Working from home around the holidays offers an opportunity to express gratitude to the people who support your success as a home-based business owner. It’s natural to take time out to be grateful for the personal aspects of life– our health, our good fortune and for our families and friends. However, it’s also an excellent moment to show thanks to people who contribute to the success of a home business, from mail carriers and shippers to printing and IT service providers even the student who might come to help you file and organize a few times a week!
Of course, home businesses thank customers at every touchpoint. However, as a leader of a company that has 25,000 independent business owners throughout the country, I’ve seen how showing thanks for the hard work and individual contributions to entrepreneurial success reaps benefits all year round.
No matter how big or how small a business is, having an attitude of gratitude towards not only customers, but also employees, peers and service providers inspires everyone and contributes to the success of a home business. One of the values I discuss in my book, Fearless Living: 8 Life-Changing Values for Breakthrough Success is respect, and respect is where gratitude begins.
I believe that if you start with respect for business partners, employees and customers, gratitude will follow. Most businesspeople believe in respecting others, but for some, it can be difficult to express thanks regularly from a home-based office, where much of daily operations are accomplished by the business owner.
Finding ways to offer respect can be as simple as following these tips:
- Know Your Network: Seek to respect others by gaining an understanding of what makes each person unique and recognizing what they bring to the table. Build one-to-one personal relationships with your customers, colleagues and service providers by talking informally about non-business topics, such as family, hobbies or even just the weather.
- Follow the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” is central to success in a home business. Strive to be your best self and set an example for those around you. Showing respect towards others in order to gain their respect should remain a core value, especially as you expand your network.
- Value Diversity: Every individual is different from us in some way, from what we look like to our personal opinions and cultural expectations. Start by appreciating your own uniqueness and how your differences might look to others. Gaining that insight first and viewing others through the same lens will enable you to embrace and appreciate diversity.
- Seek Alternate Viewpoints: Independent business owners can, at times, become isolated from the business world beyond their own home office. Professional networking is the key to refreshing your perspective and hearing from others about their own successes and challenges adds to your knowledge base. Prevent yourself from getting trapped in a place where only your own views are considered. It’s essential to go out, make new connections and look for value in how others think and operate, especially others who think differently than you do.
- Keep Your Eyes Open: Recognize the potential of every individual to make a difference. Whether it’s someone who buys your product, delivers your shipments, or prints your brochures show respect for their own business role and value the contribution that their efforts make to your own success.
Being respectful is just the first step, demonstrating gratitude comes next. There are many ways of showing gratitude towards people with whom you do business – whether employees, customers or service providers. Workplace studies have shown that being recognized by an organization has a direct impact on individual’s happiness, especially when it ties back to company values. In fact, 86 percent of human resource professionals polled in a recent SHRM/Globoforce survey said recognition increases employee happiness, and 85 percent said it added humanity in the workplace.
Interestingly, studies have shown that workplace happiness was significantly increased with values-based recognition – which means that even a simple thank-you goes a long way. In fact, according to a Westminster College study, 69 percent of employees say they would work harder if they were more appreciated.
When it comes to expressing gratitude, find ways to celebrate and honor everyone who makes a difference in the success of your home business, even beyond the revenue their work generates. Some creative ways to demonstrate gratitude may include:
- Donate to a charity in their honor
- Host an annual event that recognizes everyone’s contributions
- Hand write a personal thank-you note that commends individual contributions and be specific
- Publicly encourage everyone in the organization to show gratitude towards each other
The principles of respect and gratitude are core values of the work we do as direct sellers and the role Princess House plays around the world. These values are as key to home business achievement as they are to corporate success. I want everyone in our organization to feel that what they do individually really matters, and that what we do collectively is important and has an impact as a whole. The imprint we leave on our customers and our business owners is not only life-changing and lifelong but it also creates what I call “reverberations for generations to come.”