Attitude of Gratitude for Entrepreneurs

This time of year it’s natural to think about gratitude. And each year we seem to talk about how we need to get better about being mindful of this every day, in life and in business.

Turns out, being grateful is also good for business. We came across a great article in Entrepreneur that listed some pretty real benefits to developing an attitude of gratitude. First, gratitude shifts your mindset. There is always something to be grateful for even when things don’t go the way want. Positive people see positive things (and we believe see positive results).

Gratitude creates solutions. Because you’re consciously choosing to focus on what you do have and not what you don’t, you’re seeing how to get out of a problem and get into a solution pretty quickly.

Finally, gratitude is contagious. Choosing to be around positive thinkers, and those able to see the big picture (and find the good in it) are the ones people want to be around (and hire).

That was definitely not the only article we found that sang the praises of how an attitude of gratitude works for entrepreneurs.

If you’re one of those people (like us) that like to take action to get into the right mindset, maybe start with a notebook next to your bed. Before you turn the lamp off, jot down 3 things for which you’re grateful. Even if it’s as simple as my I’m thankful for my favorite TV show, or the person who let me into their lane this morning - it’s progress.

Thank you for reading!



Avoid Business Travel Headaches

In our hectic, modern work-life, does the word “business trip” conjure images of relaxing in first class with a briefcase resting on our lap or a frantic dash through terminals dragging a travel bag with a funky wheel?

Let’s face it. Frequent travel is a necessity for many professionals but usually not enjoyable.

The U.S. Travel Association reports U.S. residents logged 459 million person‑trips* for business purposes in 2015, with 37% for meetings and events, with direct spending on travel a whopping $296.3 billion.

The travel channel posted a great article listing some business travel tips, of which our top 3 are

1. Limit luggage to a carry-on. We’d recommend buying travel size toiletries a few a time so they are always on hand and ready to be placed in a ziplock right before the trip.

2. Join rewards clubs and use them. Airlines, hotels and car rental agencies almost always offer preferential treatment for their program members, which translate into savings and convenience.

3. Use technology like to check out the legroom situation and to predetermine your seat location and to book restaurants in your destination city.

To further make business travel easier, especially for very frequent or complicated itineraries, consider using a travel agent or outsource your planning to Oak Tree Operations. Planning a trip and need help nailing down the details? Need to research unforgettable client-entertainment options? Just don’t have time to deal with one more thing? Contact us today to chat.

Employee Perks For Small Business

We’ve worked in offices that offered perks - like access to a stocked frig with milk, soft drinks, and a pantry with cereals - and those where you had to pay for your own coffee. My own experience was that I often worked through lunch on a busy day at the office which offered the food, and that I spent as little time as possible at the office where I had to spend my own money to buy coffee.

Why do employers offer perks? What we’ve seen from our own experiences and from researching this topic, is that employers find that offering unique perks attracts the best talent, keeps that talent around longer, and creates more engaged, productive employees.

An article on Glassdoor, which gets feedback directly from employees, says that “When it comes to recruiting talent today, Glassdoor surveys show that nearly 3 in 5 (57%) people report benefits and perks being among their top considerations before accepting a job, while 4 in 5 people also say they would prefer new perks over a pay raise.”

Some of the biggest, hippest companies that need lots and lots of top performers to keep ahead of competition are the ones with truly enviable perks. Netflix offers a year of paid maternity or paternity leave to new parents. Twitter is known for providing perks such as three catered meals a day, as well as on-site acupuncture and improv classes.

For the small companies we work with, though, these are just plain out of the question. But small businesses still have plenty of options to offer. Our favorites include:

  1. Telecommuting - i.e. letting employees work from home. Most employees are grateful for the ability to do this and productivity can often improve.

  2. Volunteer time - offering employees paid time off or organizing a company volunteer activity where employees can come together to give back.

  3. Discounts for fitness clubs - if you can’t pay for a gym membership, perhaps offering a discount to a nearby gym will encourage physical fitness.

  4. Guilt-free sick or vacation time - simply creating a culture that accepts and understands that employees are human and need occasional time off for illness and vacation will give you workers that take time off when sick (and contagious!) and enjoy their well-earned time off.

What do you think? Do you appreciate employee perks? Do they make a difference in your company? We’d love your feedback!