How Often Are You Grateful? By Susan Leigh

Running a business can be a stressful experience. No matter whether working for yourself or within a partnership, as a sole trader or within a larger organisation, each situation has its own challenges and stresses. Sometimes it can feel that all you do is work, with little or no respite. Burnout and stress can become serious considerations.

Let’s look at how attention to your mindset and perhaps a slight shift in attitude can provide some help and improvement. Let’s look at how often you appreciate what you have and are grateful.

– Being thankful includes appreciating the opportunities you have to make real choices in how you spend your time, how you occupy yourself. You may look momentarily at those people who are in full-time employment, envy their regular hours, holiday and sick pay but would you really choose to go and work for someone else if you could? I suspect some of us might enjoy the notion of a regular income with benefits, but there’s no such thing as guaranteed job security these days. Working for yourself offers much to be thankful for.

– Even the tough breaks have a value. The difficult clients, problem orders and minor setbacks teach us a lot, provide us with important learning opportunities and bring a great sense of achievement and satisfaction when they’re resolved. Be thankful for the lessons learned, the new skills, contacts and possibly mentors acquired as you develop your skills and capabilities dealing with the tough times.

– Appreciate the opportunities to network and form alliances with people who have complementary skills to yours. These people provide the opportunity to delegate tasks outside your remit, allow you to offer a wider menu to your customers and clients and potentially become the go-to guy who’s able to source and look after many of your customers needs.

– It’s also a better use of your time to recommend others when you’re not fully au fait with a particular skill. Yes, you may be able to muddle through, do it eventually, but is it fair on you or your customer, could your time be better spent? And linking up with another professional may provide you both with an additional string to your bow, where you cross-refer whenever needed.

– Remember to appreciate your staff and service providers. Saying ‘thank you’ can mean the world to someone who’s laboured to deliver your requirements. Plus, feeling valued enables them to grow in confidence and maybe offer suggestions, find better, more efficient ways of doing things, become more responsible and engaged in their work.

A phone call, card or way of rewarding good work can enable those who work with and for you to feel valued, appreciated and so enhance their loyalty and commitment. Remember staff appraisals and provide opportunities for staff to train, develop and grow; that way their gratitude to you can create a win/win situation.

– Good relationships away from work need to be appreciated. Family and friends are often a significant part of the reason why you work so hard. You may have family responsibilities that are important to you, that you want to do right by. Your friends may enjoy a lifestyle that you want to participate in, which requires serious finance to support it. Be wary of being swept along with other people’s agendas. Be grateful for the genuine relationships in your life, the people with whom you share the good and bad times, who support you however much you earn.

– Remember to stay true to your core values in your life, the things that really matter to you. Giving something back to your community may be an important of your thankful mindset; offering to sponsor local events, providing apprenticeships, becoming a mentor.

Gratitude is also about appreciating loyalty, open and honest communications, spending quality time with your important people and activities, even if it’s a simple walk in the park followed by a home-cooked supper. Real relationships support each other, provide a listening environment, may challenge you at times, but have your interests at heart and are much to be thankful for.

Susan Leigh is an Altrincham Counsellor and Hypnotherapist.
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Alex McCann

Alex McCann runs Altrincham HQ - a Social Media Marketing company with 100+ recommendations on Linkedin and ranked Number 1 for Social Media Marketing in the UK on Freeindex

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