It’s normal for the pressures of running a business to leave us feeling like the best way to succeed is to fight for our businesses and ourselves. This includes fighting against the competition, fighting our vendors, fighting our employees, fighting our investors, fighting our board members and even fighting against our own clients or customers.
Driven people are so focused on their goal, that fighting against anyone or anything in our way is second nature. But the one thing that some driven people forget is that among all that turmoil, their job is to provide for other people. Without employees, vendors, and investors, we couldn’t provide for our customers and without customers, we would have no one to provide for.
While it’s important for business owners and leaders to have a natural fire in their bellies and a drive to achieve at any cost, it’s equally important to take a few minutes on a regular basis for reflection. Perhaps you will make this part of your holiday or vacation routine or maybe you’ll do this for an hour one Sunday per month. To help you get started, consider incorporating the following 3 practices:
1. Be grateful. Even when everything seems to be going wrong, there are things that are going right. It’s important to place some of your focus on acknowledging those ‘right’ things and spend at least a moment being grateful for them. Doing so is a quick way to lift your mood and create momentum around positive thoughts. This is a great way to sort through even the most difficult of situations. As my mom always says, attitude is everything!
2. Remember that your business is not only about you. Business leaders sometimes lose perspective, as they work tireless hours day after day, week after week, year after year. It’s easy to forget why you’re there in the first place: to provide something your customers want or need. When you lose perspective, you risk losing touch with those you serve, which can result in making bad business decisions.
3. Giving back is not reserved for the non-profit world. It’s important to remember that your business can’t succeed without those who help you along the way. Sure, you may be the brains behind your company’s success and you probably work feverishly to ensure your company’s success. And you should never downplay that. But remembering all the people who helped you bring your vision to reality is a nice gesture and helps you retain healthy and loyal business relationships – from the acquaintance that kicked open doors for you early on, to loyal employees who work hard to deliver for you, to your investors who put their trust in you. Every business leader can pinpoint at least one person who has helped or who continues to help them succeed. Consider doing something nice for these people now and then to show your appreciation. And remember, even a simple and genuine “thank you” can go a long way.