why everyone needs a kudos file

When I was first starting out, there was something that wasn’t really talked about in entrepreneurship and owning your own business:

It’s friggin’ lonely.

Sure, the bros bragged about Lambos and parties and working from the beach (#laptoplifestyle #douche).

A few more genuine folks talked about the freedom and flexibility and fun projects.

I was sold – that definitely seemed like a better life for me than being stuck in a cubicle all day long.

The first few days (and probably even weeks) were nice, as I could be alone with my thoughts, no distractions.

But it wasn’t long before I started going a little stir crazy… because I was alone with my thoughts, no distractions.

And let me tell you, when you’re prone to worst case scenario thinking and anxiety, being alone with your thoughts is NOT the place you want to be.

So I’m glad that this is something we’re more open to talking about these days, because it was a life changer when I met someone who proved to me that it wasn’t just me, sitting alone and worrying:

  • do they hate me?
  • did I do something wrong?
  • is this the time they find out I’m a total fraud?
  • (after thinking up a couple dozen slights I could be responsible for) should I draft up a quick apology and propose a proactive recovery plan?

Here’s the thing… we all need perspective. Without another point of view, our opinions are flat, dull, and uninformed.

You weren’t made to be a punching bag. You take punches for too long and your flesh and bones start to break.

So do yourself a favor, and take off the gloves. There are enough people out there willing to swing at you… you don’t have to take part in your own abuse.

And I know it’s hard to break that cycle, between anxiety, loneliness, and the way the current trends seem to lean toward “who can be the most miserable?”

Not everyone has the time or the flexibility to get out and make local business friends (’cause hey, when you work for yourself, you gotta actually be there to do the work…), so how do you get that perspective you need when you’re stuck in your own head?

Enter the kudos file.

No, it’s not a candy bar from the 90s.

The dictionary defines it as:


praise and honor received for an achievement
I literally built myself a file that has nothing but praise for me and my work in it. It was inspired by a former coworker from my old toxic day job, who one day mentioned that sometimes the pressure and stress of the job made her go into her “positive vibes” email inbox, where she’d saved every compliment she’d ever received.
When she was having a down day, she’d duck into that folder and pump herself up before getting up, getting out there, and trying again.
I bet you’ve got emails and texts singing your praises too… but it’s hard to remember people out there admire you when you’re alone with your thoughts.

So you need to have a kudos file, if for nothing else but to remind you who you REALLY are.

If you can’t get out there and socialize and get perspective, at least you can remember there are people out there rooting for you, who believe in you and want you to succeed.

The pendulum swings both ways.

Your options aren’t mediocrity or failure. It stands to reason if you have down days, down projects, down clients… you’ve got an upside somewhere in there too.
Don’t let yourself get all out of balance by swinging so far toward the negative.
Start seeking out those little bits of praise, and filing them away for an anxiety-filled day.
I think you’ll notice something interesting happen… those little bits of praise will be easier to spot. They’ll hold more weight in your mind, and they’ll pop up in your head to do battle with those inner demons that refuse to stop punching.


If you need more excuse busting in your life, or more amped-up and attitudinal YOU CAN DO IT cheerleading in your life, head over to my Phone a Friend page. You’ll be able to book some 1:1 time with me to talk through any block you’re currently facing.


And if you got some value out of this message, please leave a comment below or share with someone who could use this info today.



If you’re an aspiring freelancer who’s working up the courage to leave the day job… good news! I’m sharing all the things I WISH I’d known before making the leap so that hopefully your journey goes a little more smoothly than mine.

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