Understanding Your Finishing Style

Do you celebrate at the end of a big project?

Or like me, do you have trouble with endings?

For the last two years, I’ve been working on a new book with my friend and colleague Andy Robinson. And this week, it came back from the printer.

paperbackbookstandingsmallOur book, Train Your Board (and Everyone Else) to Raise Money, is DONE and about to be launched into the world.

I’m super proud of what we’ve accomplished.

Our new book, is better — much better — than I had envisioned. With 51 easy-to-use fundraising exercises laid out cook-book style, it’s a fantastic addition to the non-profit field.

With this book, anyone can be a fundraising trainer! It’s that useful!

Due in large part to Andy’s wonderful attention to detail and lovely, fluent and friendly writing style, the book is appealing and even fun.

Yes, I’m super proud of it.

So Why am I Not Celebrating?

You’d think I’d be out on a bender. Or dancing a jig. Or at least enjoying a glow of pleasure. But in truth, I’m sad.

I have trouble with endings. And I don’t think I’m the only one who does.

When I finish something, I feel a sense of loss rather than excitement.

Woman trying to sleepThe process is over. Decisions have been made. There’s nothing more to do.

My mind makes a subtle and unwelcome shift. It stops worrying about getting it all done and starts worrying what might be wrong.

When I’ve finished a big project, I want to hide my head under a pillow.

Your Reaction to Finishing a Project

People respond to completing a project in very different ways.

Do you love the process?

For some people, nothing beats the excitement of figuring things out — tossing ideas back and forth in search for the perfect solution.

For them, that process, with its sense of unlimited potential, creates a high that few things can beat. The mental and emotional energy that comes from it fuels the effort it takes to get a big project done.

If that’s your pattern, when the project is over, so is the high.

For you, the completion feels more like a funeral than a wedding. And to make up for the loss, you’re probably looking for a new project even before the current one is done.

Or do you love to get things done?

iStock_000016739691SmallYou may be someone who gets a buzz out of finishing things and checking them off your list.

If so, for you, the excitement of completing something is worth the effort of the project. When a big project is done, you’re ready to celebrate!

For you, the excitement comes at the end. You get through the work of the project because you know how excited and gratified you’ll be when it’s done.

Understanding Your Finishing Style

If you know your pattern, you’ll be able to plan for it and it won’t take you by surprise.

If you’re like me, you’ll come to expect that for a few days or weeks after a project is done, you’ll feel let down.

And if you’re someone who loves conclusions, you’ll get ready to celebrate.

Both of these styles are valid. Not good — not bad — just different.

TryTry ThisThis

Take Note of Your Finishing Style

The next time you’re finishing a project, pay close attention to how you feel at the end. Do you feel excited? Or are you let down? Do you immediately look for another project to dive into? Or will you take some time to celebrate?

If you take note, you’ll start to recognize your personal style and plan for its outcome.

How do you respond to the end of a big project? Tell us about your style in the comments.

  • Brian Brolin

    I, myself, am a hybrid of these two styles. I get a huge high upon the completion of a big project that lasts for a day or two. Then I get super depressed for another few days for all the reasons you mentioned.

  • Ligia

    I’m a celebrate the end of a project with a glass of wine, or two! Of course, the celebration never lasts too long because I often have a few other things lined up.

    Can’t wait to see you at the International Conference Andrea!

    • Andrea Kihlstedt

      HI Ligia. Heading to Texas tomorrow. Look forward to a glass of celebration wine with you there!