In the United States, November marks the season of thanksgiving. Many people think the first Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated in the United States at the Plymouth Colony in 1621, but it’s also been reported that the first was held in 1610 in Virginia. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving holiday in 1863. A day of thanksgiving is celebrated in many other countries, too: Canada, Germany, Liberia, Grenada, Japan, and Brazil, to name a few.
I believe the feeling of gratitude is ingrained in human DNA. It doesn’t matter what country we’re from or whether we celebrate a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal with family. For me, being grateful for people and experiences is paramount to enjoying life and prospering in my work.
People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. A lot of that can be felt by clients when they first come through your door.
Being grateful doesn’t simply mean thanking people for delivering your takeout order or holding open a door. I mean taking gratefulness to another level, to the point that it improves your life and business. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. A lot of that can be felt by clients when they first come through your door. Are you happy they’re there to make new portraits, or are you concerned about the behavior of their 3-year-old twins? Are you grateful for the chance to help them build a legacy, or are you worried you’re not going to hit your sales average?
I’m grateful that my craft and profession allows me to be involved in so many people’s lives. I’m grateful that my wife and I are able to earn a living by creating images for a family or a business that will help them build a legacy.
With so many negative events happening around the world nearly all the time, it can be a struggle to hold a mindset of gratitude. Here are a few ways to be more grateful in your personal life:
Each day write down three things you’re grateful for.
Remind yourself in a visual fashion. We’re all image makers; we use an optical input in nearly everything we do. If you struggle to get into a grateful state of mind, consider setting a few visual cues around your home. A simple sticky note might help to remind you of a few things you’re thankful for.
Mind your words. Choose vocabulary that keeps you grounded in gratitude. Reduce the limiting language in your life.
Keep a gratitude journal. Each day write down three things you’re grateful for. Your list can even include coffee! The act of putting pen to paper will help cement the positive effects of nourishing a grateful heart.
In the end, saying thanks helps both you and the person to whom you’ve expressed your gratitude.
Here are a few ways to help you be more grateful in your business life:
Go beyond the words “Thank you.” Let clients know you’re thankful for their trust. It might sound something like this: “I am so grateful you chose our studio to make your portraits. It makes me happy to play a role in your family by making portraits for you.”
Express gratitude to your staff. Not every employee is driven by monetary compensation. A good way to show you’re grateful for their contribution to your business is to find what drives them and compensate them in that manner. You might have a staff member who values a flexible schedule or an extra day off once in a while. By giving them this, you send a clear message that you’re grateful for their help.
Tell your vendors and industry partners you appreciate them. Let them know you’re happy to be working with them and grateful for the effort they and their staff make to help you create the experience you want for your clients.
In the end, saying thanks helps both you and the person to whom you’ve expressed your gratitude. It’s not hard to do, but the payoff can be huge. In this traditional month of thanksgiving, take a few moments to focus on gratitude. I am certain it will pay off both personally and professionally.
Jeffrey Dachowski operates a photography studio in Bedford, New Hampshire, with his wife, Carolle.