12/06/2013 07:19 pm ET | Updated Feb 05, 2014

Gratitude as a Business Strategy

My first attempt at being an entrepreneur failed, despite the hard effort I put into it. It failed first because even though I was a pretty good businesswoman - I knew nothing about marketing. Because I didn't know marketing, more specifically Internet marketing, I couldn't reach enough people. Because I couldn't reach enough people - I couldn't make enough sales.

Second reason my business failed was because I had no plan or structure. I was on the proverbial hamster wheel working myself to death day after day but I was staying in the same place. I was going nowhere.

I had to get it together fast or go back to the cube. It was go time.

I created a new business idea, dove in, and learned marketing. I then came up with a 10-step structure to keep me in check.

I was a few months into my second venture and things were going okay. I was so controlled by fear of failure that it was hard for me to be clear-headed and make good decisions.

On a day that I needed a mental break I decided to go out and enjoy one of my favorite past times. I love to visit thrift stores and look for books (I love the smell of old books.) I especially love to look for old cookbooks. That day I found a very misplaced book in the cookbook section; it was a book about the law of attraction. Intrigued I flipped through some of the pages, and then decided to bring it home with me.

Admittedly, I didn't exactly buy-in to the whole idea of the law of attraction, at least how it was represented in the book anyway. I did know about the power of mindset, and I also knew that I wasn't exactly in the greatest place mentally. One section in particular that got my attention was about gratitude.

The way it worked was, first you decided what you wanted to manifest or what you wanted to happen. Then you came up with a plan to work toward that goal. Every morning however, before you do anything else, the book instructed that you write down everything you're thankful for.

This made me realize that I wasn't taking time out to be thankful for my family, my health, friends and just all the wonderful things in my life.

I was in a place in my business that I had to prove to myself that I could actually make money. Quite frankly I had to convince my husband as well. I decided it was time for a challenge - a benchmark. It was time to get serious.

I decided that I would set a financial goal. I would make $10,000 in 30 days. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but I had never made more than a thousand or so in a month in my business. I was scared to death! I also decided I needed a witness - someone to hold me accountable, so I told my husband my intentions.

It was around the 1st of November and my birthday was December 6th so I decided to wait a couple of days to launch. Wouldn't it be something amazing to celebrate on my birthday if I made my goal?

So on November 6th I set my goal of $10,000. I wrote it in big red letters on my dry erase board that hung right over my computer.

Every morning I woke up and wrote down all the things I was thankful for. This exercise alone was very impactful for me. It took me out of my negative mindset and helped me start the day feeling happy and capable.

Then I focused on the goal and all the things I knew that it took to make the money I needed. I developed a strategic and full-blown effort toward creating business. Every time I made a sale, I would subtract it from the $10K.

On December 6th, I didn't actually make $10,000 but I did make $8,700. Which was more money than I had ever made in my very own business in one month before. More importantly, I proved to myself that I was capable of making money in my own business endeavor. I just needed structure. I had to focus. The goal was exactly what I needed.

Two years have passed since then and while I'm no longer a stranger to great revenue months, I continue to start my days with gratitude.

I believe with all my heart that beginning my day with gratitude creates a mindset that is poised for great success. I encourage you to try it!