Make Gratitude Your Favorite Attitude

November 22, 2021

 

It’s Thanksgiving week. For most of us, now’s the time to reflect and express thanks for the blessings in our lives.

But here’s a question:  Why limit yourself to just a few days or weeks to focus on gratitude?

Take your gratitude practice beyond the holidays. It’s a smart strategy for creating and sustaining a successful business.

Getting into a regular practice of gratitude can make a big difference in your business and in your life. As a leader, you can make gratitude a part of your business culture if you do these three things consistently.

See it – Being grateful starts with recognizing the positive things that are happening every day. At work, we can get into task mode and focus on what needs to be done. Taking focused time each day to look at things with appreciative eyes will bring big improvements in your emotional and physical well-being.

Speak it – It’s not enough to just notice what you’re grateful for, it’s important to express that gratitude…to your team, your family and your customers. Sharing your thanks encourages others to do the same.

Systematize it — Whatever your preferred ways to show gratitude, create systems to support them. Make it easy to stay in the practice of gratitude. Try adding gratitude checkpoints to your business processes. There’s no end of ways to show you care, so play around and see what works for you and your team, then commit to it. You’ll be grateful you did!

Today and every day, we are grateful for you…our team, our colleagues and partners, and our customers. May your lives be filled with many things to be grateful for.

 

Go forth and do great things,

Martha and Chris

Lessons from the Pandemic

November 17, 2021

It’s hard to believe.

This week marked 20 months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. We are past the initial shock and fear, past the stage of tight lockdowns and restrictions, and past those first predictions that it would all be over soon.

We’ve had to realize that there would be no quick return to what life looked like before March 2020. In fact, our lives will probably never be the same.

That’s not such a bad thing.

In the past 20 months, you’ve probably learned…

You are resilient – You have adjusted as restrictions were imposed, then lifted, then imposed once more. You have changed how you work, where you work, and even what your business offers to your customers. You’ve learned to take changes in stride and keep going. And for many of you, business is better than ever.

Boundaries are essential – Boundaries are ways that you protect yourself and protect others. Whether it’s the six feet of social distance, quarantine, or a face mask, you have done what you can to prevent catching or transmitting the virus. When home also became your workplace and your children’s classroom, setting boundaries with time, space and access to electronic devices became essential to maintaining family harmony while meeting work and school responsibilities.

Connections are critical – In the days when you were locked down in your own home, you had to learn new ways to stay connected with your co-workers and your customers. Without the opportunity to have casual, spontaneous conversations in the hallway or to brainstorm over a working lunch, you had to become much more intentional about communicating and sharing information. Zoom became a lifeline for many of us, maintaining the connections that kept our businesses running.

Family matters – You already knew this, but the pandemic has made us even more conscious of this fact. You may have gained a new appreciation for family time in the early days of lockdown. It felt good to slow down and really share time together. For families living far apart, the distance was magnified by pandemic restrictions. Holidays and special celebrations felt less festive when loved ones were not there to share in the occasion. As some of those long-delayed reunions are finally happening, cherish the moment and celebrate family.

Perspective is powerful – If you’re like me, the pandemic brought out a whole range of emotions. Fear, uncertainty, grief, boredom, longing, and anger were some of the negative feelings that came up. But there was also relief, comfort, hope and even joy. While it’s important to acknowledge those negative feelings, letting them pass through and allowing the positive perspective to prevail has allowed us to stop resenting and resisting our current reality and reminded us that life is good.

Whatever the future brings, things won’t go back to the way they were before COVID. Like me, you’ve learned some important lessons. And that means now, more than ever, you can

Go forth and do great things.

Martha & Chris

Connect for Success

November 10, 2021

The holidays are fast approaching. It’s the time of year when our personal lives are focused on relatives and relationships.

It’s no different in business.

As we come to the end of one year and begin planning for the next, it’s time to make sure that our relationships are strong and successful. Who we connect with and how we connect are critical factors in our success.

Want to make and keep positive relationships for your business.

Here’s how: CONNECT.

That’s it. Sounds simple, right? We use this formula to guide the way.

Communication – Communicating clearly is essential in building good business relationships. Make sure that you share essential information, clearly share your vision, and speak in the way your customers will hear. Don’t forget that listening is as important to good communication as speaking. Make sure you really hear and understand what your customers and team members are saying to you.

Openness – Openness and transparency are essential to healthy relationships. When people don’t have the information that they need to accomplish tasks or make decisions, they can make mistakes or fail to act.

Network – You’ve heard the phrase “your network is your net worth,” and it’s true. Seek and build relationships with a wide range of people and organizations and then spend intentional time in nurturing those relationships. Be conscious of what you can offer to others and give as much or more than you expect to receive.

Niche – Know your lane and stick to it. Once you’ve found that niche, learn as much about it as you can. Really work to understand your customer’s needs and create the ways that you can be uniquely positioned to fill them better than anyone else. Be willing to say no to opportunities that don’t fit with your mission or fill the needs of your niche. .

Exceed Expectations – There is no substitute for excellence in business. Do what you do best and what sets you apart from the crowd. When you fill your customer’s need better than anyone else, you have a relationship for life.

Commitment – Do what you say you will do. Keeping your word and delivering more than you promise will set you apart from the crowd. Make it a point to connect consistently to nurture your business relationships. Make sure you stay committed to your mission and values and that this commitment is evident in how you do business.

Trust – We’ve all heard the rule of thumb that says people do business with those whom they know, like and trust. Be trustworthy by being open, honest, authentic, and dependable. Own your mistakes (if you make them) and do what it takes to remedy them. Remember that trust is something you earn…not just once, but over and over again.

Your success in business depends on how well, how widely, and how deeply you connect…to your team and to your customers. When you create and nurture strong connections, you can

Go forth and do great things,

Martha & Chris