What does the Thanksgiving holiday mean to you? For me, it’s about time with the family, gathered around a table, enjoying each other’s company as well as some seriously good food. The smell of turkey in the oven, a parade on the television, and my mom’s special stuffing recipe with raisins (a personal favorite, although the rest of the family is less enthusiastic).
For many, the memories associated with Thanksgiving go hand-in-hand with the purpose of the holiday—to take stock of what we have and what is good in our lives. As financial management providers, we help our clients take stock of their assets, analyze their performance, and prepare for the future. But there’s an element of accounting we don’t talk about as much, and that’s gratitude.
Most of the business owners I know are achievers, and some are perfectionists. They set goals for themselves and their businesses, do what it takes to achieve those goals, and then rally their teams to reach even greater heights.
There can, however, be a dark side to this continuous drive to grow and succeed. For some, the ambition to expand and improve can undermine the satisfaction they should have in their work. That’s where gratitude can make all the difference. The ability to stop and appreciate what you have and the people you work with is foundational to the happiness of anyone, especially business owners who have a tendency to always aim higher.
I practice gratitude when I wake up in the morning. Regardless of what challenges or difficulties await me that day, I begin on a positive note, thanking God for my life and every blessing. Of course, I can’t account for every blessing. Try it for yourself. The beauty of “counting your blessings” is that you’ll always lose count—you will always run out of time to count them all!
Pets too, can be an excellent reminder to be grateful, probably because they don’t have as many worries as we do. My dog joins me in my home office and often sleeps on my lap. She doesn’t seem to mind the typing! I can tell she’s glad to be here. She appreciates the moment, and as a result, so do I.
Yes, there are lots of things I want to accomplish. In business, I’m motivated to continuously learn and improve, to be a better leader for my team, and help my clients identify ways to improve their own situations. But it isn’t fear of failure or dissatisfaction with the way things are that motivates my efforts. It’s an appreciation—born of gratitude—for my amazing team and clients that propels me forward.
After all, it is extremely gratifying to see the positive results of the work we do at Advantage Insights. When I meet with each new client, they tell me about their challenges and their dreams for the future. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn about new industries and markets as we implement needed changes for our clients. What’s even more exciting is the chance to get to know some truly incredible people.
When someone is grateful for their staff and customers, you can tell by how they act. As a business owner, gratitude means never taking the contributions of your employees for granted. Recognition is a vital aspect of job satisfaction and grateful business operators tend to do better at retaining their valuable team members.
Likewise, a grateful business owner is naturally better at showing appreciation for their customers. They understand how hard it is to earn business and the importance of keeping the loyal customers they have.
A grateful business owner is able to look at any situation with optimism. Advantage Insights services give our clients the data they need to plan and budget for the future. But without a can-do attitude, no amount of planning will guarantee success.
It’s easy to be thankful when things are going well. Grateful business owners are better prepared to tackle challenges when times are tough. Why? Because they saw it coming! Gratitude means understanding that nothing is given—not your health, not the market, and certainly not success in business. Gratitude fortifies the spirit and grants business leaders the courage to buckle down and do what it takes to overcome even unexpected challenges.
People who take financial management seriously understand they have a responsibility to be wise stewards of their assets and relationships. The best leaders approach financial management and accounting with a positive, thankful disposition. They don’t dread what we will find in the numbers. They are excited to see potential for improvement and willing to take action on behalf of their business.
Financial management gives business owners the opportunity to practice realistic optimism. Rather than charging forward blindly, financial management offers the tools to identify viable pathways to improvement through changes to processes, pricing, staffing, or strategy.
Don’t wait until Thanksgiving dinner to remember everything you have to be thankful for! Carry that grateful disposition with you into your budget meetings, client interactions, and staff communications. It is far too easy to forget what is good in our lives, especially with all the distractions of our age.
Happy Thanksgiving from Advantage Insights! I am grateful you have read this entire article. Whether or not you own a business or need financial management services, I hope you take full advantage of the opportunity this holiday provides.
If you want to discover how financial management can make you a more effective (and thankful) business owner, contact us today.