The Most Underrated, Unexploited, & Unexplored Advantage in Small Business

unlocking abundance

Unlocking Abundance- Part II

It would be strange for an entrepreneur to start the small business journey with anything less than Great Expectations. The entrepreneur-to-be salivates upon the very mention of their escape from the land of cubicles. When they leave the daily soap opera behind, they are giddy with excitement. They have just received a golden ticket to create the life they have always wanted.

The excitement, however, is dubious. Some entrepreneurs experience an increased sense of purpose and satisfaction in their business as time goes on, while others go on to find increased frustration. How do these great expectations fizzle? Do those who are satisfied in business have something that the others do not? I believe the answer is yes.

I’d like to tell you about the most underrated, most unexploited, and most unexplored competitive edge in small business. Perhaps in life itself. You most likely have some of this commodity. But chances are you have yet to understand its magical power to transform common into uncommon, routine into extraordinary, and the prosaic into poetry.

What is the magical potion? It is Gratitude.

Here are just five ways Gratitude can increase happiness in our business:

Gratitude enables us to enjoy what we already have. Small business owners spend much time waiting for things to happen so they can do other things. Remember to enjoy what you have right where you are. Happiness does not increase with accumulation. It comes from our ability to enjoy what we have. A bowl of oatmeal tastes better to a hungry man than a steak to a man who has a steak every day. Common things become a commodity. Every economic guru knows that if something becomes a commodity, the value goes down.  Scarcity causes value–and enjoyment–to increase. 

Gratitude transforms obstacles into opportunities. Those great expectations. They get us every time. Our disappointments come not from our circumstances, but from our very expectations themselves. Few businesses do business in the end in the same way they planned from the beginning. Detours are part of the journey. Detours may just take us down the path of destiny. Gratitude keeps us open to opportunity. True entrepreneurs do not wait around for good things to happen. Gratitude creates opportunity for business because it acknowledges the materials and unique circumstances at hand. It helps us connect the dots.

Gratitude helps us to use what we have to become all we can be. New entrepreneurs enjoy the freedom from restrictions of the corporate world. But that is only one side of the coin. Freedom does not end there. Our freedom is incomplete without knowing what our freedom is for. Gratitude does not focus on all the skills and talents we do not possess, but with those we already have. Gratitude will help us use these skills to find our highest calling: that sweet spot where our gifts and talents are best suited to meet the specific needs of those clients we most desire to serve.

Gratitude helps us focus on others. Our first mistake in creating our own business is associating happiness with having everything our own way. Satisfaction comes from being other-centered. The work of organizational psychologist Adam Grant has found that those who experience deep levels of satisfaction in their work perceive their work as service–not in serving their own ends, but the desires of others. Entrepreneurs who value their customers will spend time getting to know them so that they will learn how to serve them better. Greater satisfaction results when business is not “all about me”.

Gratitude helps us to live happier. It is common to think that “if I just had a little bit more, I would be happier”. In truth, the more we can live without the happier we will be. Examine your list of necessities for life and see how many you can nix. If you have to have a latte to start the day, and something happens and you do not get your latte, your day begins with a bomb. You have given the latte the power to rule your day. Grateful people require very little to be happy because their happiness does not come from things. Grateful people are flexible, and make the most of what they have, and do not have.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” William Arthur Ward

Imagine losing everything you have today, and then all of a sudden–miraculously–getting it back. Imagine you just lost your eyesight from an accidental blast, and a week later, the doctor takes off the bandages and you can still see. How do you feel? Gratitude does not wait for the loss of blessings to be aware of blessings. It acknowledges them daily. Imagine how rich you might feel if you did.

How many blessings have you counted today?

Can you think of more ways that Gratitude helps us to become better business persons? Share them with us in the comments below!


Why do we at etc!graphics inc, a graphic design company, care about your business strategies?  Because no matter how beautiful we make your visuals, your graphics will never make more sense than the clarity of your own vision. The clearer your target, the more lucid your marketing will be, and the better connection you will create with your visual graphics. We want to help you become the best you can be. Join us all this month as we share ways to help your small business sustain and grow in a crowded marketplace. Etc!Graphics is devoted to helping you, the small business owner, think like a marketer.