Each week I get e-mails asking for business advice from people who read my blog posts or something I've said on social media. And each week I pick one e-mail to answer in more detail than the others. Just in time for the American holiday of Thanksgiving (my fav next to Halloween) here's an e-mail I received last week.
“Why do I hear so much about being grateful for the customers in my business? I work hard for them and feel like I'm barely making it, despite long hours. What does being grateful have to do with a financial transaction?”
Here's how I replied. “I believe – no – I absolutely know from 15+ years of experience as a business owner that it's wise to practice gratefulness in business and not just in your personal life. Yes, you work hard and put in long hours – most business owners do. Becoming deeply grateful for the opportunity you have to showcase your talents and your hard work turns your work from resentment to deep appreciation. And living from a place of deep appreciation literally changes the way you speak to your customers, which every single customer will hear. Business is about service and relationship, and gratefulness informs both. I hear in your question some resentment about working hard and barely making it, too. My bet is that you are not pricing your products well, which is your mistake – yet you then resent your customers for paying only what you asked. That's a tough place to be in. Valuing your own abilities will make it easier to feel gratitude all the way around.”
I've had j.o.b.s. and I've owned two businesses. By far my choice is to work for myself, even though it is sometimes scary and a lot harder. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful for everyone I've met as a business owner – those who do business with me and those who don't. Gratefulness brings grace to life. And the two together are not only good for your heart, they are potent business builders.
For my US readers, wishing you a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving. 🙂