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How Gratitude Can Be Your Secret to Success

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Personal Success and Happiness

In July, Geoffrey James of Inc. Magazine wrote an article entitled “The True Secret to Success (It’s Not What You Might Think).”[i] What’s the big success secret? James claims it is gratitude. In his words, “If you’re not exercising this emotional muscle, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.” He explains that grateful people enjoy their successes so they seek out more success, and they put failure into perspective as they look for good things that happen even on bad days.


There is also scientific evidence to back up this claim. In recent years, studies have shown that grateful people are happier and healthier than average. Gratitude is linked to lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and improved mental health and well-being.[ii]

Increase Business Revenue and Customer Loyalty

Even beyond personal growth and success, several business owners have found that showing gratitude has improved their businesses. Last year, Vickie Elmer wrote an article for CNN Money highlighting how showing gratitude to customers and employees helped four struggling businesses.[iii]


In one case, business owner Kristina Bouweiri cited that offering employee appreciation lunches increased her company’s revenues by approximately 27%. She also noticed stronger customer loyalty when she had to increase prices.


In another example, lawyer John Kralik shared how writing thank-you notes brought new clients to his practice and encouraged paying clients to pay earlier because they valued his service. Kralik explains that these simple expressions of gratitude helped his business to thrive anew after revenues had dropped.

Practicing Gratitude

Though it is easy to practice gratitude once a year at the holidays or an annual sale, it is wise to incorporate gratitude in your day-to-day business operations. Writing thank-you notes, giving gifts, keeping a gratitude journal, and saying “thank you” are all effective strategies.[iv] Many business owners recommend adding gratitude as part of your regular marketing strategy in order to retain customers and turn those customers into brand advocates.


As you choose your New Year’s resolutions, keep gratitude on your list to give yourself and your business a boost this year.


[i] James, Geoffrey. “True Secret to Success (It’s Not What You Think).” Inc. Magazine. July 18, 2012. http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/gratitude-true-secret-to-success.html

[ii] Wood, Alex, Stephen Joseph, and Alex Linley. “Gratitude–Parent of All Virtues.” The Psychologist. 20.1 (2007): 18-21. Print. http://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/alex.wood/gratitude%20psychologist.pdf

Greater Good Science Center at University of California, Berkeley. “Expanding the Science of Gratitude.” http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/expandinggratitude/

[iii] Elmer, Vickie. “Why Gratitude is Good for Your Business.”
 CNN Money. November 23, 2011. http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/11/23/why-gratitude-is-good-for-business-year-round/

[iv] “Eight Ways to Improve Your Business with Gratitude.” Astuteo. February 19, 2007. http://astuteo.com/desktop/articles/improve-business-with-gratitude

Lord, Joanna. “Five Ways to Take Customer Loyalty to the Next Level” Entrepreneur Magazine. August 6, 2012. http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224117