“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It helps to have a positive outlook when you’re running your own business. And a grateful mindset might actually help open doors to more opportunity, when it comes to building a brand or company.
Gratitude isn’t magic, but cultivating a practice of being grateful can transform your business in some awesome ways.
Gratitude: Making it Personal
“The outdated mentality of business as cold, cutthroat and devoid of any personal interaction is being replaced with the understanding that business is personal,” writes Jamie Broderick for Entrepreneur. “As our modern business model shifts from transactional to relational, gratitude and appreciation emerge not only as life skills, but as business skills.”
Developing the skill of being grateful sets a foundation for a more purpose-driven business. By understanding what you’re grateful for, this helps you establish your values—as a business owner, and human.
A gratitude practice can support you in multiple ways. Keeping a gratitude journal or taking time to write thank you notes will offer you insight into your values. Which will also help you set up your business and personal goals.
Practicing gratitude will help you understand the people and experiences you appreciate most in life, and what you might look forward to in the future. In fact, a gratitude practice is like your roadmap towards an authentic, successful business.
And it offers a few other surprising benefits.
Benefits of a Gratitude Practice + How to Start
As humans, we actually enjoy the feeling of gratitude and experiencing generosity. “The ability for a gratitude practice to positively impact the brain and body is increasingly clear from a scientific viewpoint,” writes Najma Khorrami M.P.H. for Psychology Today. “Just like exercise is helpful to the entire body, gratitude is helpful to the mind.”
Being grateful, even just saying “thank you” to someone can boost your mood, reduce a high heart rate, and make someone else smile. And there are lots of ways to jump into a gratitude practice today.
- Start with being curious first. Be more open to the idea of being appreciative: Remember, even small things are worth being grateful for!
- Actually express gratitude for those things: Thank your coworker for making another pot of coffee, thank your cat for being adorable, etc.
- Get your team involved. Start meetings with “wins” and thank yous to each other. Lift each other up, especially during busy and stressful work weeks.
- Remember your clients! Spread those feel-good gratitude vibes with your customers, too. Katharine Chestnut, owner of Alkaloid Networks, makes it a weekly habit to send “love letters” to coworking members as a reminder of how special they are.
- Finally, make gratitude a daily practice. Normalize being grateful for the small and silly things, and thanking people who make a difference in your day.
Being Grateful + Coworking
At the beginning of the pandemic, Katharine was transparent with Alkaloid members about the safety of the coworking space and how the community could move forward.
“We got through it as a community. And there’s a lot of lip service about ‘community,’ but it’s so true that we dealt with it together,” says Katharine. As a community we value gratitude, because it helped make a very scary, dark situation much lighter.
When you’re grateful, others can experience gratitude. It’s an expansive, amazing experience, and with the holidays coming up, we hope to spread the word about what we’re grateful for in each moment.