Eugene is the Founder of The Litvak Team @ Compass — one of the top producing and largest teams at Compass.
As we dive into this new year, I can’t help but think about what I can do to improve my business and relationships in the months ahead. I’ve always been someone who believes in positive intentions and emotional intelligence, and my team operates with a high level of EQ and empathy. We’re very open about our feelings, and we strive to have gratitude for each other and our clients at all times.
Gratitude: It’s a simple concept that many try to dismiss as the woo-woo practice of yogis and hippies. A recent conversation with my good friend Chris Schembra, the author of Gratitude and Pasta: The Secret Sauce for Human Connection, a transformative book for building relationships, helped me solidify the role that gratitude plays in my life and business. In many ways, it all boils down to a single question Chris has built his mission on: If you could give credit or thanks to one person in your life, to whom you don’t give enough credit or thanks, who would that be?
What I’ve learned about gratitude has proven to me again and again that it isn’t some meaningless practice. Showing and receiving appreciation isn’t weakness. Rather, it’s a powerful tool with roots believed to extend back to our primate ancestors. Gratitude is easy, impactful, immediate and, best of all, it’s free. It allows us to pause and look back in order to create a strategic path forward.
In the face of a pandemic and political tumult, it’s been easy to be filled with doubt, confusion and fear. People are always looking ahead toward an uncertain future. I find that’s especially true for real estate professionals and entrepreneurs. We always focus on what’s coming next. What’s the next risk I’m going to have to grapple with? Where’s the next client or opportunity coming from? We are unsure the majority of the day! I believe the antidote to all that uncertainty about the future is taking a deep look into the past. That’s where we’ll find the lessons and tools we can bring into our present.
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Science has proven that gratitude is essential for well-being, for healthy social relationships and for broadening and building your thought-action repertoire. Gratitude helps you become more creative, more inspired, more confident with greater self-esteem. So, where does Chris’ question come in?
When you can give credit and thanks to people and events from your past, you build resiliency. You build trust, and you bolster the confidence to know that you can get through hard things. History is our great teacher. If we have gratitude for the past, it can help us move positively through our present and future.
Research has also shown that bringing gratitude into the workplace is excellent for team productivity, great for employee retention and unbeatable for customer loyalty. Peer-to-peer appreciation within a work setting is the ultimate team-building exercise, and practicing gratitude with your customers can increase referrals and sales across the board. We all know that it takes exponentially more time and money to win a new client than to keep an existing one, and retaining those current customers all boils down to gratitude. Since I launched my business 15 years ago, my philosophy has always been to do the right thing, add value and truly care about clients. If you focus on serving people more than you focus on the money, it will come back to you tenfold.
There’s no such thing as a self-made man or woman. We all got here because of the generosity of others, and that’s what gratitude helps you appreciate. Gratitude is the link between giving and receiving. It’s about paying kindness forward to others. If we began to look at gratitude as a tool — like your P&L, cash flow statement or acquisition cost — it would become an incredible engine for your business, leading to more authentic relationships and an environment where we are genuinely in service of each other.
The new year is a traditional time for taking stock, counting blessings and planning for the future. As this new year brings a new government and Covid-19 vaccines create a promising path past the pandemic, perhaps there’s never been a better time to embrace gratitude and leverage its power.
So, how would you thank someone in your personal or business sphere who deserves your gratitude? More importantly, what are you waiting for?