By Jeff Charles
Before you read deeper into this post, I’d like you to do something first: Take five seconds, close your eyes, and think of one thing that you’re thankful for.
It could be an important person in your life. It could be your new car. Maybe you’re just happy to have a roof over your head. Whatever it is, just hold that thought in your mind.
Yes, I know it’s a little cheesy, but do it anyway. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.
See? That wasn’t so bad, was it? It probably felt good, right?
Why is this important? Because doing this on a regular basis will make you a better entrepreneur. Gratitude isn’t just important for your mental health, it’s essential if you want to build a lucrative enterprise.
Years ago, I sat in a sales training where the presenter was discussing the topic of gratitude. I remember thinking “Why is this guy talking about gratitude in a sales training?”
It didn’t make sense to me. However, as he explained it further, I began to understand.
He proceeded to lay out the reasons why gratitude is important. He explained how it could impact our personal and professional lives. It was a compelling business case for gratitude.
After the presentation, I was slightly skeptical, but I figured it was worth a try, so I took some of his suggestions. I started keeping a gratitude journal. Every day, before I started working, I wrote 5 to 10 things that I was grateful for.
Gratitude Helps You Become More Productive
When I began keeping my gratitude journal, I started seeing results in that first week. I noticed that I was far more motivated and focused. I found that it was easier for me to accomplish my goals and finish the tasks I had set out to complete.
This is because gratitude has been shown to increase determination, energy, and performance. People who are grateful are able to produce more than those who aren’t.
Not only that, people who are grateful find it easier to reach the goals they set for themselves. Goals are important for any entrepreneur.
Gratitude also makes you healthier. It helps you sleep better, lower blood pressure, and boost your immune system. Healthier entrepreneurs get more done.
Gratitude Makes You a Better Leader
I managed a team of sales reps whose performance I was responsible for. This particular team had a more difficult job than the other sales teams in the company at that time. Because of this, it was important to maintain morale as best as I could.
I found out very quickly that being grateful is a non-negotiable factor if you want to be a great leader. Being grateful helps you to focus more on the positive traits of your team members rather than harping on their weaknesses and mistakes. When you hone in on your team’s strengths more than their weaknesses, it improves their performance.
Along with helping you coach your team to success, gratitude also motivates them to work harder. When a leader consistently expresses gratitude to their team members, it shows that the team’s efforts are noticed and appreciated.
Gratitude Helps you Sell Better
It was uncanny. When I committed to writing in my gratitude journal daily, I sold better. It helped me become more persuasive. It also made it easier to connect with my customers, which made them more willing to buy from me.
This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. Having a grateful attitude heightens your mood, which makes you more personable to others. People tend to buy from people they know, like and trust. When you are more relatable, it’s more likely that your customers will like and trust you more.
It also helps to show gratitude to your customers. Customers are more likely to return to brands that make a sincere effort to show the customer that their business is appreciated.
It’s becoming more and more important for a brand to form deep bonds with their clients. Showing appreciation goes a long way towards establishing connections with your audience.
Gratitude Keeps You Sane
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m an entrepreneur who gets discouraged, stressed, scared, frustrated and mildly insane from time to time. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve likely gone through the same thing.
Gratitude helps me get through these crazy moments. It allows me to acknowledge my challenges while still focusing on what I’ve accomplished so far.
I have a lot to be thankful for. This knowledge is what keeps me sane when I’m going through the entrepreneurial emotional roller coaster.
If you’re feeling discouraged or frustrated, focus on the successes you have had. Think of the people who support you. Think of the vision you have for yourself as an entrepreneur.
Chances are, you have done things that many other people haven’t done. If you’re intentional about focusing on these things, it will make it easier to go through the tough seasons.
It’s been shown that gratitude greatly increases your mental strength. In 2003, it was found people who were grateful were far more resilient after the 9/11 attacks than those who were not. Even when you’re going through horrible experiences, gratitude can help you push through it.
Conclusion: Build a Culture of Gratitude
If you want to build a successful enterprise, you will be best served by focusing on developing a culture of gratitude. But first, you must develop this culture in yourself. It’s not easy for everyone, but the rewards of becoming more grateful can be enormous.
It can be contagious. When you exhibit gratitude on a regular basis, the people around you will become more grateful as well. As a leader, you can create an entire culture of gratitude in your company. Imagine what it would be like to have an entire team made up of people who are mentally strong, productive, healthy and persuasive. You would be unstoppable. Gratitude really is that powerful
- Keep a gratitude journal. Try to write at least three to five things that you’re thankful for each day. Don’t worry if there are repetitive items on the list each day; if you’re thankful for it, put it on the list.
- Throughout the day, think about the things you wrote down. Remind yourself of how these things have benefited your life.
- Practice gratitude. Put it into action. Look for opportunities to thank someone for something they did that you appreciate. Not only does this make you feel better, it also makes them feel better!
- It’s okay to think about the things that frustrate you, but every time you do it, try to also think of something that you’re grateful for as well.
I can tell you from experience that being intentional about being grateful is not easy at first. But if you persist, it becomes easier over time. There are tools that can help you do this.
If you’re not convinced, just try it for a month. It couldn’t hurt, right? Eventually, you will find yourself being grateful without even trying, and you will notice a positive difference in your personal and professional life.
May 13, 2015