forward and ultimately succeeded in your ‘role’ when you see how many tasks you’ve completed. 

Some other ways you can recognise and reward yourself for your work include:

  • Get an accountability buddy and meet up every month or fortnight to check-in and talk about how you’re going with your goals. This will help keep you on track, but also get a sense of recognition from your peers
  • Get a business coach to guide you toward goals faster
  • Treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting for a while, or a nice dinner out, or a massage!
  • Taking a break, or better still, a day off. You didn’t start a business to be fixed to the 9-5 grind!
  • Buy a course or software to move your business forward. This will make your life easier and free up time for yourself – win win!
  • Actually set up a meeting with yourself or your team to see how you’ve progressed individually and as a business.

Remember, you are the boss, so a reward can be anything you want it to be. The important thing is that you’re tracking your progress and actually realising how much you’ve actually achieved so far! 

Implementing check-ins and rewards for yourself will keep you moving toward your goals with motivation and make you appreciate just how hard you’re working.

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