With Thanksgiving this week, the holiday season is underway and with the holidays, for many small businesses, come added pressures. One way to deal with these is to practice gratitude. Not only will it make you feel better, but the practice shows good leadership and will be appreciated by those around you.
• Reflect on why you are in business and the positives you get out of business ownership. If you haven’t already, write these reasons down. When things get demanding, remind yourself of the positives to keep you motivated and to keep your energy up.
• Start each day with good thoughts about what you are going to accomplish, so that your day starts with something that feels better than just a to-do list.
• Consider your staff and all of the things that they do to support you and to help make your business successful. Find opportunities to acknowledge a job well done and to thank employees or partners for what they do. A grateful attitude makes others feel good and sets a positive example.
• Appreciate the customer service that your vendors give you when they rush orders, deal with your questions or problems, and give you special orders or promotions.
• Remember that your customers keep you in business. If they seem especially demanding around the holidays, smile and remember to be grateful for their support of your business.
• Give back to your community. Support local business and think about what they contribute to your community. Participate in local events and support local causes that you care about.
• Give yourself a pat on the back for what you have accomplished each day.
• At the end of the day, bring gratitude home to those that you care about – to your family, your pets, your friends and neighbors – gratitude both for what you have and for what they mean to you.
Practicing gratitude is a good habit for business owners around the holidays and all year long.
Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving and a successful holiday season!
Laurie Pieper, Ph.D.
Washburn University KSBDC
America’s SBDC Kansas