“Gratitude turns what we have into enough” – Unknown
This quote is powerful and sums up exactly why we need to practice gratitude everyday as business owners.
In my experience, owning a successful business spanning two decades, nothing comes close to the challenges I have experienced managing a social enterprise. If it weren’t for the cause, the way it has enriched my life on a soul level and the personal fulfillment of making a direct difference, I would have given up.
I have come to learn social enterprise is not an easy way to raise revenue. Most take years before they break even. Long term commitment and subsidising are essential. Social enterprise is not a quick fix. It operates like a business selling products or services to raise funds. But its main focus is generating funds to assist in the long term and sustainable solution of a chosen social cause .
Since starting my new social enterprise Moeloco, I have been confronted with many personal fears but it has also forced me to grow and become a better human being. I have gained more insight and understanding of the world around me including unimaginable horrors that most of us could not even comprehend – global issues I simply could not ignore and felt a strong desire to do something about.
The experience this journey has taken me on has definitely been emotional, causing me to be more aware of the power of gratitude which is something I personally practice everyday now. It helps me get through most days and create balance in all areas of my life.
So what is Gratitude? According to Yale Centre of emotional intelligence, Gratitude is a state of mind that arises when you affirm a good thing in your life that comes from outside yourself, or when you notice and relish little pleasures. More than any other personality trait, gratitude is strongly linked to mental health and life satisfaction. Grateful people experience more joy, love and enthusiasm, and they enjoy protection from destructive emotions like envy, greed, and bitterness.
So how can we incorporate gratitude into our every day?
The great thing about gratitude is that we can tune into this state like tuning into our favourite radio station whenever we want to. It doesn’t mean pretending life is perfect or ignoring other feelings, even bad experiences at least teach us something. Most of the time, we need to experience the lows of life to appreciate the simple things, whether it is the sight of a lovely face, going for a walk or catching up with a friend for coffee. Getting into this state of mind requires consistently training the mind like practicing meditation, a virtue we need to cultivate.
Not only does the practice of gratitude help us to become better business owners, it affects us in life and as individuals by improving our performance and generally making us happier, more generous people.
One of the ways I practice gratitude is acknowledging at least three things in my life that I am truly grateful for. This helps me get through the challenging days and reminds me to appreciate all that I have. And how lucky I am really. Another thing I do is sign off all my emails ‘With Gratitude’ to show the person I am communicating with that I am grateful to know them. Practicing these simple gestures really does make me a happy person in business and life.
What are you grateful for and how do you practice gratitude in your life and business?
Kathy Wong is the creator and chief energy officer of new social enterprise called Moeloco. For every Moeloco flip flop sold, a pair of much needed shoes are donated to children living in poverty, many of whom are orphans or street children with their charity partner, The Hope Foundation.
Moeloco, means Dream Crazy and that’s her dream ~ to eliminate poverty!