It is officially the holiday season and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. While you may be thinking about how to celebrate Thanksgiving, have you thought about what you are actually thankful for?
November is National Gratitude Month and gratitude can have a significant impact on you and your business. How? Well, a lack of gratitude is a major factor in burnout. Plus, 95% of employees agree that a grateful boss is more likely to be successful.1 Further, gratitude increases mental strength and reduces stress.2 If you google “benefits of gratitude” you may be surprised that we don’t focus more energy on this simple tool that brings so many benefits.
As business owners, we tend for focus on what is ahead of us, what we need to accomplish, how to continue growing and we don’t normally take the time to pause and focus on what we are grateful for.
So, in the spirit of the celebration of gratitude, I would like to share what I am grateful for as a business owner.
Clients – yes, of course, we need clients to have a business, but my gratitude here is a bit different. As a small business owner, I have close relationships with all my clients. I value the opportunity to work closely with each of them on growing their businesses. It is truly a special experience to be a part of someone’s professional (and sometimes personal) growth. In my years as an accountant, I have had the opportunity to work with many new businesses as they were just starting out and helping them build and realize their goals and dreams is an experience, I am truly grateful for. Have you considered how you impact your clients’ lives and what your service or product may mean to them?
Growth Partners – in a similar vein, I am grateful for the people that have helped me build my business. As small business owners, it’s common to try and to do everything ourselves. This may be due to lack of budget to hire or simply because we want to manage it all. Regardless, finding partners that you trust and that support your company’s vision is definitely something to be grateful for. If you have partners like this, have you told them how grateful you are for their impact on your business?
Mentors – In a past blog, I discuss the importance and value of mentors (read here) Having a team of professionals that have “been there/done that” that can help you navigate your business issues and provide advice and support is priceless. Who are your mentors and have you considering mentoring others?
Peer Support Team – Every industry has competitors. Often competitors are seen as the enemy, but have you ever considered the possibility that your competitors can be your allies? For me, having a group of peers has been very rewarding. Not only do I have a team of people that understand the specific issues of my industry, I also have a trusted group of peers that I can refer clients to if the circumstances require me to do so.
Family Support – Whether it is the family you were born with or a chosen family, these are the people for whom I am most grateful. These are your cheerleaders that support you when you need it most. Through the ups and down of running a business, this is the crew that helps me see the bigger picture of what truly matters and many times, these people are the “why” behind my efforts.
Independence – as a business owner, this is a major item for which I am grateful. We became business owners for a reason. While our individual reasons will vary widely, the fact is we are pursuing a passion, a dream, a goal that have for ourselves and having this opportunity is something to be grateful for. Personally, my goal is to travel more and being able to work remotely allows me to do so and I am incredibly grateful for this.
As business owners, we tend to always be thinking about the future and what needs to be done to move forward, but sometimes pausing can be your most powerful and productive move. As you are thinking about your Thanksgiving plans this month, I hope you are able to pause and reflect on what you are grateful for. It is time well spent both personally and professionally.