Back in February I wrote a post about positive reinforcement. At the time we were just realizing how important it was for all four of us to see the positive feedback that the others get. The prime example that I used were Detailed Image orders. At the time we weren’t yet in the warehouse and George and Greg were doing 100% of the shipping of the products. There was no real “need” for Mike and I to also see the emails every time a sale came through, but we started doing it after I realized that it was helping our morale to open up our inbox and see ten orders instead of just getting weekly sales updates.
It’s crazy how much this has helped. We all get the immediate positive feedback any time a sale comes through. We also all have become great at inspecting orders at a quick glance for any errors. As refined as our system is, there are infinite order possibilities – I’d say 1 in 100 orders still has one of us doing some manual work to double check that everything went through properly. A few times each week I make minor tweaks to the code to prevent a wacky scenario from happening again.
BUT positive reinforcement also works the other way. Weekends and Monday’s have been our biggest sales days the past few months. Of course, the days where we get the most work done are probably Tuesday – Friday. See where this could mess with you mentally? I feel like in the middle of the week I’m working my ass off and seeing so-so sales. Then we’re out drinking beers on the weekends, doing no work at all, and George pulls up our system on his iPhone and shows everyone how much money we just make during dinner.
Don’t get me wrong – making $1,000 while you’re out drinking for the night is a cool feeling that you can’t really get unless you run your own business. However, waking up every day in the middle of the week and seeing sales slow down a bit kind of sucks. You go from the high of all highs to just feeling OK about things. Even though I know the weekends are when we make our money it still messes with my head. I’ve become conditioned to seeing a sale as my positive reinforcement for doing a good job, whereas I used to just think that the completion of my daily tasks was enough. Not saying that we shouldn’t be monitoring sales closely, but doing so often has the by product of being on a roller coaster ride emotionally based upon how many customers purchased on that particular day.