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Organization Tuesday: Top Ten Tips for Organizing Your SuccessViews: 382
Jan 13, 2009 6:21 pmOrganization Tuesday: Top Ten Tips for Organizing Your Success#

Julie Bestry
In my end of the year post, I said:

So often, we tend to dwell on the mistakes we made or the times we let things fall through the cracks.
There are rarely medals or trophies for the small victories of life, but these are sometimes the sweetest.

Each time you find one of these successes, write it down, and keep the list handy. In fact, if you don't already
have a SUCCESS FOLDER, create one now and keep it with your business files.  It's always good, on those
rainy ego-bruising days to have someplace to go for a reality check and appreciate our good days.

I still stand by this advice, but perhaps I was too narrow in my focus for how you might celebrate and preserve your successes.  Of course, the point isn't to rest on your laurels, but to be able to revel in them, especially after an egregiously cranky day or particularly disappointing ego deflation.  Thus, I'd like to present ten ways you can keep track of your successes in creative ways.  

Paper Success Folder
This is definitely the classic method of organizing your successes.  Every time someone sends you praise or a thank-you letter for the amazing, brilliant, record-breaking or helpful thing you accomplished, save that priceless piece of paper.  Pop it into a manila folder labeled SUCCESS or MY FABULOSITY or whatever will give you a smile every time you see it.  This is a great place to save a copy of newspaper and magazine article clippings and other print records of your success.  If they aren't too lumpy (and you haven't decided to display it with one of the other options), awards, ribbons, certificates can also go here.  You need not only save proof of success others have sent you--you can certainly make notes of telephone conversations, verbal praise and your recollections of sweet success.  

Email Success Folder
Second verse, same as the first.  Yes, you could print out every thank-you email digital proof of praise, but that wouldn't be very environmentally friendly.  Create an email folder specifically for holding digital references to your success.  (What?  You don't have any folders in your email program other than "inbox", "draft" and "trash"?  Let's talk!)

Bookmark Your Success
Email isn't the only place you see proof of your accomplishments.  Create a bookmark folder in your browser to give you quick access to any of the following:
  • Your most popular blog posts
  • Guest posts you've written for others, especially those with vivid and plentiful responses
  • Web site interviews
  • Online radio and podcast interviews
  • Announcements of nominations and awards you've earned
  • Testimonials for you that appear anywhere other than your own web site
Take a Picture, It'll Last Longer
Not all of your successes are verbal; some are visual.  Whether the photos are professional or otherwise, shots of you shaking hands with community leader recognizing you and your company for meaningful contributions, photos of you and other industry leaders, snapshots of you with your colleagues at a major industry event...all of these are worth celebrating.  Create SUCCESS ALBUMS on your own hard drive and/or back them up on popular online photo sites like Flickr, PhotoBucket or Picasa.

No Bull, But A Bulletin Board
Whether you have a small, tasteful French bulletin board or a giant cork board reminiscent of 8th grade Social Studies, take the opportunity to display visual representations of your achievements--photos, letters, notes, newspaper clippings--anything that gives you a warm fuzzy.

What's On Your Wall, eh?
Walls are like gigantic bulletin boards, and most rooms come with at least four!  Invest in your biggest successes by framing the best and brightest certificates, diplomas, photos and print interviews and hanging them on the walls of your office.  Whether you have a home office behind the laundry room and nobody sees the Wall of Excellence (except you) doesn't matter.  Preserving your success is about inspiring you.  If it calls other people's attention to your magnificence, that's just a bonus.

Play The Telephone Game
Speaking of other people, be sure to spread news of your success.  In elementary school, it's called bragging.  In business, tooting your own horn is actually an essential marketing skill.  Call your friends to share your good news.  (In fact, if you're known for being demur or having low self-esteem, ask your closest friends to REMIND you of this success them next time you're a Gloomy Gus.)  Email the news to friends and colleagues.  Email the newsletter contact for your alumni association, your industry associations, and your main professional organizations--they are always eager for news that shines the school, the industry or the group in a positive light.

Also, announce your awards, accomplishments and successes on your social networking pages like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  Heck, on Twitter, your friends and colleagues will almost certainly retweet your good news.  In fact, you can use this as an opportunity...if you win a blogging award,  make sure your Twitter tweet links to the winning post, and you can be sure that your tweeps will retweet you.  

Dear Diary
I'm a big believer in keeping a business journal (no relation to the general journal you may use for accounting).  A simple composition notebook, Word document or private blog works just as well.  But every day, try to note the general activities of the day, the challenges, the opportunities and the successes.  Then be sure to mark the big accomplishments so you can find them quickly. In a notebook, you can use an adhesive red dot (like the kind used at garage sales) or a tape flag.  In a digital file, just bold the best material, or highlight the text color or the background.

When you're feeling down in the dumps and degraded because a hard-fought battle was lost, you need to buck up, cheer up and look yourself up!  Start with the text of the "About Us" section of your web site and create a document that captures a list, in bullet-point form, of your achievements.  In fact, organize the bullets into groups of achievement types, and instead of keeping that bio where only you and your computer elves can see it, upgrade your "About Us" page to share your achievements with the world.

Remember the Milk, Remember the Maine, Remember the Motivation   
Organizing your successes so that you can see them doesn't mean you will see them.  We have national holidays and themed days and made-up holidays to ensure that we remember and acknowledge important events and issues.  Create your own opportunity to remember and celebrate your successes.  Pick one date per quarter (or even per month) and put it on your schedule as a success day.  During the intervening quarter (or month), each time you do something that rocks your world, put a note on that date's page or in that slot in your tickler file to ensure you remember to celebrate it.  You might even want to book a date with your networking buddies for a Success Lunch or Success Conference Call to share your successes.

These are just some ideas to get you started.  Please add to the list and tell us how you organize your successes!

Julie Bestry, Certified Professional Organizer®
Best Results Organizing
"Don't apologize.  Organize!"
Visit http://www.juliebestry.com to sign up for Best Results For Busy People:  Organizing Your Modern World, a newsletter to help you save time and money, reduce stress and increase your productivity

Private Reply to Julie Bestry

Jan 13, 2009 6:41 pmre: Organization Tuesday: Top Ten Tips for Organizing Your Success#

Susan McCool
Julie....AWESOME...I love it. Never thought of having a Success Folder!


Susan McCool
Spotlight Marketing & Design - http://www.SpotlightMarketingAndDesign.com
Virtual Office Associates - http://www.VirtualOfficeAssociates.net
Ryze Network - The Business Consortium - http://tbc-network.ryze.com

Private Reply to Susan McCool

Jan 13, 2009 8:48 pm re: Organization Tuesday: Top Ten Tips for Organizing Your Success#

The Eagle: Motivating Champions Around The World
Great Information Julie. Thanks for Sharing. You always know how To Come up with Great Information.

Richard "The Eagle" Motivator
Live and Act Like a Champion Today!!

Private Reply to The Eagle: Motivating Champions Around The World

Jan 15, 2009 12:39 amre: re: Organization Tuesday: Top Ten Tips for Organizing Your Success#

Julie Bestry
Thanks, Richard and Susan. It's always great to know someone is out there, reading.

For all the rest of you (because I know there are more of us than Susan, Richard, Felicia, Paul and Diana), please post and share your organizing issues and concerns so I can continue to be of use. :-)

Julie Bestry, Certified Professional Organizer®
Best Results Organizing
"Don't apologize.  Organize!"
Visit http://www.juliebestry.com to sign up for Best Results For Busy People:  Organizing Your Modern World, a newsletter to help you save time and money, reduce stress and increase your productivity

Private Reply to Julie Bestry

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