Transcending the Numbness, how entrepreneurs forget to celebrate the wins


Below is an article written by Kian Foroughi, CEO of Boticca & one of our great mentors at Avatech. He recently published this article in and we realized that it will be useful for our audiences, so after asking Kian about republishing it, we published it. Enjoy.


How entrepreneurs forget to celebrate the wins and fail to build positive momentum with their teams and businesses.


Most of us entrepreneurs and founders are guilty of it. Few of us will admit it. Can you blame us?

We receive bad news daily. A marketing campaign didn’t work. A change you made to your website didn’t have the desired effects. A star employee hands in their resignation. An investor who committed a large amount to your round pulls out. A partnership fell through. You’re running out of cash faster than you thought. The list keeps going on and on…

All of this bad news. Constantly. After a while, in what is a perfectly human reaction, you become numb to it. It doesn’t mean we don’t care — quite the opposite in fact. But you learn to look for the positives, the lessons learnt and not dwell on the negatives because let’s face it, becoming depressed doesn’t help the cause. You have to show strength for the rest of the team.

We need to put on a facade for the “outside” world of customers, investors and partners: boundless optimism and energy in the face of unrelenting challenges, all with a constant smile on our face.

This takes its toll on us. Sometimes, we let our guards down. And this happens mostly in the sanctuary of our own “homes”: the office.

Early on in my entrepreneurial adventure, I was very guilty of this. I became so numb to the bad news that I was also becoming numb to the good news. A marketing campaign delivered positive ROI. A change you made to your website increased our conversion rate by 10%. We hired a star employee. We raised a round of investment. Signed a great partnership. We got cash!

“All great news. I’m happy. But what’s next? Let’s get back to work! We still have a lot to do.”

That was not the right approach. Not for the team. Not for me.

You need to celebrate each and every success within the business. No matter how small. As entrepreneurs, we note it, and carry on. But the team are ultimately there to build shareholder value — our value — and that means that there is no massive endgame for them, maybe a small one with options, but not like it is for the founders and major investors.

Get some cake, beers or whatever you fancy. It feeds your team with the optimism that they can keep driving positive change. It also crystallises their success and sets a platform for them to repeat that accomplishment again.

For you, the entrepreneur, it gives you the energy and belief you require to keep taking your business to the next level. You can receive 20 pieces of bad news that day but celebrating the one good piece keeps you going. You know it deep down inside.

So for my founders who live this day in and day out, for those of you who ride the roller coaster of the highs and the lows, don’t forget to celebrate the highs. Your team needs it. And you need it.

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership. — Nelson Mandela