One of the great things about being in business in the 21st century is that so many of our interactions with other people are written down. E-mail, blog posts, tweets, etc.
It used to be a big deal to put something in writing and send it off to someone else. And so there was a lot less of it than there is today.
I mention all this because whether you realize it yet or not, in the course of doing your work as a solo professional, you’re going to get written praise from happy people. Sometimes, dare I say, even fan mail.
An e-mail from a happy client, telling you how helpful you’ve been. A tweet about something you wrote in which you’re referred to as “genius.” Maybe just a thanks from one of your newsletter subscribers for brightening their day.
Whatever it is, take my advice and print it out. And save it. Keep it in a pile, somewhere close at hand and look through it every once in a while. It will make you feel good on the bad days and gooder on the good days.
I’ve got my (massively huge) pile right here. I think I’ll go read a few right now.
Not to mention that you have some great testimonials. Ask permission–they always say yes, in my experience–and post on your website!
“Gooder on the good days” … I love that!
You know, Michael, I hadn’t given this an ounce of thought until just this moment. I’ve gotten some thank-yous and a bit of glowing praise here and there. Now I gotta retrace my steps, find it all, and print it out.
Darn you! Now I’ve got homework to do. 🙂
That’s what I call my “glory” file, and you’re right, it does exactly what you say, on bad or good days. Something else you can do with it is plug the key words (genius, awesome, responsive, and so on) with your name into http://www.wordle.net and create a beautiful word cloud to print out and stick in your file or hang on your wall.