The One Word That Will Change The Way You Lead Jonathan Herrick Love isn’t a word that always mixes well with business. For many business leaders, what it brings to mind are office romances…that eventually lead to problems between employees when they end. But love—the non-romantic kind—can play an important role in your business. Here are four ways you can bring love to your business. Love what you do. Most entrepreneurs have started their business because they want to be their own boss, enjoy the control they have over their own schedule and in many cases, want to follow their passion. But over time, it’s easy to get burnt out and caught up in day-to-day pressures, forgetting about all of the good things running a business brings. So how do you rekindle the spark? Take time at the start of each day for a moment of gratitude, where you write down your three or four favorite aspects of running your business. Ask yourself what you love about it: Is the chance to work on what you’re best at? The freedom to go to yoga class at noon? The interesting people you meet every day? The chance to make a difference? Reminding yourself of all of the good things your business brings you on a regular basis can help keep your original passion going. Love your community. Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It’s part of a community – of customers, employees, professionals and contractors who help support you. Look for opportunities to show your appreciation to the community that makes your business possible as often as you can. Did a fellow business owner give you a great idea for a new service to offer? Why not invite him to lunch? Is there a customer who keeps referring business to you? Why not give her a small gift or free service the next time he comes in or? Do you run a brick-and-mortar business to which customers are flocking? Why not ask to take their photos and create a collage on the wall honoring the many people in the community who support your business? And, of course, consider your opportunities to support a nonprofit or give back to your community. It’s a great way to show your appreciation. Love the environment. Even if you don’t see yourself as running a “green” business, there are many opportunities in every business to show appreciation to Mother Nature. Take stock of your business this week to determine if you are doing all you can to protect Planet Earth. Are you fully set up to take advantage of the recycling program in your community—or are there are few more steps you could be taking, like adding a trash can for recyclables in your office? Have you opted for software that lets you go paperless more often, instead of printing out or copying lots of documents? Are your heating, cooling and refrigeration systems in good repair or do they need a tune-up to run more efficiently? Do you offer any work-from-home arrangements that employees can tap into to reduce their commuting time? Even taking one or two steps can make a difference. And in many cases, using resources like paper and energy more mindfully can save your business money, as well. Love your industry. “Love” and “industry” don’t sound like they belong in the same sentence. But many of us wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the community of companies that make up our industry—and the people within them. Most of us have had some help along the way from colleagues in our field who gave us advice or perhaps a trade association where we had a chance to attend events or classes. Take a moment to think about how you might give back to the industry you’ve come up in. Do you have valuable knowledge to share with others in your field as a thought leader? Are you ready to mentor a young professional in your field by joining a program that matches business people with mentees? Are there informal ways you can help others in your industry, such as offering to help someone who asked you for advice at a Meetup you attended? Looking for ways to pay it forward to colleagues is a great way to show you care. When others around you “feel the love,” you’ll create positive energy around your business—and that’ll fuel its growth in surprising ways.