Gratitude and Entrepreneurship –
The Positive Effects Unveiled
A Day in the Life of Entrepreneurship
Gratitude and entrepreneurship are related when it comes to mindset. When we talk about gratitude, it goes beyond a positive mindset, it is much deeper. A day in the life of an entrepreneur can go in many different directions. Some are positive, some negative, and some debilitatingly overwhelming. I’m talking, head on the desk while tears float to the floor kind of overwhelming.
There is content creation, process mapping, strategy implementation, client calls, coaching sessions, emails, even calendar mishaps, you know the ones where somehow something wasn’t logged on the digital calendar and two people are now scheduled at the same time but you only have the ability to be in one place at a time. And so many other things can happen like the sales call that you think you nailed but you don’t get the client. You were banking on that money too. But it slipped right through the Zoom screen.
In all of that chaos, how can you be grateful?
Gratitude Amidst the Chaos of Entrepreneurship
Here’s the thing about gratitude. We can look at life as overwhelming, frustrating, and disappointing and let the negative emotions bring us down and hold us back, or we can see the positive and find the humor in each situation to drive us forward.
For example, the sales call didn’t convert. There are two choices. Get upset and down because you don’t have that money coming in, or, look at it as an opportunity and learning experience and be grateful that God was looking out for you because that person probably wasn’t your ideal client and He saved you from a lot of frustration down the road.
What about the call that went into overtime and made you late for that meeting across town? Perhaps that 5-minute difference saved you from getting in an accident?
Two meetings at one time, that’s pretty funny because we all know you can’t be in two places at one time. I know from experience. Someone once booked a call at the same time I had a headshot session scheduled. I had to email and explain what had happened. And guess what the response was. “No worries, that’s happened to me before too. Yes, moving the call up 15 minutes is fine.” We can find a couple of reasons to be grateful in the last example. One, be grateful for the reminder to slow down and pay better attention to the details instead of rushing through life. And two, be grateful for the kind person on the receiving end of your email.
What Does Gratitude Mean Anyway?
Gratitude, according to the online dictionary is the quality of being thankful; ready to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
The Positive Effects of Gratitude
Research has found that gratitude has positive effects on the neurologic system. An article in the Positive Psychology Journal explains the definitions and benefits of gratitude. In addition, Dr. Robert Emmons has studied gratitude in-depth and found that it has positive physical and mental health effects. Some of the positive physical effects of gratitude include positive interactions in the frontal lobe of the brain, the part that makes decisions. It has also been found to have positive effects on metabolism and hormone regulation.
The positive effects on mental health even include times of crisis.
Gratitude and Entrepreneurship – Gratitude Makes Everything Better
We can learn much from the research of Dr. Emmons and how having gratitude can positively impact our lives and entrepreneurial journeys.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.
All things contribute to advancement. That means the good and the bad. Even those mistakes and perceived failures result in advancement and positive outcomes. We may not see them right away, but they come. Every experience we have in our life and entrepreneurial journeys gives us an opportunity for growth and a level of expertise to then go out into the world and serve others. The more we serve, the more we contribute to the ripple effect of good in the world.
Likewise, we can refer to scripture to see the importance of gratitude.
2 Corinthians 9:15 says “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” This verse is referring to God’s grace. If we look around in our lives and businesses, we can find glimpses of God’s grace everywhere.
Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God every time I remember you.” This is my message to you. I am so grateful you are here with me and have joined me on my entrepreneurial journey. When we surround ourselves with like-minded people we go farther faster.
Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” This verse is very near and dear to my heart. I quoted it a few times in my book, “You, Me, and Anxiety” to be published in early 2022.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Things don’t happen to you, they happen for you. God always has a greater plan for us than we have for ourselves. Instead of looking at life from a victim’s point of view, be grateful for all experiences because no matter how good or bad they are, you will learn from them, grow, and be able to better serve others by going through them.
Gratitude and Entrepreneurship – It’s Not Always Easy
Frustrating things are going to happen. Illness may occur, we may lose clients, and the storms of life will hit from time to time, but if we have a heart of gratitude, we will be able to move through each experience and navigate it with a positive mindset. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but I’m saying, just like Dr. Emmons has proven in his research, that we will be able to look at life through the lens of grace and abundance instead of doubt, fear, comparison, and frustration.
Implementing a Gratitude Practice
If you don’t already have a gratitude practice, I’m going to give you tips on how to begin.
Begin by writing down three things every day that you are grateful for. I typically write one thing in the morning and several more in the evening before I go to sleep. Starting the day with gratitude puts my mind at ease and reminds me that I am blessed and have God in my heart to guide me. Ending my day with gratitude helps alleviate stress and anxiety and helps me sleep better.
Some days I am so tired that I can’t think of everything that happened in my day, but I can always come up with even a little thing that made me happy, like a sharp pencil, or ice cubes to put in my water, or the way my dog made me laugh.
A gratitude practice doesn’t have to be serious and grueling. Start simple by recognizing the little things in life. If your teen said good morning with a smile on her face, write that down. If you got to sit down as a family to have dinner, write it down. Maybe you scratched two things off of your t0-do list for your business, write them down.
It really is that simple to begin a gratitude practice. Being grateful is about seeing the positive in every step of your journey instead of focusing on the negatives and the things you can’t control.
If you’ve been struggling with your mindset, frustrated with your business not growing, or simply lack clarity around your calling and purpose, I invite you to schedule a discovery call with me. Let’s get you moving forward in your business and living a life of gratitude.