I received an email from Graham Venning of Desert Wing that not only was very generous but really brought to focus something that we forget often. Little wins matter. There was a large and very active discussion at the GoWP Niche Agency Facebook group, primarily around Built by WordPress.com. After that got taken care, no it didn’t but there is only so much time in a day, in traditional fashion the group celebrates wins. Graham had, in the great web economy of things, a small win, but you know what it’s a win! And every win matters.


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This made me remember something I had read a long time ago and if you can read the whole article I really recommend it. I like to say you need a five to one ratio of wins to losses to generally balance out and keep one at a state of at least pleasantness. From The New York Times, Praise Is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall: “After analyzing some 12,000 diary entries, Professor Amabile said she found that the negative effect of a setback at work on happiness was more than twice as strong as the positive effect of an event that signaled progress. And the power of a setback to increase frustration is over three times as strong as the power of progress to decrease frustration.”

There is so much more detail about biology, evolution, and examples. “Professor Nass said that most people can take in only one critical comment at a time. … He also said research had shown that how the brain processed criticism — that we remembered much more after we heard disapproving remarks than before — belied the effectiveness of a well-worn management tool, known as the criticism sandwich. That is offering someone a few words of praise, then getting to the meat of the problem, and finally adding a few more words of praise. Rather, Professor Nass suggested, it’s better to offer the criticism right off the bat, then follow with a list of positive attributes.”

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