How to Harness the Power of Gratitude and Appreciation to Create Success

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As our friends in the US celebrate their Thanksgiving today, I’ve been reflecting this week on the power of gratitude and appreciation to create success.  I believe, and have experienced greatly, that every facet of our lives is intertwined – there is no separation – and have adopted an attitude of gratitude for every single facet (even the aspects that are “bad”).  Let me share with you how you can improve your business success by showing gratitude and appreciation in the 6 pillars of your business:

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  1. Clients– Without clients and customers, you have no revenues. When you look at most business models, they put their clients at the top – excellence in client service is their #1 goal.  As a service provider, I constantly strive to improve what and how I deliver to my clients…I want them to not only feel but KNOW they are appreciated.  It can be as simple as a thoughtful thank-you, or a client appreciation gift or special VIP treatment.  It’s not just the what you do to show appreciation, but the how often as well.  Having regular points of contact will increase the client’s experience with you.  No doubt, as a client, I like to feel appreciated and that I’m getting the best product or service for my investment.  As a client, when I feel appreciated, I’m more likely to do more business with you and contribute to your cash flow.  It’s easier to produce revenues from a few appreciated clients than it is to make cold sales.
  2. Employees (and contractors)– If you want to grow your business, you will have a team to support you, either a team of employees or a team of contracted support workers. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to do your business effectively, and your client’s experience would then suffer.  It’s a fact that happy employees are more productive and loyal employees.  It’s easy to give feedback when things aren’t going right, but what’s necessary is to give gratitude and appreciation to your team when thing ARE going right.  When employees feel appreciated, they will be even more committed to producing better results for you.
  3. Suppliers– We know that client and employee appreciation are key to driving your revenues, but what about your suppliers? I find that when I’m engaged with my suppliers, and show my gratitude for them with thank you’s and referrals, I’m more likely to get even better service from them.  It instils more trust in the relationship with them, and reduces my stress levels because I can trust that I’m going to get great results, and not “waste” my time having to do it over again myself (or have to pay to get someone to do it right).  Showing supplier appreciation can help get things done right the first time, and they may give you even more than what you paid for.
  4. Referral Network– I have to say that most of my clients have come from referrals. Without my referral network to support me when I started my business, I would have struggled and worked a lot harder to have those clients enter my world.  It goes without saying that I feel a world of gratitude to my referral network, but I could do a lot more to show that appreciation.  Other than one-on-one time, I’m now working on implementing a formal referral appreciation program.  It doesn’t have to be big, but I think showing your gratitude to referrals goes a long way in getting even more business and improving your business success.
  5. Family and Friends– Where would you be without the support of family and friends? When you’re so busy in your business, it’s easy to take family and friends for granted.  However, this group is likely your biggest fan base, and wants to see you succeed and celebrate in your success.  It’s important to stay connected and spend quality time building and maintaining your personal relationships and showing your appreciation.  Speaking first hand, I know this is an area I struggle with – sometimes it’s easier to appreciate strangers than it is to show your family and friends how much you love and appreciate them.  But, without support at home, the stress in your home relationships will spill over to create more stress in your business, and both will suffer.
  6. You– YOU are your business…As a small business owner or solopreneur, chances are, without you, your business would not operate. Therefore, it’s important for the success of your business that you appreciate you – take care of your body, mind and soul.  Take time-outs every day, and take those vacations where you un-plug for at lease one day a week.  Appreciating you also comes in the form of valuing your time.  So many people struggle with this, especially women – we tend to undercharge and over-deliver for our services, mostly because we are nurturers and want to make sure everyone is taken care of (usually at the expense of not taking care of ourselves).  When you value and appreciate yourself, you are more likely to attract the types of clients, team, and suppliers who will also value and appreciate you, and you will be more likely to value and appreciate your support network (family, friends, referrals, etc).  And THAT is great for business success!

To sum it all up, when you truly appreciate all of these pillars, and give no one more importance over the other, true success happens.  The trick is finding and giving balance to create harmony amongst them.  As we near the end of 2015 celebrating the  holidays, now’s the time to reflect on each of your 6 pillars and decide where you will take inspired action to improve those relationships heading into 2016.  In my experience, when you value and appreciate each of the 6 pillars, business success WILL follow, and so will greater freedom to give and receive even more appreciation.

Having an attitude of gratitude is a key to success…and I am eternally grateful to you – my readers.  Without you, I have no reason to share 🙂

If you would like to learn more about how to create value in your business, sign up for a complimentary Business Clarity Session

In celebration of this weekend of gratitude and thanksgiving, I’d also invite you to take advantage of a special APPRECIATION discount on my upcoming workshop on December 11th Build Your 3P’s of Success: Profits, Packages & Pricing (happening at the Club at North Halton in Georgetown, ON).  Use promotional code PROMO40 to receive 40% off registration (you pay $197+HST instead of $297+HST).  This Appreciation discount expires on November 30th.

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8 Simple Steps to Create Your Business Success Road Map

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You know how it goes – you talk to financial advisors, they work with you to create a plan for financial savings and investment.  You talk to your fitness coach, they work with you to create a plan to reach your fitness goals.  You plan your wedding, your home renovations, your family vacations.  You spend time and money investing in planning in other areas of your life, why would you not do the same for your business?
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Investing in strategic business planning is essential for your business success.  A strategic business plan is your road map, your compass to guide you to where you want to go with your business.  It gives you clear direction of how to get from point A to point B without getting lost.  A good strategic business plan helps you to execute efficiently and not waste time with trial and error, or with what I like to call, the spaghetti method (throwing something at the wall and hoping it sticks).  A good strategic plan keeps you focused.
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It’s never too late (or too early) to create your business plan for success, whether you’re new to business and in the pre-launch phase, or have been in business for years.
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I get it, creating a business plan can be daunting (I know – I’ve seen the templates, tried to use them myself, and abandoned them as they gave me headaches).  You don’t need a 50 page business plan document, but you do need to invest some time and energy into the planning exercise if you want to have focus and direction.  My own business plan isn’t a 50 page document…it’s an organized, tabbed binder with different sections of business planning consideration (such as goals, target market, products & services, pricing strategies, sales & marketing strategies, financial plans, etc).

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DREAM. PLAN. EXECUTE, with ease, by going the most direct, efficient way possible.
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Having a good strategic business plan is absolutely essential to your success and the lack thereof is why so many businesses fail.  In fact, 85% of business failures are due to lack of improper planning and organization.
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But you don’t need a 50 page plan to succeed.  What you do need is a simple, executable plan that will help you succeed!  And you need to do your homework!  A written plan is just evidence that you’ve done your homework to ensure the viability of your big idea and to set a clear direction and path to success.
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Here are 8 simple steps to creating your business plan for success:


  1.  Start with the end in mind – where do you want your business to go? Write down your goals for the next year, 3 years, 10 years.  Really challenge yourself – Dream BIG!  If you think small, you’ll play small – so think BIG!

  2. Know where you are now, financially, systematically, operationally. This means you’re going to have to get organized with your financials and conduct a little internal assessment of where your are now.

  3. Analyze the gaps to see where you need to invest more time/effort/resources. What skills to you need to develop?  Where do you need to shift your time and resources?  What money and success mindsets and habits do you need to adopt to help close those gaps?

  4. Clarify your target market , understand your market and competitors, and build your marketing plan. Do your homework and get really crystal clear here – it will drive almost everything else in your business plan, including how you’re going to fill some of those gaps you identified.

  5. Build your service offerings in such a way that addresses your clients biggest pain points with ease, and create a financial plan based delivering those service offerings (focus on a few key priorities instead of trying to offer everything under the sun to everyone). You can now tweak and finalize your marketing plan.

  6. Identify systems and your team that will support you and your business. You can’t do it all yourself, as least not efficiently and without burnout.  You need a team, whether it’s hiring employees or hiring out certain functions of your business (such as bookkeeping, sales and administration).  Decide on the systems that are going to support you the most and create the most ease for you in your business.  Systems can be as simple as checklists and calendars, to full operations manuals and fully automated end-to-end solutions.   Automate as much as possible.

  7. Have back up plans for when things don’t quite go as initially planned. Every business hits roadblocks at some point – power failures, illness, market crashes, changes in direction.  And you need to be prepared to make detours so that the roadblocks don’t derail your journey to success.

  8. Start driving your way to success, and celebrate the milestones as you reach them. Check in with how you’re doing against your plans, and build in what I call reflection days – days that you take to reflect how your week/month/year went, what you’re doing well, and where you’ve fallen short, so you can adjust your course as needed.

Remember, business success does not happen over night.  And business planning is not a one-time thing.   Your plan is a living, breathing document (or binder with tabs in my case), that should be revisited at least annually (quarterly is better). Take time to stop and reflect regularly to see where you are in achieving your goals, and to adjust your course as necessary to get back on track if you’ve been derailed.
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Where you focus your attention is where you will get results.  So get planning and take inspired action to realize those business results that you want to achieve!  I love success stories and would love to hear how you’re doing so I can share in celebrating your success!   Email me at Linda@visionspire.ca.
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PS – If you are ready for assistance with building or even reviewing your plans, book your complimentary clarity call to clarify what your next steps should be.  I’d be happy to help you build your strategy and action plan for success!

Complete the following form to request a private Clarity Session with Linda

How can I help? What are your top 3 business priorities/pressing issues that you would like solved right away?

Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.

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Weathering the Storms – Team Support

I think one of the most difficult things as a business owner (especially women) is reaching out for help.   We tend to believe that we can do it all ourselves, to run our business, our homes, our lives and weather the storms alone.  Truth is, we don’t need to, and why would we want to?  The worst thing we could do is keep all the burden to ourselves for ourselves – it will only lead to stress, illness, burnout and ultimate business failure.  The biggest step to take is to change our mindset, from lone warrior to co-creator, and to acknowledge we do need help to create our dream with more ease.  Then, we need to ask for that help.  There is a whole team of people just waiting for us to ask for their help in creating our business success.
Read more on setting business goals and reflection to hold your confidence during the storms of your business in my contribution to Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce blog posted November 5, 2015…
(This post is also published on my former site LindaSpencerTaxConsulting.com)