We typically stroll through our business day with a polite ‘thank you’ here and there. Our businesses may offer a cash bonus for referrals and if we have a holiday gifting program, some groans as we sign the STACKS of cards. Blerg.

You know what we are excellent at? COMPLAINING! I know… sometimes it is just letting off steam, sometimes it is an offhanded comment that needed to be released and sometimes it is a little more sinister. This, my fellow business leaders, is an epidemic. Have you ever realized how much easier it is to show gratitude for a small to a medium event, but it’s almost uncomfortable to show HUGE gratitude for a grand gesture?  It’s psychologically harder for us to celebrate the big gifts or wins than it is to complain about the little stuff.

I have so much chaos in my life, it’s become normal. You become used to it. You have to just relax, calm down, take a deep breath and try to see how you can make things work rather than complain about how they’re wrong. Tom Welling

I experienced this first hand as the waves of love and assistance poured out after Jim’s passing.There were never the words to say “thank you,” to the people who helped me survive, return to my life and start moving forward. It was scary to realize I could never fully express how thankful I was. Whoa – big. Too big. But….

This year I think it’s time to take some brave steps to that place of radical gratitude.

I am not talking about cheesy cheese: “We’re thankful for you” flyers offering a 10% discount on yackity schmackity. BOOOORING, and also not gratitude. It’s a tired sales techniques and it’s insulting. Stop it.I’m talking about a lifestyle of gratitude. A business practice that celebrates the blessings that come from each lesson, client and coworker.

If you have a hard conversation that allows you perspective – CELEBRATE.

When you have a miscommunication and you are both able to get back on the same page and team – CELEBRATE.

If you have a week that is simply full of laughter – CELEBRATE.

I know this is going to trigger a bunch of knee-jerk no’s. It’s going to be expensive, it’s going to take work, I am so busy….Yep!

Ok, it doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to come from the heart and that takes effort. But guess what people do when they feel valued? THEY GIVE MORE! They try harder, they return the favor and they take it to other parts of their lives. So be a part of RADICAL GRATITUDE…what can it hurt?

What if you were able to ask every single client and employee or vendor at your org if they felt that you are grateful for their contributions? How many of those answers would you be afraid to hear? I implore you to make gratitude part of your mission. Empower your staff to show acts of gratitude grand and small. What could a $50 a month ‘Gratitude Budget’ do for your company, internally and externally?

Let’s start now: thank you for reading this blog!

Marie Hale is the owner and co-founder of @revenue, a sales and marketing collaborative dedicated to changing the world, one business owner at a time. Marie was also very proud to have been honored with the Midwest Women in Tech Leadership Award in the area of Marketing & Media 2017.