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During the holiday season, one word is kicked around more than any other. No, it’s not “sale,” it’s “Gratitude.”

If you’re like most individuals, you understand (though don’t entirely embrace) the concept of gratitude. You know being grateful and counting your blessings has innumerable benefits… but it’s so much easier to complain!

This doesn’t just show up on a personal level. When we look at gratitude as part of work culture, we’re even less likely to see people embracing the concept and reaping the benefits. However, if your goal is to create a thriving, successful business with happy employees aka band members, and happy customers, gratitude is the secret fuel that drives performance. If that’s not your goal… perhaps it’s time to reevaluate why you went into business. Remember when you have a strong enough “why” the how automatically shows up.

Picture this: A band has just been called up to the podium at an award’s show to accept their accolades for album of the year. The lead singer gets up there, grabs the mic, and says, “Yes! I knew I deserved this award. This is the best album I’ve ever made!”

In the meantime, his bandmates watch on as horror as he heads back to his seat with the trophy in hand. That lead singer took his bandmates for granted (Not to mention EVERYONE ELSE involved with production). Even with all of the boatloads of money, fame, and glitz that being in a band can provide, those individuals aren’t likely to stick around for the long haul. Why? Because they aren’t appreciated. Their contributions aren’t being recognized. Their value as a member of the band isn’t being communicated. Steve Jobs of Apple used The Beatles as his business model for this very reason. He said.” My motto for business is the Beatles. They were for young guys who kept each other’s negative tendencies and check and the total was greater than the sum of their parts.”

Well, most corporate jobs don’t come with fame, few come with boatloads of money, and if you’ve found one that’s glitzy… please let me know. Without gratitude for your employees (and your customers), your business will never succeed.

Let’s take a look at how you can develop an attitude of gratitude in your business and incorporate it into your day-to-day culture.

 

The Benefits of Gratitude

Do you remember the last time someone said, “Thank you? I really appreciate you.”?

Hopefully, someone has said that to you in the past, and hopefully, you felt a ton of warm fuzzies for being recognized. This is a gift that you can (and should) give to your employees on a daily basis.

Employee Benefit

Even when they are in the thick of it, doing those daily, tedious tasks that make you want to pull your hair out, or putting out the inevitable fires that sprout up, showing gratitude will show employees that their work has meaning and that their tasks contribute to the ongoing success of the company. That they are part of the band or team. That they matter and are part of something greater than just a job. This is rocket fuel you can’t buy my friends. And it’s free.

Thanking your team members for a job well done is positive reinforcement at its best. Employees receive this feedback and it drives them to perform well in the future. That’s what a Rock Star Mindset is

. Performing at a higher level every day. That’s one of the key strategies we teach in our Opportunity Rocks Keynote In Las Vegas and around the world.

When employees are happy, engagement increases, and turnover decreases. Profits and productivity increase exponentially.

Leadership Benefit

In the sales world, you often hear that “people do business with people they know, like, and trust.” While this is true in sales, it actually applies to every aspect of life. Wouldn’t it be great to work with (and for) people you know, like, and trust?

When you, as a leader, incorporate gratitude into your leadership style, you become more likable, and more trusted as a leader and as a person. This encourages your employees to be more open and honest with you and creates an internal desire to perform better. Plus… they’ll be grateful for you and follow you into battle or on stage every time.

Personal Benefit

Little known fact (unless you’ve ever given someone a gift) … gratitude feels great! Being cranky, finding fault with everything and everyone, and having people duck around corners when you walk into a room, doesn’t bring joy or happiness to anyone. It is a very bad vibe.

Show people that you appreciate them and all of their hard work. You’ll actually feel better about yourself in the process. Gratitude, attitude, and excitement are contagious.

Customer Benefit

With gratitude, the trickle-down effect is amazing! When you’re grateful for your employees, they’ll be grateful for their jobs and their customers. The best part, they’ll treat them better. Happy customers or raving fans mean a happy bottom line.

There are so many benefits to gratitude, and thankfully, it’s easy to get started! And it is free.

 

Incorporating Gratitude into your Business

You now understand how important gratitude is… but how do you utilize it? While feeling grateful in your heart and when you speak to your higher power is important, it’s not enough. Here are a few ways that you can incorporate gratitude into your everyday activities.

  • Start meetings with a gratitude exercise where you state what you’re grateful for and invite employees to share how they feel.
  • Randomly thank your team with small gifts (or large gifts if you can afford them!). These can be gift cards for dinner and a movie, pizza parties, time off, anything you can dream up that your employees will like.
  • Offer raises throughout the year for employees that go above and beyond. Don’t make them wait for an anniversary when they are true rock stars in their roles every day.
  • Encourage thank-you notes among employees and to go out to your customers.
  • Provide a centralized board (whether physical or digital) where employees can create “Gratitude Notes” for one another and thank each other publicly.

 

Even if you think you’re showing appreciation for your employees, take some time to reflect on how you could show more. Gratitude is the Rock-It fuel that will drive your business forward and bring out the inner rock star in every one of your employees. So the more, the better. No matter how you look at it, Gratitude is good for your band, your fans, and your business. Think of it this way, if you don’t take control of your environment, your environment will take control of you. Gratitude will make your band rock and set yourself apart from your competition. That’s what true business rock stars do.

Face Fear And Eat It For Breakfast, Like a Rock Star!

Rock stars make it look so easy. Stepping out onto the stage in front of thousands of adoring fans… it’s hard to believe that they are feeling anything but confidence.

Would it surprise you to know that some of the musical greats you love have had to overcome their own insecurities and face their fears in order to become who they are today?

Just like not everyone is born a brazen entrepreneur or a commanding CEO, not every rock star is born with a mic in their hand. So, what’s the difference between those who succeed, gracing the largest stages (and boardrooms) in the world, and those who never make it out of the garage?

Fear and what we do with it. We’ve all got it. But some people aren’t willing or able to move past it. Are you?

 

7 Steps to Overcoming Fear

Overcoming your fear is like a muscle. The more you work it, the better you’ll get at it. Just like decision-making. While following these steps may take you a while in the beginning, the more practice you get, the faster you’ll move through the process. Practice makes perfect, right?

  1. Accept what you’re feeling

Pretending you’re not afraid of something doesn’t fool anyone, least of whom, yourself. Whatever you’re feeling is okay. It’s there and you’ll deal with it. Plus, it shows the human side to your band and others. It makes you more real. Be transparent with your fear.

 

  1. Identify the fear

Exactly what about the situation is making you uneasy? Are you afraid you can’t hack it? Are you afraid the outcome is outside of your control? Is your fear really not fear at all and it’s more about control? Humm. Give it a name. Much like the monsters in the closet, when you give them a name (and possibly add on some KISS makeup) they’re a lot less scary.

 

  1. Breathe to center yourself

Never underestimate the power of your breath. Your breathing has the ability to work you into a panic, or the ability to bring you peace and clarity. The best part of it? The choice is entirely yours. In the beginning, you’ll want to find a quiet place to breathe. The better you get at it, the more able you’ll be to center yourself when surrounded by your team… or thousands of screaming fans. Take a deep breath (your belly should extend out as it fills with air), hold it for a few seconds, and then breathe out. Hold it for another few seconds and then repeat the process. If you’re alone, plaster a smile onto your face during this exercise. Continue until you feel your heart rate slowing and your mind becoming clearer. Similar to meditation maybe add in a mantra.

 

  1. Imagine the worst

It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes, imagining the worst possible outcome can actually calm us down. Pretend you’re a frontman (or woman) stepping out on a big stage for the first time. You may be thinking, “I’m a no-talent joke” or “I’m going to fall flat on my face out there.” By imagining the worst, you can make light of the possibilities. Sure, you might trip. But you also might get mauled by a tiger wearing a tutu. Hey, you never know! This is your worst-case scenario. (Someone could’ve brought a tiger!). The more ridiculous you get, the easier it will be to find humor and take the edge off. You can also reason with yourself. Ask what the worst that can happen, what’s the best that and happen, and then ask what will probably happen.

 

  1. Challenge your thoughts

It’s not likely that someone brought a tiger to your debut concert. It’s also probably not likely that half of your fears will come to fruition. Examine each individual fear and then use the evidence available (past experience, your hard work, and training, your amazing team, etc.) to challenge your thoughts. It goes back to practicing. Glenn Frey of the Eagles said they never started a tour until they rehearsed their setlist one hundred times in a row perfectly. Practice equals confidence and confidence erases fear.

 

  1. Don’t try to be perfect

If you’re doing something for the first time, there’s likely to be some hiccups along the way. Embrace the learning curve and realize that mistakes aren’t something to be afraid of, but rather something to learn from. Fail fast, fail often, and fail forward. Once you understand that failure is a good thing, it to will help eradicate fear.

 

  1. Do it anyway

Yes, you may be afraid. That’s not, however, a reason not to move forward. Use fear as a GPS. Learn to thank it and thank yourself for looking out for you… and then do it anyway.

 

Facing your fears is the secret to success. It’s the difference between taking daily massive action and minimal or no action. Or worse yet the wrong action. When you embrace your fear and use it as a sign that you’re on the right path, you will reach amazing new heights. Rather than run from fear, run headfirst into it like a rock star and step out on the stage of business and life. Trust me it’s much better than failure, mediocracy, or going out of business. Look at it this way, there is less traffic or competition on the road to fear. Like they say the greater the risk the greater the reward. Now go get your ROCK ON!

Imagine getting on a plane and you’re the only passenger. How weird is that! Some may think awesome, I can sleep! Others may find it too quiet or creepy. Your creator or whom ever you believe in made you to be social, to interact, to connect or to Love. That can’t happen when you are by yourself. When you think about the time we have on this earth compared to eternity, it’s pretty dog gone short. So why wouldn’t you take advantage of every opportunity possible to connect and love as many people as possible?

Well a lot of things get in our way. The two biggest: work and fear.  Fear of rejection, making a fool of ourselves, or just speaking out loud. But when you let these fears over take you, you lose control or lose out on opportunities. So if work is one of the factors that gets in your way of love and connection, and you are a driven person, you are probably short changing yourself and missing opportunities.

As a keynote speaker or keynote entertainer as some people call me, I have the privilege of traveling a lot.  Back in the day I was one of those guys who would find my seat, curl up to sleep, or dive into a movie or book. Can you relate? Until a few years ago when one of my coaches shared with me all of the opportunities I was missing out on by being a hermit.  The person sitting next to you could be your next gig, your next best friend. They may know someone you know, they may share knowledge that could change or help you in some way. They might even be your next love connection. Or vice versa, you might have information or a story that could be life changing for them. A pay it forward missed opportunity.  If you don’t fly a lot, then maybe you’re like this at work, a restaurant, club or other places where there are lots of people. While traveling to Orlando to speak at a conference, I was fortunate enough to receive my first class upgrade. Sitting next to me was a nice looking older woman who was giving off a really positive vibe. So I asked the standard ice-breaking question that we all know the answer to, “Where are you headed?”  “Orlando” she said with a smile. “Where are you from?”, I asked. “Atlanta. I’m heading to the World Championship of Volleyball to see my Granddaughters’ compete”. I didn’t know there was such a thing, but since I love to interview people, I started firing questions off to her. She had ordered a drink and was ready to talk. I could see how she lit up and I wanted to make sure that I was her best seat companion ever.

Before the flight was over I found out that she has been married 5 times, two of the same men twice. She had worked most of her life in the telecommunications business. She supported most of her husbands, had a son who became her priority and she was moving on through life. She asked if I have ever heard of a Rockin’ Blues player named “Joe Bonamassa. “I think I have”, I replied. “ My guitar playing buddy Mark Werner from Missouri is a fan of his.” She went on to say how she became a fan by hearing his music on a bus tour in another country and now follows him around the country. So I said, “You are a groupie”.  Her son retired at age 50 after inventing some sort of software and then selling it. Now he is a full time volleyball dad. I also found out that the Red Rock Amphitheater has 322 steps to the bottom.  I don’t know about you, but I love to here stories like this. It restores my faith in America and the American Dream.  Yes we have a lot of challenges in this country, but it is still the greatest country in the world. Challenges are what make us grow in life and at work, so if you want our country to grow, we must have them too. As I sit on a plane to Tampa with my awesome, amazing family on this 4th of July, I want to thank all the men and women of this country around the world that sacrifice daily for us to have this freedom and daily opportunities to succeed. Also to those who have given their lives. You have a duty, obligation and responsibility to your creator, (who ever you believe that to be). Personally. I choose to believe my creator is God and he wants us to be our best every day. “For me – it’s to be the BEST husband, father, Christian, and speaker I can possible be.” Do you do your best every day? Do you encourage your team and family to do their best everyday?  Do you choose love over fear?  Do you even know what your best is or what your goals are?

So where am I going with this for you?  If you make life or success your duty, obligation and responsibility you are at rock star status. Rock Stars play full out all the time. That’s how you win. That’s how you win big, sell out arenas. That’s how you win consistently. It’s a commitment. What plays a key factor in this for you is Love. You have to love what you do and who you do it with. If circumstances do not currently allow you to love what you do then love why you do it. Or whom you are doing it for.  That may mean paying it forward, trying to always be in a positive mood, helping out strangers, and yes talking to strangers on the plane.

Marie is one of my new friends and fans of Marvelless Mark. I told her about my book Opportunity Rocks and gave her a signed copy. I shared stories with her about my touring career, when I headlined at the Venetian at Las Vegas, and my current speaking tour. We exchanged information right as the wheels touched down.

Two weeks ago I received an email from Marie that brought a smile and tear to my eye at the same time. It went like this:

Marvelless Mark,

I read your book the next day.  It was incredible.  How can I order copies????  I have to say reading the book made me realize I was married to five men, not just because they were losers, but they had no goals in life.  I always had a goal, working and taking care of my son.  Although I no longer work, your book made me realize that although I embrace each day as a gift, I need some goals!!! Leaving Orlando, I was on my way to the airport and saw a helicopter and realized I have never flown in one.  As a result I am going to book a helicopter flight around Atlanta!!! I think you are now vacationing with your family in FL. Hope all is well with you and you have fun.  My phone number is 770-xxx-xxxx and I guess you can see my email is ……………….. Hoping you will send that photo you took of us.  Please let me know how to get books.   Marie

Marie purchased 7 books to share with friends, is not afraid to embrace life daily, set goals, play full out, and be her best everyday. Why ? Because she is a rock star. She gets it. Even at her age and being retired. Did I mention she was a two-time cancer survivor of lung and breast cancer?  She makes some of us younger peeps look like whining little babies. Thank you Marie for being you, sharing with me, and being a rock star role model to many.  Opportunity Rocks and you just proved it.

Please share and repost this article and let’s make changes together. 

Marvelless Mark Kamp is a Keynote Entertainer who works with organizations who want their teams to achieve rock star results. He does this in a fun, entertaining, and engaging way using the success secrets of rock stars. Mark love’s what he does and wants to share his love and passion of rock star success with the business world.