The Thanksgiving Holiday was the driver of the theme, “Gratitude in Business” at Speaking that Connects monthly business networking breakfast. Fifteen entrepreneurs mingled over coffee and tea, home-baked sweetbreads, quiche, yogurt and an assortment of dips and veggies to share business anecdotes of thanks.
Unanimously, entrepreneurs were grateful for the ability to serve others. Attendees were thankful to mentors and teachers, family and friends and their own individual persistence to “hold the line” when business got tough and the going was rough. Many appreciated a solid work-life balance, and the luxury of “sleeping late” or making their own hours.
Linda Madani of Linda Madani Interiors shared her appreciation to clients for allowing her to create healing environments, a key focus of her interior design talent.
Brian Perlman, a sales representative for BR Printers, shared that calls previous customers on a regular basis just to say “hi.” At first, these consumers were skeptical, thinking the call was just to get more business. But Brian’s sincere interest in connecting had no business agenda and soon clients acknowledged this checking in connection with gratitude.
Barbara Stange, Work Goddess, provides consulting for marketing support and small business implementation, shared her family’s struggle to ask for help, which was passed down to her. She shared her gratitude for growing beyond her family conditioning, realizing the human necessity to reach out and connect.
Robert Gough, serial entrepreneur, current marketing consultant and previous a mortgage broker, shared his surprise and appreciation when a check for $4000 was sent to him by an ex-customer. He provided guidance on a mortgage situation as a courtesy and though not the mortgage company selected by the client, he was amply remunerated – this, as much a gift of the heart as a check to take to the bank.
I have been fortunate to have many moments of appreciation from clients: when a VP of a corporate manufacturing division said I was the first presentation coach that asked him how he felt about his speaking, rather than what he thought about his performance; when I urged a colleague to apply to a Masters’ Program even though the deadline had passed. Not only did she get accepted, but now 8 years later she has her PhD. She’s grateful for my gentle and insistent “push” and I’m rewarded by her achievement.
It’s clear to me that giving is a reciprocal process. When we give direction, service or caring, the appreciation or successful feedback we receive, is an entrepreneurial gift and that is definitely an example of Gratitude in Business.