As entrepreneurs, we have so much to be grateful for. We literally get to design our own lives, do what we love, and have access to new platforms to further our future innovation. Obviously, November is a natural month for reflection on everything we're thankful for, but perhaps keeping that gratitude all year round is good for business.
In my travels, I've worked with all types of entrepreneurs and I'm constantly struck by the correlation between gratitude and success. In my experience, the most grateful individuals are also the ones who are thriving most, which seems have a type of snowball effect - the more grateful they are, the more good things come their way. I figured there had to be some sort of logic behind this, so I turned to science; while I didn't find any solid stories that directly linked gratefulness to success, there were some positive indicators. For starters:
Gratitude Leads to Happiness...and Ultimately, Productivity
Scientists have studied the benefits of gratitude to our mental health, which obviously plays a key role in how we do our jobs. In fact, according to Harvard Health Studies, being grateful has been proven to put people in a happier mindset. Most of us know firsthand that we work better when we're happier, but in case you needed some supportive data, Fast Company recently found that happier people are 12 percent more productive.
AH HA! There's one way that gratitude leads to success! And then of course, there's (what I call) the Snowball Effect:
The Law of Attraction
You've probably heard of the Law of Attraction - which is, essentially, the notion that the way we act and react draws the appropriate forces to us. This can either work for us or against us. We've all had those awful days where everything seems to go wrong - the alarm doesn't go off, there's ridiculous traffic, we get to work late, something blows up...you know the story. But on the other side of the coin, we have those untouchably awesome days when we are just nailing it and everything falls into place.
Gratitude helps swing that law of attraction in our favor. When we're in a grateful state, we're more likely to attract good things to us - which makes total sense. When we're happier, we tend to let things roll off our back more, which means we don't become flustered as often. We are also calmer and don't rush through things, thereby avoiding little pitfalls that pile up. The way we react to the little things puts us in a certain mental state and affects the way we do the big things - so let's give ourselves a leg up by remembering to be grateful.
Gratitude Draws Other People
During the recession in 2008, it was kind of dumb to ask someone "How's business?" because most people would answer, "It's terrible!". But I met one guy in the auto body industry that always said, "Business couldn't be better!"
People were fascinated by him. Whenever he'd answer like this, it would always evoke a positive conversation about his business.
Curiosity got the better of me one day and I asked him how he was doing better than everyone else. He told me, "No one wants to work with negativity. I love my job, whether I have one customer or 100 customers. So I tell them 'business couldn't be better' and I mean it. But the side effect has been that I've gotten so many referrals because people figure that if I'm doing good, I must be doing something right!"
To me, this was the perfect illustration of how gratitude leads to increased positivity, which in turn attracts people to you.
All of that to say, I'm not a scientist, folks - but it makes sense, doesn't it? It's great to give thanks in November, but this year, let's try amping it up. Write down every reason for thanks you have had in 2016 - and keep a running tally year round. This will serve as a constant reminder that there are so many reasons to be grateful; if you continue to acknowledge that fact, it is likely that your days will keep getting better.
Based on my research, here's what I think: