Why Birthdays Matter: The Importance of Reflection in Business
Tuesday, June 26, was 9 Clouds’ ninth birthday!
Nine years ago, our company was incorporated. We’re taking the opportunity to reflect on what feels like a monumental birthday because of the “9” in our name.
At 9 Clouds, we spend our days creating innovative digital marketing and solving day-to-day marketing problems for our clients. Because we can get so wrapped up in our work, we are not very good at stepping back and taking time to reflect. But our birthday seems like an important time to talk about how we can continue to improve in our daily work.
Reflect with us, and also consider how you could add more reflection to your own routine.
Step Back and Celebrate the Wins
At 9 Clouds, we’re pretty bad at celebrating our “wins.”
We’re a humble, nose-to-the-grindstone bunch, and we do not raise our heads often enough to celebrate our everyday achievements.
We’ve got a #winning channel in Slack that I perpetually remind folks to add their achievements to, and I encourage everyone to share wins in our weekly team meeting — but at times, getting people to toot their own horn feels like pulling teeth.
It’s a part of our culture that I want to continue to continue to improve. There’s nothing wrong with being humble Midwesterners, but sometimes we’re humble to the point of being harmful. When we don’t take time to celebrate the positives, we live too much in the problems we’re constantly solving.
Problems are inevitable — but based on my six years at 9 Clouds, we always find a solution, and we often don’t recognize that solution-finding enough.
Our Biggest Win: What Got Us Here
I am going to take my own advice and celebrate 9 Clouds’ greatest win. Our services and product have evolved over time, but the reason we’re still here is the quality of our people.
Our team is incredible. We support each other, have healthy conflict, and push each other every day to be better.
Our team is my favorite part of my job as CEO. I am beyond proud of the work they create.
Marketing agencies are notorious for abusing and burning out their employees. That is a stigma we we are doing our darnedest to break at 9 Clouds. We don’t take on work we don’t have capacity for, and we set workloads so each of our team members are scheduled to work no more than 40 hours per week.
You can have a successful company without having a burnt-out team. Over the past nine years, we’ve proven that.
What Could Reflection Look Like for You?
I’m using our birthday to celebrate our biggest win: our people.
Here are a few other ways we weave reflection into our day-to-day work at 9 Clouds (and you could, too):
- Schedule a retreat
- Create a space to celebrate your wins
- A #winning Slack channel
- Regular employee recognition
- Publish more case studies
- Celebrate your birthday!
Busyness and stress are overvalued in our society, and we need to continue to find ways to combat that. Reflect and celebrate more. Dwell on problems less.
The ability to reflect on nine years at 9 Clouds is a gift, and I am grateful you all are here to enjoy it as well.
Don’t wait until your next birthday to reflect on the positives in your life.