Sacrifice and Gratitude

Sacrifice and Gratitude

November 19th, 2020 // 11:07 am @

Last week, we honored Veteran’s Day by talking about the incredible sacrifices they have made and continue to make for our Country.  Next week, we’ll be talking about Thanksgiving, the symbolic holiday with a theme of gratitude.  There is an overlap, between sacrifice and gratitude, that should not be overlooked.

The real idea behind Thanksgiving is what it takes to have things to be thankful for in the first place – and that requires sacrifice also.

With everything in life and business there are sacrifices made to make possible what you want to achieve and experience in your life.

I often quote Zig Ziglar’s famous saying, “You don’t pay the price for success, you enjoy it.”

Because of what it results in, you should not just be grateful and thankful for the outcome but for what is required to make it possible.

The definition of sacrifice is of course a bit more brutal in terms of where it comes from and what it could mean – but – in the context of how we all live, it is important to understand and embrace that to have something it means that you can’t have other things.

Yes, we love the idea of no limits and having it all.  It’s just not the way it is in actuality.  Not because you can’t in theory but because of the greatest limiting factor that constrains us all: time.

If you choose to do something, you are choosing not to do something else.  The choices you make give you the results that you have, thus you are sacrificing all other alternatives.  This is very important because it’s how you determine whether something is worth pursuing or not.

I can’t over emphasize the conversation that you should have with yourself about both honoring the sacrifices that have been made for you by others.  Not to dwell on them but to be aware of them, respect them, and appreciate them.

So too you should be grounded in realism about the sacrifices you have made to get to where you are at and be very appreciative for that too.

All of this is what gives you insight, perspective, peace of mind, and confidence to keep weighting the sacrifices you make for the results you want and make sure that your life is in balance with your greater objectives and purpose.

I could continue on about this, philosophically, and I’ll have more to say about it next week.

Today, I’d like for you to take this idea of sacrifice and apply it to your business very literally.

You have two major sides of sacrifice to consider, yours from your business position and your customers from their buying decision.

Here’s what I mean… in your business you can’t serve multiple masters.  So many entrepreneurs try to be all things to all people or they give customer so many options they confuse them into doing nothing.  Or they have many different marketing messages that distract or don’t align with the core purpose and objectives of the business.

The point is simple: when you make a decision you sacrifice all others and you simply must commit to the path that is best for your business and then execute like crazy to bring that to life in the best way possible.

In addition to this, the more you realize what it takes to get a great customer, to develop a great customer, to convert a great customer, and ultimately build the value of your great customers through your experience – you will see that there are sacrifices of many sorts that have to occur.

Most businesses stop short of their potential because they aren’t willing to do what it takes, to make the sacrifice, and to ascend their customers to greater value.

I’m not necessarily talking about work ethic or time or balance or even investing but at the same time I am talking about all of those things too.  In many cases, you could increase your customer value by investing more in the customer (whether time, money, experience, or all of the above), but instead of seeing the big picture, people remain short-sighted and thus settle for less all because of the sacrifice required on the front end to make it happen.

I challenge you to reflect about the sacrifices you’ve made but more importantly to ask yourself what is next for your business or where have you been putting off tough decisions or what is holding you back from your next big breakthroughs or what do you need to sacrifice to make it happen.

Now, when we flip this over, it is very important to understand sacrifice on behalf of your customers on two fronts.

One, what are they sacrificing by not being your customer, what benefits are they denying themselves of, and what are they giving up as a default by not moving forward.

The more you build these benefits, the more you put yourself in the strongest position to justify your value with your customers – this can’t simply speak for itself; it has to be demonstrated, illustrated, and brought to life.

And on the opposite track, it is very important that you have the perspective from your customers about what they have to give up and sacrifice to become your customer, to buy from you, and not just in terms of money but in time and anything else.

Knowing the implications of their purchase gives you empathy for what is going through their head and what things they (and thus you) must contend with in order to commit to the decision.  The ones they are living with now without you and the ones they have to go through to get you – in a seamless way that makes them more compelled to take action and move forward.

This is an important activity to do and for everyone in your business to understand.  I strongly believe that empathy is the key to influence and there is nothing more valuable than digging down deep to become aware of the sacrifices your customers are making to help you better serve them and create the most effective experience possible.

Of course, you know all of this because you are living proof that sacrifice both is inevitable and also worth it.  As a matter of fact, one of my favorite sayings on my desk is, “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it!”  And it always will be if you decide to make it so.

Next week, we’ll tackle Thanksgiving and being grateful not just for all you have achieved but for all the sacrifices required along the way.

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