Gratitude (noun): The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. As the holiday season begins and the end of 2021 approaches, the “g word” has been on my mind. As I see it, there are two sides of the coin when it comes to gratitude. How we show it to others, and how we practice it internally, with ourselves. As an entrepreneur, practicing gratitude has the power to bring blessings to your business and more joy to your life. I know this from personal experience! Gratitude has saved my ass so many times – from my own skeletons, from sickness and from some crappy places. Here’s my tips on gratitude for entrepreneurs.
Gratitude…it’s more than a list!
Gratitude has become a trendy thing as of late. Scroll through your social media feed and you can find tons of quotes and posts about it. But I feel like it’s often dumbed down and relegated to something superficial – the gratitude list. But for me, gratitude is more than a list. It’s an action.
Gratitude with Others
Here are a few ideas for practicing gratitude with others, including clients, business contacts, friends, and family.
- Express your gratitude verbally. Thank people. Yes, this might sound simple but it’s often overlooked. Verbalize your appreciation for their time, their work, their efforts, their communication. Even if they are just doing their job. Thank them. Tell people how you feel. BTW, look them in the eye, with sincerity, when you do this.
- Be present. Whether you are spending time with clients or family, be where your feet are. Put down your phone. Make eye contact, smile, listen. This says “I’m grateful for you and to share this time with you” without saying anything at all.
- Give a gift. This can be as simple as a handwritten note, or something bigger. Read my blog post My Guide to Business Gift Giving to learn my insider tips! (Hint: I love giving gifts!) Be careful to avoid “tit for tat” giving.
- Do an act of service. Create a promotional post on social media to highlight a client, or feature them on your blog or in your email newsletter. Volunteer with them for a cause that’s important to them.
- Have a great attitude. Make people feel like they are welcomed, they belong, that you are happy they are around. Be that person that is good company!
*Pro tip: Learn your people’s love languages. (Yes, this can be applied outside of a romantic relationship!) Expressing gratitude in the love language that the other person speaks is even more powerful. For instance, some people really appreciate words of affirmation, while others value gifts. Knowing is what helps you deepen the relationship.
Gratitude with Self
Here are a few ideas for showing gratitude toward yourself. (Do these sound familiar from above?)
- Express gratitude in your self-talk. Huh? Yes, that’s right. Thank yourself after a long day of work. Take time to acknowledge your accomplishments and give yourself credit. Tell yourself how much you appreciate yourself. Look back and remember how far you’ve come.
- Be present with yourself. Set aside time just for you to do something you enjoy and helps you feel grounded and connected. As a friend of mine likes to say – “you have a lot to learn from yourself”. Treat special time for yourself as sacred. It is NOT selfish.
- Give yourself a gift. Treat yo’self!! That’s right! Especially if your love language is gift giving and receiving. Reward yourself with something you’d appreciate.
- Take care of yourself. Clean your work or living space so it’s a pleasant space to be in. Groom yourself lovingly. Exercise, cook nourishing meals for yourself. Get a good night’s sleep. If acts of service are your jam (totally my love language FYI!), hire someone to clean or shop for you!
Getting into the practice of gratitude can be hard, especially when it comes to practicing it toward ourselves. Coming together with others for accountability and support can be helpful.
- Find a gratitude buddy and text each other daily or weekly about something you’re grateful for or a win that you’ve had.
- Form a “pod” or group with other entrepreneurs where you check in regularly, commit to posting on social media about wins on a certain day of the week, etc…
- Volunteer together with your team, friends, or family for a cause you care about.
- Join an entrepreneurial community or networking group where practicing gratitude is part of the organization’s values. This is something I’m working to create in my Coaching and Consulting Resource Center!
What ways do you practice gratitude toward yourself and others? How does gratitude help you in your business? I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line!