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INBOUND Bold Talks: Frank Gruber

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When you’re building your startup, it’s easy to keep your head down, focused on the tornado of email coming in and putting out fires each day. It’s easy to forget that there’s an entire world around …

When you’re building your startup, it’s easy to keep your head down, focused on the tornado of email coming in and putting out fires each day. It’s easy to forget that there’s an entire world around you that has no idea what you’re up to. After touring the country for the past seven years covering startups, I’ve noticed that what helps to create a strong company is being able to tell their story and celebrating what they're doing internally and externally. Learn how celebration can be a tool you use to unlock all kinds of new opportunities for your company while building excitement for your startup community.

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  • Tech Cocktail is a media company helping entrepreneurs enjoy the startup life journey by providing resources, connections and community. We write about startups, do events around the country and provide useful resources to tech communities - connect people, provide resources, lift communities and bring the fun & celebrate what ’s happening in startup communities all over the country. After touring the country with Tech Cocktail, my media company, for the last seven years showcasing and covering startups we ’ve seen a lot of different a companies. We’ve showcase and covered thousands of companies along the way and about 10 percent have raised financing afterward participating in one of our events to the tune of $1.5 billion in funding. But not every company we see is successful. Starting a company is a roller-coaster ride filled with highs and lows. The journey has risks, pitfalls and dangers. Today I want to talk to you about the importance of celebration and how it fits into the Startup Life.
  • Starting and growing a new company is really f-ing hard. It can be fun, and exciting, but don ’t kid yourself, it will be painful and stressful and test you to the core. Some of you know Micah Baldwin who’s also speaking here this week. He once compared being a startup founder to being a gangster, as gangster you have to do things you don’t want to do. Sometimes gangsters have to kill people. I am not saying to do that but that’s how bad it can feel! As an entrepreneur, sometimes you have to do things that can put you in a really dark place (like firing your friends, signing deals that you don’t feel good about). I am here to tell you that incorporating celebration into all aspects of your business is vital to the well-being of your startup and you (and your customers and community). That may sound trivial, but stay with me.
  • Celebration is actually a TOOL - a motivational tool and part of your processes and culture. In fact, Celebration may be the most underutilized tool in business.
  • FIRST, by CELEBRATION I mean the positive recognition of accomplishments throughout the startup journey , big or small. CELEBRATION is acknowledging and sharing - with your team, customers, and community. Celebration does NOT JUST EQUAL launch parties and partying at SXSW. And it ’s NOT slacking off & nothing could be further from the truth.
  • Why do some people say grace or take a photo before a meal …  it ’s a moment of savoring.
  • Celebration is a pivotal stage in the productivity process because it allows us to commemorate the activity we ’ ve been so focused on, which builds a positive momentum that can continue to propel us in the right direction. You can use this tool internally and externally. Internally is really geared towards your team and moral. Externally might be with your customers and local community but will have internal benefits too. From Maslow ’ s hierarchy of needs, a theory of human motivation: Part of our "esteem" needs are achievement and respect from others. Especially in startups where the sense of achievement may be low - the company takes a while before it ’ s “ succeeding ” - celebrations can help reinforce a sense of personal accomplishment. Dan Pink (Zach's idea): Rewards actually don ’ t make us perform better in creative work; instead, we should cultivate intrinsic motivation. Having a sense of purpose is part of intrinsic motivation, and celebrations can help reinforce that purpose.
  • From Maslow ’ s hierarchy of needs, a theory of human motivation: Part of our "esteem" needs are achievement and respect from others. Especially in startups where the sense of achievement may be low - the company takes a while before it ’ s “ succeeding ” - celebrations can help reinforce a sense of personal accomplishment.
  • TEAM BRAND COMMUNITY
  • Jessica Kim BabbaCo - answer the question of what am I going to do with my kids today? sending you activities to do with them. WINSday Just like a sports team - this would get your blood pumping a physical way to get you mentally pumped up that sports teams have done forever
  • Eat your cake. Their cake symbolizes their accomplishment
  • Tech Cocktail is a media company, we cover startups and every week we push a big newsletter out with a wrapup of all our must reads. So with a large group of people around the world subscribing to this newsletter we send it out on Fridays and get ready for some fun. We do something called the Chartbeat dance. Chartbeat is a real-time analytics software. That ’s right we all turn on a tune and watch the stats spike as people read the newsletter. We call it the Chartbeat dance. We all drop our best lawnmower or robot dance moves as well. It makes for a fun afternoon ritual.
  • Zappos Holiday Hangover Week The week of Christmas is one of the most important times of the year. This is when their company is most at risk of burn out. This is make it or break it time for the company. The following week is also intense. They celebrate to keep the momentum. Make a week worth of fun during a week worth of hell. → food delivery We have a hot dog cart and we deliver hot dogs throughout the contact center. Most times we dress up too. Yes, we have a hotdog costume along with mustard and ketchup costumes.
  • TEAM BRAND COMMUNITY
  • → The actual things you create as a team will be as unique to you as your team. You can copy things other teams do but it ’s different for everyone. Not everyone wants to eat cake, or have a WINSday so you have to find the ones that will work for you. → Figure out the risks (burnout, obscurity & low moral) in your company and leverage celebration to keep momentum going. how do you do it? what are you focused on? maybe it;s around code sprints, users acquired, sales (sales bell)... it should be unique to your team. here ’s a unique team. When a sales person gets a sale and rings that sales bell for everyone in the office to hear, the point is for everyone to feel excited and motivated to sell more so they can keep that bell ringing. When you celebrate, people want to celebrate with you, they want to be happy for you, and they want to share your story.
  • Celebration can reinforce motivation, your mission and create a momentum-building energy internally and externally - with your team, you customers and community.  It fights burnout, gets attention and is contagious. “ Positive reframing ” is a psychological technique for dealing with setbacks. People who can see the positive even in negative situations score higher on self-esteem, optimism, and hardiness, and the technique is particularly useful for perfectionists. Little celebrations help you focus on what ’ s going well and not be deterred by setbacks.
  • Transcript

    • 1. #sharestory #celebr8ordie @frankgruber @techcocktail Celebrate or Die!Why Celebrating Small Successes Is Important In Startups & Life Frank Gruber CEO, Tech Cocktail August 20, 2013 @ INBOUND #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 2. Helping entrepreneurs enjoy the startup life journey by providing resources, connections and community. #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 3. Starting up is a journey... a roller coaster ride... #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 4. Celebration is a tool. #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 5. Celebration is acknowledging and SHARING - with your team, customers and community. #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 6. #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 7. Celebration is a pivotal stage in the productivity process because it allows us to commemorate the activity we’ve been so focused on, which builds a positive momentum that can continue to propel us in the right direction. #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 8. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
    • 9. Celebration Can Help Your... #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail Team Brand Community
    • 10. #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 11. #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 12. http://www.sandiegodjcompany.com/host-a-dance-party/ #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 13. http://permanently-disco.blogspot.com/2011/10/re.html #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 14. Celebration Can Help Your... #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail Team Brand Community
    • 15. #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 16. #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 17. How? CC derekskey on Flickr #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 18. #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 19. Motivation Mission Momentum Energy Fighting Burnout Attention Contagious #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail
    • 20. Let’s Celebrate #celebr8ordie@frankgruber @techcocktail Flickr CC wallyg
    • 21. Thank you, thank you very much... frank@tech.co @frankgruber @techcocktail tech.co CC Ethan.K on Flickr

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