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3 Ways Gratitude Can Make You a Better Business Owner This Year

This was originally published on AllBusiness.

Not a fan of New Year’s resolutions? Here’s something to try instead: gratitude.

Practicing gratitude is simply stating the things you are thankful for. This may seem a little like a fifth-grade Thanksgiving assignment, but trust me: it’s a fantastic exercise you can use in your business any time of year.

Here’s how gratitude can help you in business.

1. Gratitude Reframes Negative Situations

If you’re like every entrepreneur on the planet, you likely often focus on what’s going wrong in your business. That late-paying client, the computer that’s on its last leg, the client who texts you after hours and on the weekend . . . you know what I’m talking about.

Considering what you’re grateful for doesn’t erase those stressful parts of running your business, but it can reframe them. Consider:

Late-paying client—I'm so grateful that I have a client who pays me so well!

Broken computer—I’m fortunate that I can do so much work on my phone when my computer is on the fritz.

Overbearing client—I’m grateful that my clients see me as such an asset.

2. Gratitude Puts You in the Right Place to Manifest What You Want

Gratitude is high-vibration energy. So is manifesting. If you generate all this positive energy by considering what you’re grateful for, it’s easier to slide into thinking about what you want in the future.

When you want things, you can sometimes come from a state of lack, especially when it comes to money. When you say “I want” something, the Universe hears that you don’t have it and therefore will keep you in that state of lack, especially if it feels a sense of desperation in the wanting.

But once you’re in that state of flow and abundance that gratitude provides, you get out of that place of lack, and the Universe may be happy to deliver what you want, be it a new client or bigger retainers.

3. Gratitude in Business Builds our Connections with Others

When we’re truly grateful for the people around us, we can foster better relationships with them. Showing gratitude to a business client by telling her how much you love working with her, for example, could come as a pleasant surprise to her. Down the road, she refers more business to you.

Remember that expressing gratitude needs to come naturally and that it should never be forced. Too often we don’t tell people the pleasant thoughts we have about them, and that’s a shame. By sharing how thankful you are for someone in your world, you foster that bond.

How to Build a Gratitude Practice

Don't know where to start? Start here.

1. Think about what you're grateful for.

There are any number of ways you can create a ritual around gratitude. Personally, I list three things I’m grateful for that are coming up in my day each morning, and then I do the same in retrospect in the evening. This helps me see what’s really going on in my life with a positive lens. After I list my morning gratitudes, I also state one thing I’d like to manifest in my day. It could be big, like closing a deal, or small, like getting a pleasantly surprising piece of mail.

There are gratitude journals you can use to write yours down. It’s always fun to read them years down the road to see what was going on in your life! You can also use the full moon as an opportunity to list what you’re thankful for.

If I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed, I will sit in meditation and list every single thing I can think of that I’m appreciative of, from the soft, warm cat in my lap to the sunshine outside, and everything in between.

2. Speak your gratitude out loud.

I touched on this above, but it’s important that you share your gratitude with others. Don’t keep it in!

If you have employees, thank them for their hard work. Elaborate on exactly what it is that you are appreciative of, whether it’s them taking initiative in a meeting or simply brightening up the office with their happy personality.

With clients, make a point to make them feel special. This can be as simple as emailing an article that made you think of a client or sending a gift basket for a holiday or birthday.

3. Don’t overlook yourself!

While you’re telling everyone else how much you appreciate them, don’t forget about the person who makes your entire business and life possible: you!

Rather than berating yourself for mistakes you’ve made, try showing appreciation for all the hard work you’ve put into your business. I’ve even gone so far as to physically mail myself a letter (or sometimes flowers) and thanked myself for specific things I’ve done. When you’re a micropreneur or solopreneur, there may not be anyone else to give you a pat on the back, so you’ve got to do it yourself!

Gratitude Benefits Your Business and Your Personal Life

Expressing gratitude is a wonderful practice in both your personal life and in your business. The more you can see what’s good in your world, the more you can open up to even more success in the future.

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