If you’re a person who comes from the corporate world or maybe even a system or organization such as the teaching system that I came from, you might remember that it wasn’t considered professional to give personal compliments, praise or even any type of overall expression of appreciation. There always seemed to be fear around this: don’t say too much, don’t get too close, don’t share from your heart … so let’s take a moment to recognize what this really is: an activation of lack. That’s right, the holding back of praise and appreciation activates lack. When you withhold sharing something that is of a natural, abundant energy (like gratitude) you are activating the opposite: lack.
When you do this, lack then begins to show up in ALL other areas of your business and life as well.
Entrepreneurs should use praise as an integral part of their everyday interactions with others. What I found for myself was when I made this shift and started sharing praise and appreciation during business interaction the energy of business abundance expanded! I also made sure I didn’t have an attachment to how the praise or appreciation was received (that didn’t matter) but just allowed myself to be confidently in that abundant flow of sharing praise, sharing appreciation … everything in my business started to shift.
When I say that I wasn’t attached to how appreciation was received what I mean is I released judgment about how I expressed it and how others received it. The release of judgment for myself was ‘Oh gosh, here I am at a networking event and I shouldn’t be complimenting someone on what they are wearing; we’re here to talk about business. And definitely not if it’s a man…’ I let that all go and just connected back to what I knew was my primary intention, which was to express the appreciation and abundance that I was naturally feeling for myself and somebody else.
What I noticed as I started to do this – again, especially at business meetings, networking events, and even connecting with potential clients – was that most people are literally starving for praise. That’s right. And as I practiced this more and more what I came to further understand is that most people are starving for praise because literally (research shows) close to 95 percent of the population are just unskilled or unpracticed or amateurs in the art of interpersonal communication (and expressing appreciation is a HUGE part of being this.)
It’s not just that expressing appreciation isn’t supposedly appropriate in business; it’s that it’s not practiced hardly anywhere! Why? Because most people don’t know how and they don’t know how because they haven’t practiced it! But here’s the thing: human beings are emotional creatures. Emotional creatures have a high need (you could even say it might be a mild addiction) to the sweet-sounding words of encouragement and recognition.
So let’s look at why this makes a difference in business …
Being in business is simply about human relationships, no matter what business you’re in. If you’re in a service business, absolutely; if you’re in a product business, this applies to you too. Because who you are exchanging your energy with – whether it’s through your service or your product – the receiver on the other end is a person, a human being.
To leave emotion out of business doesn’t really make energetic sense. It actually creates a disconnect and that’s what I know I was feeling as I was holding myself back when I was in that first year of business. Honestly, I look back at that first year and I feel a sinking pit in my stomach because of all of the missed opportunities. But, then I manage my energy and am able to just embrace it, allow it. I forgive and more so, I use that to fuel myself to creating amazing connections that are filled with praise and appreciation every day in my business, with my Support Team, Coaching Team, JV Partners, Boot Camp Members, Private Mentor Clients … you name it!
I would also say that when it comes to your sharing of praise and appreciation, you do want – as Entrepreneurs – to choose this praise and appreciation to be connected with your heart, with your soul, authentically, genuinely, fully grounded from the most open-heart place.
That’s what allows appreciation energy to manifest into physical abundance. Easily.