My former client, April‘s, Win Book. Ain’t it adorable?!
At the end of my Etsy Success Symposium workshop, I offhandedly mentioned a Win Book, and if anyone wanted to know what it was they could simply ask. I did mean to talk all about it during the presentation, but despite my over-preperation, I was running oh, 10-15 minutes later than I thought I’d run & had to cut that part to not go over my time. Thankfully, I got quite a few tweets & emails asking what a Win Book is – and I’m so glad I did! I heart Win Books (and torture at least half of my clients into starting one) and I’m happy to tell you all about it here.
A Win Book is a place where you store all the compliments you received about your product/service/work (whether you have your own biz or not), everything you’ve been thanked for regarding your product/service/work, and all the things that come your way that give you the Warm Fuzzies. There’s no right spot for your Win Book – it could be a notebook; a document or folder on your computer; or even a program like Evernote, which I use to copy & paste lovely emails and blog comments into a Good Stuff folder I can easily access. What’s important is that the Win Book be a space that beckons to you to read and write in it, from it’s sparkly cover (like my client April made above) to its amazeballs name (if Win Book is too boring for ya, you can call it Warm Fuzzies, My Book of Awesome, Book of Awesomeness, or My Key to Being a Millionaire).
By having a catch-all for the awesomeness that’s been bestowed to you (& you’ve bestowed onto yourself), not only will you be able to build up your confidence about what you’re doing and the quality of your work, but it’s a tangible thing to take out when you feel like, um, you suck (yes, I have those days too). You’ll be able to have a specific place to go and remember the customer who left you feedback in your Etsy shop about how the earrings she bought from you were her Mom’s favorite gift, or how you got asked to write a column on your favorite blog based on the portfolio samples you painstakingly put together. It’s a way to build on the question, “How do I rock people’s socks?” and really see what makes you awesome, what makes you you, what your uniquity consists of and how it evolves.
Your Win Book is also the place that shows you what’s working, since common threads and a-ha! moments tend to emerge when things are in one place as opposed to scattered all over. You might not be able to see that you’ve been complimented five times on the softness of the sweaters you knit, but when you put those compliments in one place – whether they were emailed to you or said to you at a craft fair – it becomes a lightbulb moment. If you know that’s what your customers are taking away, the wheels might start turning as to how to convey the softness of the sweaters pre-purchase, and/or you might decide to add that to your elevator pitch. Without the Win Book, you might not have realized that “softness” was such a common compliment, and it might’ve passed ya by. How sad would that be?!
Some of my clients get stuck on what “counts” as A Win, and to that I say: Don’t discount the small stuff! You can decide that anything you did that day that helped move your business forward counts as a Win. Yup, even if it’s “just” writing a blog post or “just” making one set of earrings. Those are Wins just as much as “Got my first wholesale order!” is a Win. So The Win Book can come from you and what you’re proud of accomplishing just as much as it comes from others.
The key to an amazeballs Win Book is threefold:
- It needs to beckon you to write in it, and often! So, make it pretty and name it boldly and never keep it much further than an arm’s reach away.
- You must must must must must (must must!) not be shy or humble within the pages (real or virtual) of a Win Book. If you are, the whole thing goes kaput – it’s worthless. It might feel weird for a while tootin’ your own horn, but know that this is the safest of spaces – nobody else will read what’s there unless you hand it over to ’em (or, ya know, keep it somewhere public like a blog).
- Count the small stuff! If you wait until a win is “good enough” to include, you’ll be waiting for way too long. To start, challenge yourself to write at least one thing in the Win Book daily for at least a week. Like I mentioned earlier, you can list your accomplishment(s) for the day or – if it’s not too too scary – you can ask your friends for a Reverse Intervention (a term I lovingly stole from Laurie Veasey’s workshop) and ask them for positive feedback on your work! You can ask them to write what they find awesome, or what inspires them, or what they admire/are attracted to (in case “why do you like my stuff?” is too daunting a question!). The responses will start your Win Book off on the right foot!
So get out your salt-and-pepper notebook and a sparkle pen, or head over to the blank journal you bought that was so pretty you never wrote in it, or open a new document and write MY BOOK OF AWESOME in the boldest, brightest font ya got. Either way, just make sure ya start it, and keep it up. A Win Book is just a Book without those Wins!