In today’s episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast, I’m talking about how to celebrate success and reward yourself.

This podcast episode is called Stop, Celebrate and Listen.

(Yes, that’s a really bad Vanilla Ice reference, but I am who I am!)

Let’s dive in!

The point of this podcast episode is that you deserve a reward.

It’s important that we look at how we stop and celebrate, and how we reward ourselves as entrepreneurs, as business owners, and also just as human beings.

It’s a really common question that I see online a lot. Sometimes people have had their first-ever $10,000 month and don’t know what to do to celebrate or how to reward themself, so they’ll looking for ways to bribe themself and really tempt themself for a goal for the next 30 days.

In my programs, we actually talk about rewarding ourselves and celebrating because it’s something that we aren’t particularly practised at.

There’s a big difference between buying yourself that lovely handbag, and deeply and intrinsically engaging in a process of celebrating yourself and your successes. And also making the way that you do business rewarding for yourself or taking care of your very basic needs.

For me, celebrating success and rewarding yourself goes way deeper than just the ‘treat yourself’ kind of mentality.

There’s a big difference between that and really going deep into how far and wide reward mechanisms can go, and also understanding the fact that we never really celebrate ourselves, and we need to learn how to be more practised at that.

I’ve got five key things that I wanted to cover in this episode.

1. Understand your hierarchy of needs

Recognise that you intrinsically deserve security, stability, a roof over your head, clothing that doesn’t have holes in it, and to eat food and wash yourself

That’s baseline needs taken care of.

For a lot of people, they’re asking questions about HOW they should be rewarding themselves for a great month in their business, because they don’t like fancy designer handbags, but they feel like they need to reward themself…

Yet they still don’t actually pay themselves regularly.

Or people are looking for big luxury upgrades in their lives, but they’re the person who also doesn’t have high-quality food, or they’re not looking after their health and wellbeing – they have a dental appointment or a dental problem that they haven’t taken care of for the last year.

I want us to really just take a step back and look at your hierarchy of needs here.

Do you really need to buy yourself fancy clothes in order to feel like you’re rewarded? Or are you using that as a distraction from taking care of your base needs?

Those base needs are not a reward, they are a minimum.

For example, you’re NOT taking care of your baseline needs if you:

  • Don’t pay yourself regularly
  • Don’t put money into superannuation / 401k / retirement fund
  • Are skimping out and buying the cheapest of everything
  • Don’t have appropriate tools of the trade to run your business
  • Are choosing to use something that’s broken
  • Are making do with what you’ve got – you don’t have an office, you don’t have a desk, you’ve got an old dining table that’s not quite high enough and you bang your knee every time you sit down at it

Let’s take care of those baseline needs.

Rather than seeing that as a reward, let’s see that as your business doing its job of sustaining and looking after its number one asset… and that is YOU.

I am going to talk about celebrating and rewards and all of those sorts of things, but I also just want us to do it through the lens of once you have taken care of your baseline needs.

Let’s not look for new and frivolous ways to celebrate yourself or to reward yourself if those baseline needs are not being taken care of and not being prioritised. Or if you choose to buy the $500 bottle of champagne to celebrate your 10k a month, and you choose to do that above paying yourself or paying for your future superannuation needs. Or you choose to do that above buying the laptop that you desperately need to be able to serve your clients.

Let’s at least be aware of it. Let’s shine a light on that decision so that you can unpack and understand why you are making that decision and ensure that you are consciously aware of that decision, and still happy with that decision.

I’m going to give you an example here of where I’ve chosen the frivolous thing but I was aware of it – I brought it to my consciousness and I had a plan.

This for me is about my superannuation and putting money into looking after my future self and into my retirement fund.

I was about two and a half years into my business, and I had my first ever $38,000 month. I’d had a $30,000 month before, I was going for a $40,000 month and I had a $38,000 month in my business.

At that point in time, I was still not putting money into my superannuation fund.

I was about to travel, and I really, really, really wanted to upgrade my flights to business class, but I also knew that I wanted to put some money away for my future wellbeing and my superannuation.

I felt like the business class flights were frivolous, and I really struggled to invest money in looking after myself.

This business class flight happened to be a flight from Bali to Melbourne to speak at a speaking event. That flight was an overnight flight, and I struggle to sleep sitting upright.

I was trying to come up with all of these reasons why I needed to buy the business class flight and I needed to upgrade – it would make me feel more awake when I arrived which I need because I had a speaking opportunity within 16 hours of landing.

I really was trying to justify needing that business class flight.

And I just stopped and I paid attention to what was going on here.

I had had a $38,000 month and here I was trying to decide: Will I put that $600 towards upgrading my flights? Or will I put that $600 into my superannuation account?

But what about the other $37,400???

I could see that the reason why I had to choose between those two things was because I was making very poor financial management decisions as a baseline. There was very little leftover for me to decide between looking after my retirement or looking after future Tash and her speaking engagement by buying her business class flights.

In that instance, I decided to buy the business class flight.

I bought the business class flight, but I did it through the lens of making a commitment to taking care of my finances more effectively and to manage my money more closely.

When I looked back at the previous 90 days of where I’d spent a lot of money, there was a lot of money on paying off debts, and there was a lot of money on late fees and financial penalties because I wasn’t paying attention to my money.

If I had been paying attention to my money in the previous 90 days, I absolutely would have had the money to do both.

What I did was I paid for the business class flights, but I also made a decision: As the universe as my witness right now, I promise I’m going to pay attention to my money, I’m going to have a CEO date with myself every single week, and I’m going to manage my money more effectively. I will NOT pay a late fee again.

Every time I review and do my CEO date, if I’ve made it a week without paying a late fee, I put that money into investments.

That’s what I started to do.

It’s really interesting that I made that commitment before I flew to that speaking event because one of the other speakers at that speaking event was a money manager.

She was a financial advisor, a money coach, she’d worked on money mindset, and she was a Profit First professional. So I hired her.

It’s as though I manifested having that person right in front of me at exactly the right time.

As they say, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. I was soooooo ready.

I remember I was sitting at the conference in the crowd after I had finished speaking, and I was listening to her and shaking my head. Not because I didn’t agree with her, I was shaking my head because I was so shocked that this person was speaking about this in front of me.

I had no idea what she was going to speak on when I had talked to her earlier, so I was sitting in the crowd and just shaking my head wondering how I didn’t know this. How had I not taken care of this so far? I couldn’t believe this person.

She stopped halfway through the presentation and asked me why I was shaking my head. I just couldn’t believe I’d never heard of her before! I could not believe how lucky I was to be listening to her.

It was such a powerful pivot in my life.

In that instance, I made the choice for the more frivolous thing – the more short term thing. But actually, it was also a decision to change the way I managed money.

It was very shortly after that, that I started investing.

I started really scaling up my investments as well, and putting money away for things like superannuation and future Tash and savings and having an emergency fund.

That seed all started with me deciding that I was going to buy my flights and take care of my money.

There’s a hierarchy of your needs here, and we want to make sure that we’re taking care of your baseline needs and not seeing baseline needs as a reward (I’m going to talk about that a little further in this podcast episode as well!).

2. Be mindful of who you celebrate those successes with

Not everyone deserves your successes, and not everyone understands your successes.

I had a VIP client in the Accelerator program who was on our call saying she’d had someone sign up for her VIP package. The payment hadn’t come through yet but she was so excited so she went and celebrated with her partner and he simply said ‘I’ll believe it when the money’s in the bank’. Then the next morning, she had received an email from her client saying that they were having second thoughts.

They did eventually get that person to sign up, but you can see how much that would take the gloss off that experience.

When you’re super excited and the first thing someone says to you is that they’ll believe it when the money’s in the bank, it kind of takes the sparkle off that celebration.

Imagine what it brings up from a mindset perspective and what it brings up from an energetic perspective when you share a success like that and someone doesn’t get it.

Even when it comes to celebrating money in the bank or achieving a certain sale or whatever it might be – be mindful of where you are celebrating that and surround yourself with people who get it.

That is why I think masterminds are so powerful and being part of programs where people are speaking the same language is so important.

In the Take Off program, I get the students to come in and celebrate when they have sales conversations.

Not only when the sales conversations result in sales, but every single sales conversation because every conversation is a step closer to a sale.

Every conversation gives you more clarity on your niche and who is and isn’t your niche. Every conversation gives you more clarity about your messaging, the objections they will have, and what people want when it comes to working with you.

Not everyone is going to understand and celebrate those the way that your fellow Take Off students are going to celebrate that with you. (We call Take Off students TOFFees by the way, because Take Off‘s abbreviation in my filing system is TOFF.)

That’s what we call it, so come in and celebrate with the TOFFees when you have a sales conversation even when it doesn’t result in a sale. Tell us what you learned and what you’re going to do instead!

It’s just really powerful to celebrate the progress and some of the signs and indicators and celebrate it with people who understand the gravity of that indicator/milestone.

I think it’s important that we celebrate with people who get it.

If you celebrate something with someone who isn’t necessarily the right person and they don’t necessarily reflect the excitement that you were expecting from them, then that’s about them. It’s not about you.

Don’t make it mean that you should stop celebrating your successes. Don’t make it mean that you can’t talk about things until the money’s in the bank.

I’ve seen this happen before where someone’s gone into a larger Facebook group and celebrated that they’ve had their first-ever $10,000 month in their business. And people respond asking whether that’s top line because it doesn’t count if it’s profit first.

Everyone just wanted to rain on this person’s parade.

I actually ended up reaching out to that person with a private message and telling her that there are people in the group who tried to discount her celebration and tried to make her feel like she couldn’t celebrate it unless it’s profit. I told her that she absolutely had the right to be celebrating that first $10,000 in sales.

It doesn’t matter if it costs you $50,000 to make that $10,000. If it’s important to you and if it’s something to celebrate for you, you go and celebrate that hard, and I’m here celebrating that with you.

I didn’t want to cause a fight in the group, but I wanted to make sure that she was aware that she was absolutely entitled to celebrate that 10k month because it’s important to celebrate it.

I think that there are times where we try and celebrate with the wrong people.

Think about where you’re celebrating and think about how you’re celebrating.

You are absolutely worthy and deserving of celebrating with people who get it and people who are going to cheer you on and celebrate your successes in the way that you would expect them to celebrate them, because they understand.

3. Not every reward or celebration needs to be massive

I love the law of incremental upgrades.

One of the things that I have been mindful of over my business journey is that sometimes when I make a ginormous upgrade, I sabotage that upgrade, or I’m just not comfortable with that level of upgrade.

A great example of that is things like designer clothes, or jumping in and buying something that’s way out of your price range just because you feel like you should.

I talk about how the return on investment for increasing your investment in a bottle of wine starts to diminish after $33.33. $33.33 is the peak where the return on investment starts to even out and then the more you spend, the less the return is in terms of how much extra good the wine is.

It’s the same sometimes with other upgrades, but also, we need to adjust to that new level.

A big example for me is my website.

I invested $600 in the first website I had.

When I was then in the market for upgrading my website and doing a fresh one, it had been too long. I waited a little too long, and then I put pressure on myself to get the best of the best of the best website.

I set myself a budget of $6,000 for my website, and I just assumed that the more I was going to invest, the better the website would be. That second upgrade is the most I’ve ever invested in my website – it was towards the end of 2015.

I put that budget aside, I found someone who would do the website upgrade for the $5,000, and it was my least favourite website ever.

This was for a range of reasons:

1. The person who did that website for me wasn’t necessarily charging appropriately.

They just put big prices on things because they didn’t want to do websites anymore, so they put the price really high. If they did take on a website, then they would feel like it was worth it because they were getting paid so much.

The price didn’t necessarily reflect the quality of that person or their enthusiasm for helping me with my website.

2. I’d spent so much on this website – I put so much pressure on the website to do things that websites just don’t do.

Websites don’t magically bring in tens of thousands of people following you just because they’re really nice websites. Due to the fact that I was investing in both the website design and it being much prettier and much more well thought out and SEO-ed, I assumed I’d get a huge rise in the number of visitors to my website. That never happened.

It was probably because the person didn’t really finish the website and it wasn’t necessarily done effectively. But also it was because I was expecting that website to just do it magically on its own, and that’s not how websites work.

You’ve got to keep going with your SEO.

For me, if I had just invested a couple of grand in a next-level website, I probably would have had a better experience and I definitely wouldn’t have sabotaged it as much or put so much pressure on that website.

There are other examples where I’ve seen people who think that they have to go from a $30,000 car to a $150,000 car, and then they don’t even love the $150,000 car.

I know someone who upgraded and got a $150,000 car and they were so worried about that car that they never took it out of the garage. They wouldn’t drive it to the supermarket, and they wouldn’t take it on long drives because they didn’t want to put too many kilometres on it.

They didn’t even get to enjoy it!!

Sometimes it takes time to adjust to a new level, and that’s okay.

Maybe you don’t upgrade to business class straight away, but you do premium economy, or you pay extra for the exit row.

Let’s say you want to upgrade your technology. You don’t have to upgrade to the best of the best straight away, you can incrementally upgrade.

I think some of the most powerful upgrades I’ve ever done in my life have been really incremental, seemingly minor things.

Things like buying an extra phone charger so that I can keep one in my travel suitcase and know I’ll always have a phone charger.

Think about how much that would cost (next to nothing), but as an upgrade, it makes my life so much easier and feels so spacious and abundant.

We have a key box on the outside of our home so that if someone forgets the keys, there are keys there and you don’t have to call a locksmith or sit around and wait for hours for the other person to get home. A really simple upgrade!

Another upgrade I’ve made is in the home we’re currently renting that’s not ours that came fully furnished. It’s got all the crockery and cutlery and all those things.

I LOVE a good cup of tea in a really beautiful mug, but the cupboard where the coffee cups and teacups were held was completely full.

My incremental upgrade was to buy myself four beautiful cups and put 30 cups into a plastic tub at the top of the wardrobe.

I don’t need to look at the 30 cups I’m never going to use all of the time. The cupboard’s allowed to have space in it and I’m allowed to have four really beautiful cups.

They are my cups, they’re the cups that I use, and I don’t need to use any other cups.

It makes a difference. It’s such a beautiful energetic shift every time I open the cupboard door and I see my beautiful cups there and I get to choose a beautiful cup and get to use a beautiful new cup.

I deserve to use a cup that I really want to use.

I don’t have to jam it into the cupboards and fight for space with the other things. And I also don’t have to just take what’s there and be grateful that there’s a cup there that’s too small, or I don’t like using coffee cups that are too thick because I don’t get enough warmth in my hands from them.

You are allowed to incrementally upgrade in meaningful ways.

It doesn’t have to be a flashy upgrade.

Think about the things that cause a bit of annoyance right now, or things that you feel like you’re tolerating less than. Make incrementally upgrading those things, your rewards for different milestones in your business and just incrementally upgrade and start aligning to a life of ease, a life of abundance and a life of awesomeness where you have the things you want. That’s okay.

Another incremental upgrade that I want to talk about is not having things.

One of the incremental upgrades that I’ve made in my life is that I’ve stopped buying new cheap clothes.

Instead, I use the clothes that I have for extended periods of time, then when they’re due to be replaced, I replace them with one high quality product that’s going to last longer and is ethically sourced and sustainably sourced.

An example of this is t-shirts: I no longer buy six cheap t-shirts. When I get rid of t-shirts and t-shirts have done their dash with me, Davey will take them to be rags so they get another life, and I will buy one high quality t-shirt to replace four low quality t-shirts.

That upgrade for me is not necessarily having more things or more expensive things necessarily, it’s just a more sustainable choice and choosing to have less of.

When I talk about incremental upgrades, it doesn’t necessarily have to be more things and flashier things and more expensive things. It could be that you actually have fewer things.

Having a smaller capsule wardrobe is lighting me up.

We are about to go mobile again, and so that’s going to really suit my lifestyle. It doesn’t make sense for me to buy lots and lots of flashy clothes.

4. You’re allowed to change your mind

This one’s going to be really tough for some of you, because we have been told that you get what you get.

Sometimes you’ll set in your mind that you’re going to reward yourself with something fancy, and then you get it and it’s not what you thought it was going to be.

Then you think about how you don’t want it anymore but you feel like you have to keep it because it was your reward for achieving $100,000 in your business in a year.

We have these energetic ties to things and I just want you to pay attention to the reason why you keep things, or the reason why you feel like you have to put up with something.

Sometimes it’s just that you’ve told yourself that you’re not allowed to change your mind. But actually you are.

You are allowed to change your mind.

Maybe you decided you wanted to upgrade to the latest iPhone 12, and then you get it and you don’t really like it and you want to go back to your Samsung. You’re allowed to change your mind.

I’m going to keep saying that: You are allowed to change your mind!

Just because you asked for something, doesn’t mean that you have to keep it if you get it. And that doesn’t mean you have to love it if you get it.

There are items of clothing that I really thought I was going to love, and I loved them when I first bought them and then they started to feel like they weren’t really me.

I’m allowed to change my mind. YOU are allowed to change your mind too.

I’ve actually had a client of mine who bought herself a fancy new car. After about three months, she realised that it wasn’t what she wanted but she felt she had to hold onto it because it had lost so much value in those first three months. She felt that it would be wasteful for her to sell it and have lost all that money on it.

In the end, she decided to sell it and buy herself something very different and much, much cheaper. If she’d held onto it, it just would have kept losing value.

It was such a powerful thing to see her say that she was allowed to change her mind because she didn’t like the car. That’s okay!

You are allowed to change your mind!

I’m going to say that again: YOU are allowed to change your mind.

Sometimes the best reward you can give yourself is that gift of listening to what you want and allowing yourself to choose and allowing yourself to change your mind… because you’re allowed to change your mind.

5. Soap is NOT a reward

I’ll say it again: soap is not a reward.

If you think I’m going to buy that beautiful luxury soap as my reward for myself, I just want you to know you deserve to have the nice soap regardless of whether you have earned it or not.

This comes back to the hierarchy of needs, but I also think it’s a mindset thing.

When it comes to having that beautiful high-quality chocolate, your body deserves that ALL the time. You don’t have to wait until you’ve earned it.

You already deserve it.

Your body is not a garbage tip most of the time, and then when you’ve hit an income goal, you’re allowed to have high quality food. You are allowed high-quality food right now. You deserve it – you absolutely deserve it.

One of the things I hate when Mother’s Day comes around is seeing the types of things that are branded as gifts for Mother’s. And soap is one of them.

I even see special tools for the kitchen. Your mum deserves to have great tools to cook for you.

It’s just the most bizarre thing.

We see things pitched as rewards or celebratory things that we have earned or deserved, but actually, that’s just something you can have all the time, and making that the normal is a beautiful celebration and reward in itself, isn’t it?

I just want to say that. You can have your beautiful body wash all of the time.

You don’t need to save that for being a reward for yourself.

I also want to say this about tools of the trade as well. I was talking to someone and she said, ‘Look, I know my computer is so slow. And it’s so frustrating when I start it up each day and I’m sitting there waiting for 20 minutes before I can even open my emails. It’s so painful. And I am going to buy myself an amazing brand new MacBook Pro when I have a $15,000 month.’

And I just told her that she’ll have her $15,000 month way easier if she stops wasting her time every day on a computer that doesn’t work and doesn’t do its job.

Tools of the trade are tools of the trade.

If you’re putting up with poorly running tools of the trade, or tools of the trade that slow you down and that don’t get you the results that you want, then just prioritise getting that taken care of.

You can absolutely go out, set yourself a short term income target and go and get that stuff taken care of. Absolutely, those things you deserve to have taken care of.

In most cases, when I talk to people about where they’ve brought the money in and what they’ve spent the money on instead, the money that they’ve been spending has been on other people. It’s been on things that were luxuries for others when they were not taking care of their foundations themself.

This is why I say it as a hierarchy thing.

I know women who run their business on a slow, terribly outdated computer, and that business is bringing in a few $1,000 a month that they are putting on treats for their kids and dinners out for their family and holidays and trips to theme parks and upgrading their kids phones before they even look at their work computer.

That computer is creating the income for all of those treats and toys. And you are prioritising the treats and toys before you are upgrading your tools of the trade.

I also see women who don’t want to pay for the the software to have ease of emailing their list and tagging the leads that they generate. They don’t want to spend the $15 a month on that email software, but they will happily spend $45 a month on the special, fun yoghurt with Thomas the Tank engines on the front, instead of spending on the cheaper yoghurt that is no name branded but actually has less sugar in it. Those types of decisions.

If there’s anything that you take away from this podcast episode, I want it to be that you deserve to have your baseline needs taken care of.

Your business deserves to have the tools of the trade that it has. You absolutely should be rewarding yourself and celebrating your successes.

But I also just want you to pay attention to the mindset that goes with it.

Is it that you’re making yourself earn basic human needs being taken care of? Or is it that you’re choosing rewards that make it look like you’re being very successful to other people, but you’re not actually looking after your future self and you’re setting yourself up to be in poverty in your 60s and 70s because you simply were just trying to keep up with the Joneses with the way that you’ve rewarded yourself?

Is your decision around rewarding and celebrating coming from a mindset of lack? Or is it coming from a mindset of abundance?

I know that this isn’t a straight-line podcast episode, but I think it’s an important conversation for us to have.

If you’re reading this and thinking that your baseline needs aren’t being taken care of and all you need is to bring in a burst of income in my business, I actually have a really great treat for you today.

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In this program, we talk about goals, rewards and the mindset of celebrating, as well as marketing strategies to bring in a short term cash injection – marketing strategies to ensure that you are maximising the income in your business over a 30 day period.

We’re setting and achieving a stretch income target for your business, and we’re being mindful about how that that income is then being divided up, reinvested or taken out of your business and used for rewards and celebrations as well.

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As always, come on over to the Heart-Centred Soul-Driven Entrepreneurs Facebook group and share any aha moments you’ve had using #podcastaha and the episode number (282).