It’s all about the love, man! Love and gratitude, that is. I’m not talking about all the Kumbaya stuff. Hippies got this right: Applying gratitude and love to the people in your business can make a world of difference.
“What are the magic words?” –Mom
Whether it was from your grandmother, grandfather, dad, mom, aunt, uncle, teacher… I am sure someone told you while growing up to always say “Thank you.” It didn’t matter what it was for: If someone did something for you, complimented you, or gave you something, you were supposed to show gratitude by thanking them. At times I am sure it felt a little annoying or even unnecessary to show your gratitude. Don’t people automatically know I’m grateful? In all my life, I still have yet to meet someone who reads minds. I bet you didn’t realize that you were being trained for success in business from such an early age. This one piece of advice can lead to a successful, happy and profitable business right now.
Gratitude Makes People More Productive
“Gratitude has been shown to increase determination, energy, and performance. People who are grateful are able to produce more than those who aren’t.” –Jeff Charles of Small Business Trends
What do you think are the characteristics of a productive business owner? Optimistic-energized-happy-confident-motivated-determined? Gratitude is the key to each of them. When you purposefully look for things to be grateful for, you find yourself happier overall and more optimistic about the future. You see where you have made and accomplished goals. Then you have more confidence and determination to keep moving forward.
People who are grateful accomplish more, with better results. Your overall mental health will be greater and more stable with an attitude of gratitude. This does not mean life is always full of grassy meadows and flowers. We are not walking around with blinders or rose-colored-glasses. There will always be challenges. How many walls have you run into before finding a way to climb over? (I admit I have stood in front of a few, banging my head on them.) With gratitude, you are better prepared to cope and to bounce back after hardships and challenges. There will be set backs in your business, but that’s all they have to be; just a setback, not a stopping point. Gratitude will help you get through them and learn from them.
“All the days of the afflicted are bad, but one with a grateful heart has a continual feast.” –Proverbs 15:15
Gratitude not only increases your mental health but your physical health too. You sleep better at night, get sick less often and lower your blood pressure. I know a few people who would like improvement in any of those things. You? Spend less time visiting the doctor or sick at home means more time creating a successful business.
Being grateful keeps you emotionally steady. Owning a business can be like riding a roller coaster from hell blindfolded. There are twists and turns that snap you around so quickly you can forget which direction you were once heading. How about he steep climbs that feel as though they are going to last forever? Multiply that by months and years. This takes a serious toll on your emotional state.
Want to make decisions with a level head? Gratitude creates a base line and a safety area. It’s a home-court advantage. It’s balance and perspective when you need it.
“Without gratitude, core teams fall away, culture diminishes and becomes stagnated and undesirable, innovation ceases and followers unfollow.” –Lori Worth of Thinking Bigger Business Media Inc.
When you find yourself in stress, review what you have accomplished in your business and in your personal life too. Look at how far you have come and how much you have been given. Do this often, and you have the tools you need take control of your emotional state. Control will lead to a more successful business.
Be the Boss (You Always Wanted)
Gratitude is an ignitor. It motivates us to do better and to be better. As a leader, you have the opportunity to motivate your team to create an unstoppable team.
Most employees in today’s work force feel under-appreciated, unnoticed and undervalued. Some feel that their worth is based solely on their performance at work. As a business leader you know that you cannot run everything alone. You need a solid team to run your business and then take it further in the future. You know you are grateful for their hard work, but do they?
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – Author William Arthur Ward
Show your gratitude, and tell them privately and publicly. When you point out the positive contributions your team members make, they are inspired to do more and to be more. Your team morale will increase. The atmosphere at work becomes a desirable one. Contrast that with constantly pointing out the negative, or criticizing someone. These negative habits stifle confidence, creativity and your team’s desire to give you their very best. Withholding your gratitude holds your team back. You want the very best from your staff members. Why not give them yours?
Being grateful is contagious. Gratitude spreads. Start this with the people who work with you, and even your customers will notice. (Your customers notice when it’s not there, too. Did you realize that?) Happier bosses mean happier employees and happier customers. Imagine the possibilities with a team of positive, determined, productive, and healthy employees and co-workers… Gratitude helps you to motivate and inspire others.
Increase Those Profits, Baby!
We aren’t singing Kumbaya here, but singing our way to the bank is really cool. And that is because customers are so happy they are are virtually saying “Shut up and take my money”. Your product and service has automatically increased in value.
“Saying thank you is an emotional act. It doesn’t just acknowledge someone’s effort, kindness, intent, or action. It recognizes the person himself. It’s even more important than acknowledging the principal person you are doing business with because it sets a tone for that discussion. And it is a winning tone. When you suffuse your preliminary actions with gratitude, it shines out of you as a penumbra of generosity.” –Tim Askew, CEO of Corporate Rain International
People are drawn to others who are grateful. An even better side-effect of gratitude and love in the workplace is an increase in customer referrals and customer retention. This equals in an increase in profits. There are two ways in which gratitude can help do this.
First, living with gratitude changes you as a person. You become more kind, emotionally and mentally strong, confident, optimistic, hopeful and at peace with life. These qualities will draw customers to you. They will feel comfortable doing business with you and will trust you. They will appreciate the time they spend with you. All the while growing your customer base.
Second, we live in a world that is constantly increasing in speed. Traveling at such an increased speed means we miss things, important things. Gratitude gives you the opportunity to slow down and be aware of the small things. Noticing those hidden gestures of kindness and jobs well done allows you to show greater and more meaningful appreciation for your customers. All of this will make you stand out from the other billion companies out there.
Just like your employees, your customers want to be recognized, appreciated, valued and thanked. Find ways to creatively thank your customers. Whether that’s with a personal phone call, an old fashion thank you note, or a post on social media. Find a way to thank them for their time, business and referrals. When you treat your customers as real people and show your gratitude to and for them, they in return are more willing to overlook small issues that may have come up. Small issues that would have turned them off of your company, or even led to negative reputation posts on social media. Now they will refer you to their family and friends. Now they become a loyal customer for the future. Ultimately, you increase your sales.
Who do you want to say “Thank You” to first?