“Why can’t every day be like Christmas?” Elvis Presley recorded the classic in 1966 and every year I hear at least one person ask the question. I celebrate Christmas but regardless of your holiday faith tradition, all share common themes which if woven into the fabric of your business profit your soul as well as your bottom line.
Sharing Peace and Goodwill
How can we show we care all year long? During the holidays, there is a prevailing positive mindset, we see more smiles and everyone reaches out to their friends, family and the community spreading joy and encouragement all around us. We are all a better version of ourselves, giving and sharing our blessings with others.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep the feelings of goodwill alive in your business. There are free or inexpensive ways to spread goodwill to employees, customers, and fellow entrepreneurs. A positive word of appreciation or an encouraging offer of support can be priceless for an employee. Writing a positive review on social sites, introducing colleagues to potential clients, sharing an article that can help their business – there are countless ways to help other businesses which don’t cost a dime.
As we’ve written before, the act of giving is good for your personal health as well as the health of your business.
As we celebrate our spiritual traditions, we are all more likely to proudly and publicly share our beliefs in a positive way. Our beliefs may be challenged as public debates rage during this time of year regarding the “appropriate and legal” place for religious expression in schools, businesses and other public venues. We engage in dialogue about our faith, re-evaluate why we believe what we believe and re-commit to the principles that steer our lives. In our businesses we are steered by Core Values, the beliefs and principles that do not change regardless of circumstances, the environment, and the products we sell – they ground us with strength and inspire our brand promise and our culture.
How do we keep that spirit alive all year long? I guarantee if you run a small business, your beliefs are built in to your mission, vision and core values. As you go through the coming year, find ways to keep the dialogue about your core values alive and vibrant. Those core values come to life in every customer interaction, every employee interaction, every team conflict, every project and goal. Businesses who actively demonstrate core values and deliver customer experience consistent with those values earn customer goodwill and loyalty in return – a definite competitive advantage. Know your core values, document them, and keep them alive to foster a better experience for customers and employees.
Most faith and spiritual traditions have been built upon stories and history with an underlying theme of the rewards of hope. We re-tell stories of how obstacles are overcome by hope, inspiring us with positive anticipation for the good to come. Optimism is on full display and our enthusiasm for the days ahead is infectious. As we review the past year, regardless of past level of achievement, we look to the New Year with hope for better days for our businesses and our personal lives.
Feelings and expressions of hope are good for business all year long. Shane Lopez PhD, a Senior Gallup Scientist who wrote Making Hope Happen has researched and measured the value of hope to businesses and other organizations. He defines hopeful thinking as “that the future will be better and that you have a role in making it so.” Further Lopez says, “Hope is worth a day a week at work” and notes how that translates, for example, to a salesperson with hope achieving 6 days of sales results in 5 days – let that thought settle in for a minute and then imagine those possibilities for your business.
Lopez states how hope causes us to invest psychologically in goals therefore we are more likely to achieve them. Leaders who inspire their employees with hope have employees more invested in business goals. As an entrepreneur and business leader, you can learn tactics and strategies to inspire others with hope. If you haven’t been leading from a place of hope in the past, make a commitment to yourself and your business to develop the skills of hope. I suggest starting with Making Hope Happen.
Small Steps to a Better than Ever Business…
Take a look at your plans for the coming year. What adjustments can you make to infuse your business with the vitality of hope, faith, and the spirit of goodwill? Take one small action today and make it happen.