How to Cultivate Gratitude

Episode 1031: How to Cultivate Gratitude, with Stephen Woessner

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How to cultivate gratitude? Foster your personal growth and appreciate losses as much as wins. Digest our tips on how to cultivate gratitude.

How to cultivate gratitude? He believes we’re entering the era of the AUTHORITY. Brands that occupy the coveted “expert” status are afforded the highest level of confidence and trust from their customers, prospects, and other stakeholders because they have a depth of knowledge and point-of-view that can’t be denied or easily replicated.

Stephen’s practical and tactical training sessions help companies capitalize on the huge shift taking place in the market today. In our hyper-competitive market for awareness and attention — brands need to plant their flag of authority and then leverage this position to fill their sales pipeline with right-fit prospects while developing deeper relationships with existing customers.


What you’ll learn in this episode is about how to cultivate gratitude

  • How the journey that has become “Onward Nation” impacted many people and made a difference in businesses around the world
  • Why you should keep Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion front and center because it impacts the momentum of your business every day
  • Why there’s an equal amount of winning in every loss — and — an equal amount of loss in every win
  • How to shift your perspective to be thankful for the losses just as much as the wins and how to cultivate gratitude
  • How transitioning from thoughts of loss over to gratitude and thanksgiving when a deep loss happens can be the difference between being able to move on or remaining stuck.
  • How changes in your team, clients, and revenue are all excellent indicators of your culture and where you’re going

Additional Resources:


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Full Episode Transcript


Get ready to find your recipe for success from America’s top business owners here at Onward Nation with your host, Stephen Woessner. 


Good morning, Onward Nation. This is the final episode of Onward Nation. Hopefully, though not the final episode, you and I will spend time together because my hope is that you will join us for the new Sell with Authority podcasts beginning on January 5th, 2022. And my first guest will be Drew McLellan, CEO of Agency Management Institute. He’s also the host of the Build a Better Agency podcast and amazing show. He’s also my co-author for the book Sell with Authority, but this is the final episode for Onward Nation. 


And I’ll tell you that when I thought through how I wanted to approach this episode, what I wanted to cover, and what I wanted to teach if anything, I kept coming back to the word thankful. And then I remembered I selected today, November 24th, to be the day we published the final episode of Onward Nation. I selected today because it’s the day before Thanksgiving here in the States. And I say the States because we’ve had the good fortune of listeners from around the world. And please know I am thankful for that. 


Improve your insights about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to this podcast: Positive Attitude in Business, with Jon Gordon


How to Cultivate Gratitude: 11 Years of Entrepreneurial Journey


How to cultivate gratitude — And the reality is there is so much to be thankful for. So I decided to share a few thankful insights along the journey of the last 11 years since founding predictive ROI and my goal in doing so is that I’m going to also trigger some thoughtful, thankful moments inside YouTube. I will warn you there’s some personal stuff, too, along this journey of the last 11 years that has really impacted me as a person and as a business owner. And my hope is again to share stories with you in full transparency. 


Tips on how to cultivate gratitude: My hope is that there will be some aha moments for you too, along the way, because I don’t think our experiences are that unique and different. So, hopefully, when Marie starts to do it, get a little emotional here. My hope is that, through that, it’s going to bring some, maybe, memories to the surface and maybe shift some perspectives to, okay, so here we go. I’m thankful for you, Onward Nation, for the last six years. I’m thankful for all of the emails. I’m thankful for all of the reviews on iTunes and all of the other platforms. 


How to cultivate gratitude — I’m thankful for all of the social media comments. I’m thankful for all of the suggestions on how we could get better. And for all of the times along the way that you joined us to celebrate a win alongside our team here at Predictive ROI. So thank you, Onward Nation, for giving us the opportunity to be alongside you for what has ended up being 1,032 episodes. And I’m thankful for all the losses along the way to Predictive has been in business for 11 years, as I mentioned just a couple of minutes ago, and you may already know the story of why we started Onward Nation back in June of 2015 on the heels of the loss of our largest client at the time and my business partner. 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Lessons from Entrepreneurial Journey


How to cultivate gratitude? I knew that we needed to do something different, like radically different here at the business. I mean, it was a time that felt like a whole lot or not so awesome for predictive, but I’m thankful for that experience. I wasn’t thankful at the moment, but I’m thankful for it now because we had never experienced that loss. The reality is I would not be recording this for you right now. And yeah, it’s really easy to see that six years past and be able to look back and see the silver lining. I get it. I understand that, but I’m thankful now because if we had not experienced that along with lots of other things that were going on in the business, that also felt unaffectionate. 


How to cultivate gratitude — I’m thankful that because of all of that, I now have the perspective of being able to recognize that with every win, there’s also an equal amount of future loss. And with every loss, there’s a shred of a win. So, I’m going to paraphrase this here. So forgive me, but sir, Isaac Newton’s third law of motion states something to the effect that for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. So, Onward Nation, when you win, you lose. And when you lose, you win. Napoleon Hill addresses this way more eloquently than I do. 


But he talked about that in his groundbreaking book, Thinking Grow Rich, which was published back in 1937; it’ll be the best $5 you ever spent or invested in your personal development if you’ve not yet read the book. And he says something to the effect of, with everything positive that happens in your business in life, there’s something negative. And with every negative, there’s also something positive. So, let’s keep this momentum of thankfulness going. I’m thankful for our clients and not because of the obvious thing revenue, I’m thankful for the challenges they bring us in. Ask for us to help like to solve those problems. 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Reflecting on Growth and Learning


Yay for that. I’m thankful for each and every time they pushed back on us and said, no, I think you can do better. And I’m thankful for every time a client has said, you know what, it’s time for us to move in a different direction. And I’m thankful for all of the wins. We’ve helped them create. I’m thankful for all of that. Every single time, when we have the right perspective, I’m thankful for the financial struggles that we’ve had, that every business experiences, because each and every time, Eric, my business partner here at Predictive Eric, and I have learned something new in how to make the business better. 


If we’re open to that, now there are certainly times when something happens like that: there’s the grieving, there’s the anger, and there’s the frustration. There’s the why us, how come we can’t whatever. And then once we get past that, and it’s human nature to go through that, it’s like, well, why did that happen? How can we avoid that in the future? Or how can we be completely different and better? So, something like this would never happen. So when I think of where Predictive was two years ago versus today, I’m thankful. Looking back on Predictive six years ago to today, I’m thankful. 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Embracing Growth from Past Challenges


How to cultivate gratitude? When I think that that’s an interesting perspective, right? In a, not from a comparative, at least it’s interesting to me I’m being presumptuous, that you might find it interesting that when I, when I compare the business today, there’s, I’m using that word comparative. And I shouldn’t be when evaluating or looking at the business today versus a couple of years ago, I think, wow, two years ago had this not happened. I never would have written that book had this not happened. We never would have launched the show had this not happened. We never would’ve had the courage to develop three new service offerings. 


How to cultivate gratitude — If this had not happened, we would have never, maybe, launched a weekly Q and A that Eric and I host every Wednesday. So, I have found that when we think back and look at the last couple of years to where we are today, it helps put things in perspective. So I’m going to ask you to do the same thing. So, think back a couple of years. Maybe you lost that one client. You couldn’t have ever imagined losing, but you did. And you were fearful of losing that client at some point, and you lost them, but guess what? You’re still here. 


And I will challenge you so that you will be better at it. Now, you may still be in the muck and the mire; rest assured, I am pleased. No, I am not making light of that. When that happens and we’re not prepared, it is absolutely a struggle in extremely stressful. So, I am not trying to diminish that in any way, Eric and I have absolutely, without a doubt, been there. And because we have been there, I know that if you want to, you will reach the other side. And when you step onto that shore, on the other side of the muck and mire, you will be stronger once you’ve healed. 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Cherishing Memories and Lessons Learned


How to cultivate gratitude? Once you’ve learned from that experience. So, if you’ll allow me, let’s get personal for a minute. I’m abundantly thankful for my family members who have gone before me and who have since passed, and we’re kind and generous while they’re here to share their love, insights, and wisdom with me because those were exceptional learning opportunities. And I guess you’ve had the same type of loving, insightful, generous, amazing, awesome people in your life, too. 


When I think of my aunt, Elaine, who passed away on October 9th, 2020, she meant so much to so many people. And I’m thankful that I earned it. I had 48 years together. I’m thankful that her daughter, Stephanie, and her two sons, Dean and Peter, are like my sister and my two brothers. I’m thankful that she taught me what it means to be generous, what it means to be giving what it means to be good. I’m thankful that as she battled pancreatic cancer for two and a half years, she lived the example in front of my daughter, who is now 14. 


She lived the example in front of my daughter, Caitlyn, of what being strong and courageous looks like. I’m thankful for the predictive ROI team that gave me the time and the space over those two and a half years to spend with any lane. Even if it just meant there. She and I were going to sit on the couch and watch Hallmark movies all afternoon. I’m thankful for Thanksgiving 2019 when Annie Lane stood up in front of all of us and led us around the table to share what we were thankful for despite her body being racked with pain and all of the difficulty that she was going through. 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Embracing the Painful Memories


I’m thankful for being there alongside my cousin during her final two weeks of not leaving her side. And as hard as it is to say, I’m thankful for the loss. I’m thankful for her being reunited with her husband, my uncle, with her parents, who are my grandparents with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And I’m thankful for the pain of her loss and through all of that. But I drew McLellan, who’s such a dear friend to one of my mentors, who told me when I was just, I was so frustrated when we lost her. 


How to cultivate gratitude — And he said to me her initial diagnosis was that we were going to lose her so quickly. And yet we didn’t. We had two and a half years with her. And so think of the two and a half years as a gift. And he’s a hundred percent, right? So Onward Nation, it’s through the pain, as painful as it is, that we can see the light if we let ourselves do that. So, because of that, I’m thankful for all of the moments when I’m sitting here at my desk, and out of nowhere, I have this random thought, this random memory of her pop into my head, and I start crying kind of like I am right now. 


I’m thankful that she filled my heart in so many hearts with so much joy that it makes her loss now seem so big because it is where the shirt is. I know that I’m not unique in this. You have more than likely had someone in your life who impacted you in that same way. So, I know it’s hard, but when we think of these experiences, please be thankful. It hurts because it was so good. Be thankful because not everyone has experienced that type of love, that type of devotion. 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Celebrating Milestones and Team Success


And so in the loss of that, it hurts so bad because it was so great. So, let’s be thankful that it was that great. Okay. So I think we need to shift some gears, or I’m really gonna start to lose. So, let’s think about your team. How many of them are new, and how many of them have been with you for two years or more? There’s a lot of things to that. Be thankful that you’re attracting such great new talent, and be thankful that your team, those who have been with you for two years or more, that they’ve stayed, because that says something about your culture, that says something about your team, that says something about you. 


And that’s amazing. Think about the revenue and how amazing and awesome the opportunity is that you’re still here, and maybe during the last two years or the last three years or whatever time period you want to look at that you’ve grown. Let’s say you’ve been in business for five-plus years. Now, you’re in business despite or in spite of the odds. Let’s say you’ve been in business now for ten years. You’re in business in spite of the odds; when so many businesses, such a high percentage fail, you’re still here now, do we always look for improvements? Of course, wouldn’t it be awesome if every single year revenue was going up? 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Recognizing Opportunities and Audience Appreciation


How to cultivate gratitude? Sure. But the reality is that your having this opportunity to serve your clients is something that absolutely, without a doubt, to be thankful for, can we make improvements? Sure. Are there always going to be missed opportunities? Yup. And I guarantee you, no matter what your goal was for 2021 revenue, you will always think, I bet we could have maybe done this one other thing and done even better. And then, in the end, guess what? None of it matters, lasting impact, changing the hearts and minds being good. 


How to cultivate gratitude — That matters. Got an idea for a book. Be thankful for that. Did you get onstage this year? Like, did somebody invite you to speak in front of their audience? Be thankful for that. Is your audience growing? There are people out there who love you enough, who think about you with such esteem that they want to be in your audience. What a gift, what an incredibly awesome gift that is that they are saying that they’re voting with their email address or voting with their subscription to your podcast or reading your blog or emails or whatever that you matter to them, that you are helpful to them. 


I got an email over the weekend from somebody who had just recently read profitable podcasting and said, gosh, I have this show, and I read your book. And I learned some new things about how to change this or that. And I’m grateful for that. He then asked me a couple of things about systems. Hey, is this still the thing that you use? What an amazing, awesome, incredible gift that email was. And so when you have an audience, and I know that it’s really easy to sit down and kind of quote, unquote, evaluate the audience by how much the audience has grown this month, over the last month, I get the whole vital metrics thing. 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Facing Challenges with Gratitude


How to cultivate gratitude — We look at those two because they’re good leading indicators of how helpful we are being. So I’m not saying that you should take the numbers out of it, please. Don’t misunderstand. I mean, I named predictive ROI our business. I named it that for a reason, I think we should be able to look at metrics and put some predictives in place and all of that. That’s just being good at business, but there’s more to it than that. So, to think of that, your audience is growing, albeit maybe slower than you would like for it to grow over time. The fact that it is growing and more and more people are stepping in saying, yeah, he or she has something really interesting to say. 


I think I want to subscribe to their YouTube channel or to their podcast, or I’m going to pick up their latest copy of their book. What an amazing gift that is. All right. So let’s think about problems. Did you experience any problems this year? I know we did a predictive; we experienced challenges all the time. So, did you experience any problems this year? Any challenges, any obstacles that at the time seemed insurmountable? I know you did not; it is not being human or not being a business owner. 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Embracing the Silver Lining


How to cultivate gratitude — So, for every single challenge and every single obstacle, what a gift because now you know what to fix. So, my point with all of this and no matter how bad it is inside our business, no matter how many challenges we have, no matter what those challenges are in recognizing that when something bad happens, that is difficult as it defines the silver lining. It truly is there as painful as it is because we’re sitting in grief and pain and loss, and whatever emotions that we’re feeling at the time in pleased and not misunderstood. 


I’m not suggesting that you don’t honor those things or that this is some sort of Spartan mentality where we’re not emotional. We don’t let things affect us, and we don’t feel the weight of anything; we just shield it and shed it. We get on with the mission, the purpose, the drive, the war that this all is in you. I’m sure you can hear the sarcasm in my voice. I’m not saying that at all. Grief is hard. Loss is hard. What I am saying is that through that, and part of the recovery of that, is to actually be thankful for the things that have made that so hard. 


If something happens in your business and it really hurts, it means that it really meant something to you. A client relationship really meant something to you. A relationship with a teammate really meant something to you. There is much to be thankful for in the depth of what that meant. And so, as I think about holy bananas, this is the final episode of Onward Nation. I’m emotional about that. Why? Because the last six years mattered, are there some people who host a show and stop a show and start a new show and change the different show format, or go from one thing to the other thing? 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: Gratitude in Transition


How to cultivate gratitude? It never seemingly matters. Yeah. Yeah. I’m not that way. So, I am super excited about the Sell with Authority podcast. I think it’s going to be awesome, really awesome, and incredibly helpful, but saying goodbye today in this final episode of Onward Nation, which I hope is a bridge into the new one, is really hard because it’s been six amazing years and has been 1,032 episodes. And I am grateful for that. 


I’m grateful that it’s hard because when it’s hard, it really signifies how much it is, whatever it is in this case, the relationship that you and I have, it’s hard, and there’s depth to it. And that it matters. So when you think about, as you step into 2022, all of the challenges, obstacles, new things, the things that you want to do differently, let’s also remember to give thanks for the challenges, problems, and all of that actually helped you paint the picture of what goals that you want to accomplish in 2022. 


How to cultivate gratitude — There’s a direct correlation, as Sir Isaac Newton said, and as Napoleon Hill wrote, and probably also said too, that when we experience that, it gives us the foundation to see what’s next. And for that, I’m incredibly thankful. So, I’m also thankful for your time. So, as we bring this in for a landing here, if you’ve been listening to the show for a while now, you know that I close each episode by acknowledging the fact that we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day. 


Learn more about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Cultivate Gratitude: A Thanksgiving Message


And so I am thankful that you chose to share some of your precious time, the time that you will never get back, that you shared with me. So, I wish you, your family, and your team a very happy Thanksgiving. And I look forward to you joining me on Wednesday, January 5th, 2022, for the launch of the Sell with Authority podcast. And my hope is that something in our conversation today, just you and me walking down this path of thankfulness, that my hope is that there was something in this conversation that impacted you, that made you think there were a couple of aha moments, some golden nuggets, as we like to say here, predictive that helped you think about something in a different way in a different light gave you a perspective that as you step into celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, that we not only celebrate in our thankful for the easy things, the great things, the dinner on the table, the family members sitting around the family members that had distanced that may we connect with through zoom or whatever today that we’re not just thankful for the obvious things. 


And we should be thankful for those things, but we’re also thankful for the struggle, the challenge, the pain, and the relationships that we no longer have the privilege and blessing to be able to pick up the phone and call those people. Let’s also be thankful for all of that because all of it makes you this amazing, awesome, incredible, wonderful, beautiful business owner that you are and person, all of the good and the bad, all of the lovely, amazing things that you accomplish every single day and all of the stuff that makes you just want to bend a knee at the end of the day and say, oh, seriously, how can I do more of this? 


All of that deserves to be thankful, or we deserve to be thankful for all of those things. So, I am grateful for a portion of your 86,400 seconds today. Thank you again for choosing to share some of your precious time with me. It means a lot to me, and I’m grateful for that. So, happy Thanksgiving. And I look forward to being with you on January 5th; between now and then, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I will see you or hope you’re listening to me on January 5th until then onward with Gusto. 


This episode is complete. So head over to for show notes and more food to fuel your ambition; continue to find your recipe for success here at Onward Nation.


Improve your insights about how to cultivate gratitude by tuning in to this podcast: Positive Attitude in Business, with Jon Gordon

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