5 Reasons to Make Gratitude Part of Your Business Growth Strategy
I believe every entrepreneur can benefit massively from having a gratitude practice. Or—as I call it for myself—a practice of appreciation.
“Gratitude” is something of a buzzword in our culture. And I think in all the buzz, some business owners miss its true value. They think of a gratitude practice as a habit of just listing blessings. That’s why I think it can be helpful to think more in terms of appreciation.
My daily practice of appreciation involves spending three minutes before I get out of bed each morning truly appreciating the good in my life. I don’t just think, “I’m grateful for my kids.” I picture their faces, hear their laughter, and remember how it feels to be able to give my full focus to them at the end of a long day.
This is the power of appreciation or gratitude or whatever you like to call it. It’s the choice to not just list your blessings, but live inside those blessings. To let the good that surrounds you guide the way you feel and the choices you make.
This is why gratitude is a powerful aspect of business growth. That sense of appreciation defines the way you see challenges, the way you connect with your team, and the satisfaction you find in your work.
Not sure what I mean?
Here are five ways a spirit of gratitude transforms you, your team, and your business.
1. You See What’s Already Available to You
As you incorporate gratitude into your daily routine, you begin to make a major discovery:
There is so much good.
So much kindness and support. So many opportunities to learn new skills or connect with new people. So many things that are actually working, from that superstar salesperson you just hired to your thriving marriage.
How does that help your business?
Well, our brains are wired to protect us by fixating on the negative. When things go wrong, they want to show us all the bad stuff so we know what to prepare for or avoid. The problem is, when we focus on avoiding the bad, our best case scenario is survival.
A spirit of appreciation, on the other hand, helps us keep an eye on the positives. Sure, you lost a major account, but what weaknesses did you discover in your business because of that loss? Are you lucky enough to know experts in that area of weakness who can help you strengthen your team?
Could it be possible that the lessons of this one loss will lead you to gain more and bigger accounts in the future?
2. You Expand Your Understanding of What’s Possible
If you take three minutes of appreciation every morning, I can guarantee you’ll find yourself thinking of the positives that are new to your life.
Maybe you’re grateful for financial security because you remember the days when you were living paycheck to paycheck. Or you appreciate having such a skillful and proactive team after having to wear every hat yourself in the early days of your business.
Odds are, that progress happened slowly over time. It’s difficult to see the enormity of a gradual victory. But when you step back to appreciate where you are compared to where you’ve been, you start to realize you’ve already seen huge growth in your business.
That awareness is a powerful tool in building a growth mindset. You begin to see that anything is possible. Maybe it’s time to aim higher.
3. You are More Motivated to Uplift Your Team
By practicing appreciation, you become more mindful of the true value your employees add to your team. This, in turn, inspires a more generous attitude towards them and a stronger interest in offering them your support.
Let’s say, for example, you take time in the morning to feel appreciation for your organized and positive office manager. But then as the day goes on, she’s constantly making errors and seems to be giving everybody attitude.
A less-appreciative version of you might be tempted to think, “Clearly, this job isn’t as important to her as it used to be.” But the grateful you is likely to approach the situation with generosity and curiosity.
Something is wrong. This isn’t like her. She must be struggling with something. Is it something I can help with?
By taking this approach, you learn how to help her succeed instead of contributing to a spirit of frustration in the office. And when she succeeds, you succeed.
Not to mention...
4. Gratitude Inspires Innovation and Loyalty
Definitely use actual words to tell your team you appreciate them. Make sure they know you see them as a vital part of the mission and you’re grateful for the effort and sacrifices they make for the business.
But the added benefit of creating a gratitude practice for yourself is that it influences who you are when you come to work. You’re happier, more supportive, and positive about the future.
Combine this attitude with a habit of making employees feel appreciated, and you’ll see an uptick in productivity. When people feel like their work actually matters, they’re more motivated to give it their all.
They are also less likely to leave a business where they know they are valued.
Bonus: it works the same way with your clients. When they feel your appreciation, positivity, and joy, they want to work with you and even promote you to friends.
5. You Find Joy in the Process of Building a Business
Finally, a spirit of appreciation makes your job more enjoyable for you today.
See, the entire purpose of gratitude is to recognize what’s good here, in the present moment. As you build a gratitude habit, you stop thinking of career fulfillment as something you’re working towards.
Instead, you get to feel fulfilled today. Right now. That doesn’t mean your goals cease to matter. Of course they matter.
But living with appreciation means you don’t have to wait to start loving your life. You are only waiting for those added enhancements—your first million in revenue, the second location, the big team—that make life more comfortable.
Know what happens when you approach your work with joy instead of desperate striving?
You motivate your team.
You attract powerful referral partners.
And you gain the trust of prospective clients.
Make no mistake:
Gratitude may sound like a feel-good strategy for the soft-hearted.
But in truth, it’s a practice that builds resilience, confidence, and even revenue.
...what are you thankful for?
Further Resources on This Topic
Blog Post: 3 Pillars of a Successful Life
Free Video Course: Cultivating a Growth Mindset on the Job