I’ve studied several entrepreneurs throughout my journey as a business owner, and there are a few qualities that are pretty obvious in terms of what it takes to become successful.
Characteristics such as persistence, leadership, and having an open mind are just a few. But, over the course of my eight years as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned about one quality in particular that several entrepreneurs prioritize and practice—one that I didn’t really think was that important until I started practicing it myself.
What I am talking about exactly?
How Gratitude Helps Us Become Better Entrepreneurs
Becoming an entrepreneur is not easy. I remember several times within my first year, after getting laid off, I wondered to myself why I was even trying. I wanted to give up at least a dozen times, and even after my business started taking off, there were several moments in the journey that led me to question if it was something I could keep up.
In fact, even after I was making over five-figures a month, I got scared and applied for an architecture job here in San Diego, just because I didn’t think I was good enough to keep my business going. Thankfully, I didn’t impress the company enough to get a job, because soon after I realized that entrepreneurship is what I was meant for.
Thankfulness and gratitude have become an incredibly important ingredient in keeping my energy levels high, my projects moving forward, and ultimately, my success progressing.
Sure, we hear phrases like “look on the bright side” or “glass half full” and think it’s just an empty expression, but there is some science behind this idea. Multiple studies have shown that simple gratitude exercises can result in reduced depression and an improvement in overall well-being.
A recent study even demonstrates that the more we practice gratitude, the more we are wired to think positively. What’s cool is that it’s self-perpetuating: the more we practice gratitude, the more conscious we are to it, and the more we can enjoy its benefits.
But, you shouldn’t need science to realize all of this. Shouldn’t it be known that the more grateful you are, the happier you’ll be, and vice versa? Sounds obvious, but when you’re in the day-to-day tasks of working on your next project, or trying to get your company off the ground, it’s hard to find those moments. We can all relate to that struggle.
That’s why I encourage all of us to practice gratitude on the regular, and even try to put it on the schedule.
How to Practice Gratitude
It may sound weird to think that gratitude is something that must be practiced, but a regular and consistent reflection on what we’re thankful for helps us start to think positively about where we are, and helps keep us moving forward.
There are two moments during the day when I think about what I’m grateful for: in the morning right after I wake up, and at night, right before I go to bed.
To make this easy on me, I have a daily reminder in my Five Minute Journal that prompts me to think about these things:
In the morning:
Remember that there are some good things happening all of the time.
I highly recommend the Five Minute Journal for those who haven’t experienced it before.
Prior to getting my hands on my first Five Minute Journal (thanks to Hal Elrod for the gift!), I knew I was grateful for things in my life, but after opening the journal and practicing personal development every single day, I got to write down and actually pay attention to the exact reasons why I was grateful. At first, it was easy and I’d write down things like my family, my business, and my health, but after a couple of weeks and trying hard not to duplicate what I was grateful for, I started to be thankful for a lot of the little things.
These are things that I often take for granted, like having easy access to a pharmacy when my kids were sick, to the person who let me go first when we arrived at the stop light at the same time. And when times got tough, like they often do, I could open up my journal and see these small moments of gratitude and remember that there are some good things happening all of the time.
I hope you consider using a journal like this to help you ritualize your gratitude practice. I use the journal daily. It’s done so much for my mental state of mind in preparation for each day. It helps me immensely, and I know it will help you too.
Guess what? I have one extra Five Minute Journal in my library that I’d love to give away!
All you have to do is leave a comment below, sharing one thing that you’re grateful for, and I’ll randomly select a winner seven days after this post goes live, and send it over to you. I’ll contact the winner via email, and announce the winner here in this post afterwards.
And obviously, you don’t NEED a journal like this to practice gratitude. Just remind yourself of the same questions when you wake up and before you go to bed. What are you grateful for, and what made today awesome?
Try this out for a week starting today, and you’ll find you’ll be a lot more motivated, things will bother you less, and you’ll ultimately become more productive! Give it a shot!