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When’s the last time you told someone you take for granted that you’re thankful for them?

Gratitude is underrated, but it’s so needed. We appreciate gratitude from others, but how often are we the ones to offer it?

When’s the last time you thanked your audience? Thank YOU, by the way.

Today, we talk about the power of gratitude in business. It’s something we should be doing anyway, but there are so many benefits to being thankful, it’s worth talking about.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • Gratitude is infectious.
  • Expressing gratitude makes you feel good, but it also makes the other person feel good.
  • People need to feel appreciated.
  • Negative words often hold a lot more weight than we realize.
  • Sending one positive note to someone is offsetting seven other people taking time to hate.
  • If you have employees, go tell someone they’re doing an awesome job.
  • If you do a better job of being thankful and telling people thank you, you’re going to be in a much better place.
  • Thank those you follow and those that follow you.
  • Tell someone you’re thankful for them, express your gratitude, especially someone you take for granted.
Show Notes
  • 01:37 Sean: We’re on a show called Lambo Goal, and we talk about bigger goals, dreaming bigger, and breaking down the practical aspects of growing your business. Where does gratitude come in here?
  • 02:12 Matt: I was listening to a podcast, and the guy was talking about gratitude. It really made me think more about whether I’m thankful for where I am. It also made me think, “What if I wasn’t thankful for where I am and what’s going on?” Taking it a step further, do people around me feel like I’m thankful for them? I feel like I’m in a good place, but I thought it would be a good topic to talk with people about. They might catch themselves and see that they’re not happy or thankful for their situation. If they’re not, it’s going to start affecting people around them, and we don’t want that.

The Power of Gratitude

  • 03:14 Sean: It goes either way—gratitude is infectious. We were at the San Fransisco meetup a few weekends back, and Kathy was going around handing out these little custom cards that she drew. Mine said, “You’ve got this. You’re set. You’re a champ.” She had a little handwritten note on the back. That’s so cool! That’s so awesome, because it immediately spreads. You thank someone and express your gratitude, and there’s all kinds of benefits. The other person feels good about themselves, about you, they like you, and they’re now thinking about being thankful, and that spreads to other people. There’s so much good that comes from it.
  • 04:10 Matt: With what Kathy did, you can tell that she’s thankful about something. She’s got that foundation set. She’s coming up with these little encouraging cards, and she doesn’t realize how awesome those are. Thank you Kathy. That really does give you an energy boost, and it also makes you feel good as the person giving that to someone else. I think that’s important.
  • 04:34 Sean: It’s like creating energy. Yes, it did take her energy to write those, but it makes her feel good. You put in a little bit of energy, and both of you get an energy boost.

Expressing gratitude makes you feel good, but it also makes the other person feel good.

  • 04:52 Matt: It could be something as simple as that, where you’re just handwriting a little note that you’re thankful for a spouse or a friend. Encourage them, “Hey, you’re doing a great job. Keep it up!” For your wife, “I love you, have a great day.” Something as simple as that sets the vibe.
  • 05:10 Sean: I like to tell the employees at seanwes, “You did good work today.” We’ve talked about this in a previous episode, that there’s different ways to incentivize and motivate people (Related: e26 Activating Your Employees Hustle Incentive). A lot of people think that it’s just about money, that money makes people happy and makes them feel appreciated. Sometimes, just telling someone that you appreciate them is really big, especially if the person is a words of affirmation person. You think, “Why do I need to thank you? This is your job. Do your job. If you do a bad job, you’re fired. If you do a good job, we pay you money. That’s how this works. Why do I need to thank you?” That’s not a good attitude. People need to feel appreciated. Something as simple as saying, “You did good work today,” or, “Thank you for that,” goes a long way.

Just Say Thank You

  • 06:03 Matt: I’m amazed at how many owners and entrepreneurs don’t treat their employees with respect. They think that because they’ve worked so hard and gotten to this place, they can talk down to their employees. I have talked to those guys, and I’ve said, “Think about it. If you were in that position, how would you feel? Would you hate the CEO? Probably.”
  • 06:33 Sean: Moataz was at the meetup, and Kathy gave him a note, too. He said the note she gave him said, “You matter.” He said, “I felt all the warm fuzzies, and I look at that and it motivates me to make a difference and matter.” I love that. Exactly! For the person listening, when’s the last time you thanked someone? I did a lettering piece on this. It was basically, “Thank someone you normally take for granted. Tell them that you appreciate what they do.” How many things are we taking for granted? How many podcasts do you listen to that just show up in your feed? You take it for granted. When was the last time you thanked that person?
  • 07:23 Kieran shared this earlier. He said to me, “I was considering sending you an ‘encouragement’ email every time something you, Ben, or Matt have said has helped me. I decided against it in the end. Not because of lack of gratitude but because it may end up as too much email.” If you’re feeling like that, send it anyway. Guess what? Maybe we do have too much email, but can you think of how happy we are when we open that next email, and it’s not someone trying to take from me, but it’s someone expressing gratitude? That is always welcome.
  • 08:00 Something I do that has really helped me is to keep an “Encouragement” label in my Gmail. If I get an email that is just someone saying, “Thanks, you’ve made a difference,” I put it in the Encouragement label. Negative words often hold a lot more weight than we realize. It takes seven positives to out-weigh a negative. You’re here thinking, “What is my thanks going to do for this person?” You don’t see all the negative stuff, all of the hate that’s coming in.

Sending one positive note to someone is offsetting seven other people taking time to hate.

  • 08:40 That’s huge. As creators, it’s hard to remember that the work we’re doing is having a real impact. If you look up to someone or you get a lot of value from them, you might assume that plenty of people tell them that they’re doing a good job. We did an episode on the seanwes podcast called Icebergs and Buoys, so imagine an iceberg, and next to it, imagine a buoy. You see the tip of the iceberg at the top, and then this huge amount underneath the surface. With a buoy, you’ve got this little red thing sticking up, and there’s only like a foot of it under the water. These represent positive and negative feedback.
  • 09:26 With positive feedback, you see some, but most of your admirers and people who appreciate what you do are silent. They’re beneath the surface. They don’t say anything. Virtually all of the people with negative things to say just say it. That’s the buoy. The red part of the buoy is above the water, so you see all of that. You think, “What does my gratitude have to do with anything? I’m sure people tell them.” Believe it or not, fewer people tell them thank you than you think. Even for the most popular people you know, it’s probably been a few days, if not weeks, if not months.
  • 10:04 Matt: That’s some good homework from this podcast.

If you have employees, go tell someone they’re doing an awesome job.

  • 10:17 Sean: Emily says, “I have a rule I follow. If you think it twice, say it once.” I like that. If someone helped you and you thought, “That was cool,” twice, you should say it once. When was the last time you thanked your audience? I see Gary Vaynerchuck do this all the time. I really admire that. He just says, “Thank you. If you’re following me, if you’ve been watching my stuff, whatever it is, thank you.” That’s so cool. Thank those you follow and those that follow you. Write thank you notes, like Kathy has been doing.
  • 10:52 Then, there’s journaling. I have not been doing this as much as I would like to recently, but at one point, I was using the Day One journaling app and just writing what went on during the day. I was just keeping a log of things, because it’s all a blur. Whether you do that or not, if you do it, maybe tack this on, and if you don’t, you could start keeping a gratitude journal, but think—what are you thankful for each day? That’s huge. I’m just imagining, what if I was actually doing that? I’m not doing that every day. What if, every day, I said, “What am I thankful for? Who am I thankful for? Who have I not reached out to and expressed that?”
  • 11:39 Matt: We overlook just being thankful. That really can slow us down and not make us appreciate the people around us or ourselves. That can take a toll over time. Give these little notes away or tell people, “Thank you so much,” tell Cory, “You’re doing a great job today,” or something as simple as that. It makes people feel good. It really made me feel good when people gave us encouraging stuff at the meetup. If you tell people thank you, they’re going to appreciate it.

Make Gratitude Your Foundation

  • 12:37 Sean: It makes you feel better and everyone else feel better. Before the show, Matt was talking to me about how this is kind of his foundation. He said that if he wasn’t thankful for where he is, it would affect everything else.
  • 12:56 Matt: We talk about Lambo Goal, and it’s this big goal and stuff. If you let it, that can take focus off of being happy with where you are.
  • 13:07 Sean: Matt, you said it’s easy to fall into this dark place where you’re frustrated because things aren’t going the way they should be. These little bad things prevent you from being able to think because you’re upset, and when you can’t think, it’s really bad. Things happen, and you’re not able to suck it up and push forward.
  • 13:41 Matt: When I heard this podcast about gratitude, it really made me think. I have gotten to a point in my life and in my entrepreneurial career where little things have gotten to me, little stupid stuff, and I think back at how easy it was for things to set me off or get me to a place where I wasn’t in the right mindset, I was unstable, and I couldn’t make good decisions. If I was in a more positive mood, I could make a better decision.

If you do a better job of being thankful and telling people thank you, you’re going to be in a much better place.

  • 14:36 I was driving in this morning, and I was thinking about what a blessing it is that I don’t have to go to my day job and that I have the freedom to come here, do a podcast, and share my experience and my success. I never would have thought that, especially since I came from a snow cone shack and being homeschooled. To be able to do that and say that is awesome, because it’s going to put me in a place where I’m going to be able to go out, be encouraged, be motivated, and do great things, as opposed to me coming over here with a chip on my shoulder, having a negative outlook on life, and being pissed off. It would put me in a dark place because I wouldn’t be thinking logically and innovatively.
  • 15:26 Sean: I have to read your words here that I was writing as you spoke before we started the episode. You said, “Now that I’m in a good place, even if bad things are happening or I’m not where I want to be, I can come into a situation with a happy vibe. Even though people have no idea about the behind the scenes, I still come into a situation with a positive mindset. Being content and keeping that positive, gratitude foundation, I can come in and tell people they’re doing a great job. I can encourage people because I’m in that place. It helps both my personal and business life. People wouldn’t want to be around me or do business with me if I was any other way. People want a true leader, someone who’s strong, who can take the heat, persevere, and keep going.”
  • 16:16 Matt: That was something my mentor told me. He hit it home, and I basically repeated it. It really stuck with me, because I know for a fact that being thankful, positive, and motivated makes me a happy person, usually.
  • 16:45 Sean: You come in and you have this positive energy. The energy on this show is great, and you bring that.
  • 16:53 Matt: That’s what I want to go for. That’s what you want to go for. There’s always going to be things. I’m down sometimes, and that’s going to happen. The important thing is not to stay in the hole, but to get out and run forward. That’s something I have to be constantly telling myself. Bad things are going to happen. My mentor is always telling me, “Matt, when stuff happens, that’s when you have to stand tall and figure out a course of action to get out. A creative solution that is going to be the best possible answer.”

What Are You Thankful For?

  • 17:30 Sean: Cory Miller shares a story from the chat. He says, “Gratitude for me comes most often when I look at what my life could be if only a few things were different. I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Los Angeles working with the homeless, and oftentimes I would talk with people who were no different than me, but their circumstances changed overnight, leaving them with nothing. Gratitude also comes when I realize that everything I have is much more than most other people. Regardless of what I have, I’m grateful that I have anything at all. This spills over into my work ethic because I know that working hard and fighting for our dreams has a lot do with with where we end up in life, regardless of the things we have.”
  • 18:13 Robert says, “I find that taking time for gratitude helps me to focus on why I’m working so hard. The help we have received in our business, the moral support and encouragement we have been given, the things we learn from our customers, the chance to make a difference in peoples’ lives—it all inspires me to work harder to live up to the gifts entrusted to us.” We didn’t have this big, elaborate thing today. I would like to get people in the mindset of expressing gratitude. If there’s any homework today, it’s this call to action:

Tell someone you’re thankful for them, express your gratitude, especially someone you take for granted.

  • 18:57 Maybe that’s your spouse. Maybe that’s your coworker. Maybe that’s your boss. Maybe that’s the guy that picks up your trash or the girl who makes your coffee. Maybe it’s your audience. When was the last time you thanked your audience? When was the last time you thanked the people you follow who give you ideas and value?
  • 19:19 Matt: Just be thankful. You’ll see how crazy something like that, something so small, can change the way you act and help you think better. You become such a more positive and happier person.
  • 19:36 Sean: I want to do it right now. Kori just joined the Community—he was at the San Fransisco meetup. Kori, I’m thankful that you came out to that meetup when you just discovered everything on the seanwes network two weeks before. You came out to the meetup, and you not only showed up on time and shared your story, some value, your experience with music, but also, when the reserved time was over, you stuck around. That meant, at this co-working space, we each had to pay $3 an hour. He paid to stick around with us, and he stuck around until the dinner. Then he joined the Community, and now he’s here during the live show. I just want to say thank you, thank you for your dedication, for showing up, and I’m really excited for everything you’re working on.
  • 20:34 Halley, she has been listening to the seanwes podcast since the very first episode in 2013. She’s written in and shared her story. She joined the Community fairly recently, but she’s diving right in and she’s sharing right here. She’s telling us her story and participating in the chat. There are dozens of people right now who have not ever shared or taken the time to write in the chat, and she’s gone right in, expressed herself, and shared her story. Other people can benefit from that. When you’re quiet, you feel like you have a noob question. It sounds nerdy, and you’re sure everyone else has figured it out. When you’re not participating and you’re not sharing that stuff, no one else gets to benefit from the answer. How many other silent people have the same struggles and aren’t saying it? Thanks for participating, Halley!
  • 21:36 Moataz, thank you. He gave us a ride back to our Airbnb after the meetup. This guy always has a smile on his face, ever since we met him at Creative South this year. I’m always happy to see this guy, because he has a smile on his face. I know Ben Lam listens to the podcast, too, and he was at the meetup as well. It’s not just meetup people, but that’s who I’m excited about at the moment. Ben has this thing where every time he’s in a photo, he has this straight face. Look at his avatar right now, and he’s totally straight-faced. He’s totally solemn, except that the entire meetup, he had this big grin on his face. Any time someone takes a photo, he gets serious. That’s his thing.
  • 22:43 He’s so happy and such a positive vibe, and I love that. It’s fun to be around him. Christopher, thank you for being here. He’s been in the Community for a long time, and he doesn’t always have time to share comments and stuff, but when he does, it’s always good insights. He’s been on hangouts with us in the Community, he’s been able to meet up with Cory Miller in California. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to come to the meetup Matt and I did, but I’ve always enjoyed conversations with him. Thanks for participating, Christopher. I’m always happy when I see you over there in the participant’s list. It makes me smile, and I’m glad you’re here.
  • 23:34 Matt, have you met Scotty Russel? Scotty’s the best. He’s just so positive. He comes up and gives you a hearty handshake and a smile, and he still shares his struggles in the chat. It’s not all fun and games, it’s not all roses. He was recently in a funk. It gets tough, Matt, you know. He shares that with us, but like you, Matt, he maintains that positive outlook, and it’s infectious. Scotty, thank you for that. I appreciate your Instagrams, your comments, the limited conversations we were able to have when we met at the conference, and I appreciate you.
  • 24:34 I got to meet Robert in Los Angeles. I should pay this guy in the Community. Have you seen comments from him? He’s left reviews for every single show on the network, he’s constantly helping people out, and he’s constantly sharing value. We really should be paying this guy to be in the Community. He’s there and he’s helping people, and he’s also gotten a lot of value from the people here. I appreciate that so much. Thank you, Robert. Meeting you was the highlight of going to Los Angeles a couple of months ago. That will probably be one of the highlights for me of seanwes Conference, getting to hang out with Robert a little more. Thank you, Robert. Matt, did you get to talk to Bryan? He was at the San Fransisco meetup.
  • 25:40 Matt: Bryan and I had some good conversation. I was super encouraged. We were talking about real estate, and he was telling me what he had planned out and stuff. It was super exciting. He checked out some of the resources I had said on the podcast, and he knew what he was doing. Shout out to Bryan! Well done, man. You’ve done a great job, and you’re going to do great things. I’m super thankful that you’re here in the Community.
  • 26:16 Sean: Emily’s similar to me, INTJ style. You know the people who aren’t super extroverted and outgoing can be easy to forget, but once you get into a conversation with someone, even if they’re not super extroverted and outgoing, it can be really great. I have not had the chance to have a super long, multi-hour conversation with Emily, but I loved getting to meet her in person. I know it’s been a few years of Circles conferences. Thank you for showing up, Emily. Thank you for coming to the meetup. I hope to have longer conversations with you in the future, but thanks for being there. I appreciate you.