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How to Leverage Gratitude in Your Business

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

My husband Simeon is a pastor, so other holidays like Christmas and Easter tend to involve extra work for him (and extra appearances by our family). I still love those holidays, but Thanksgiving is one that doesn’t include extra pastoral work.

It also includes what is, for me, the best meal of the year.

I start dreaming of Thanksgiving dinner in September. In October, when the November magazines start coming out, I start scanning recipes to see what my mom and I might want to switch up this year.

All in all, I just feel like Thanksgiving is the perfect day. We go to Philadelphia every year, and we usually drive down Tuesday night to skip the day-before holiday traffic.

We wake up with our son and I drink decaf hazelnut coffee with my mom in our pajamas. We watch the Philadelphia 6abc Thanksgiving Day parade, which is the oldest parade in the country. (Next to its cousin, the Macy’s parade in NYC, it looks kind of second-rate, but we still love it.)

My mom does 85% of the cooking and I do a tiny bit of prep to help her. We sometimes will stop over my aunt’s house to see my extended family, but for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s just my parents, my husband and me and our son, and every other year, my sister and brother-in-law. I love that it’s quiet and intimate. Before dinner, we turn on the Christmas lights for the first time and run outside to see them.

Then it’s all hands on deck to get dinner on the table: turkey, cornbread oyster stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, ambrosia salad and one or two new additions we try each year. Gobble, gobble, gobble.

We used to swear by Cheesecake Factory pumpkin cheesecake for dessert, but since I’m gluten-free now we may go back to pumpkin pie with a GF crust.

We don’t do the tradition of saying what you’re thankful for, but our gratitude seems to spill out over the table anyway. I am always so grateful for each person at that table, for the amazing food, and for the delight of sharing it together.

What does this have to do with business?

So often in business I find myself having a scarcity mindset. I’m worried about having too little money, too few clients, or too little time.

If things ARE going great, I’m secretly wondering when the other shoe is going to drop. If I have a really good revenue month, I’m mentally calculating how much a dip there’ll be next month.

I’m practicing moving away from all of that.

I’m practicing moving into gratitude and abundance all the time, no matter what’s happening.

Why is this important?

It’s important because most of us didn’t sign up for this entrepreneur gig to get rich quick, or because we thought it would be super easy. Most of us signed up to help people, to benefit our families, and to create more opportunity for ourselves and to make an impact on the world.

When we do this from a space of gratitude instead of scarcity or fear, everything feels better.

Here are some concrete practices that are helping me create more gratitude and abundance in my business every day:

  • In August, I did Susan Hyatt’s marketing strategy 3-2-1, which included sending two thank-you cards on every business day. I sent cards to people I follow online (I even got a handwritten response from one of them!), to past teachers, old friends, and a few of my first clients. The practice of thanking people as a business strategy felt amazing.
  • I’ve been planning out my clients’ Christmas gifts since August. They just came in the mail, so now I have the fun of writing cards and packaging to say THANK YOU to the amazing people I get to work with every day.
  • Thanking my VA for all her amazing work on a regular basis.
  • When I have a super-busy day, sending up a prayer of thanks that I get to work for myself and do what I want.

I also want to start creating a short ritual for the beginning and end of each work day.

What are your favorite gratitude practices?

November 19, 2018

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