Generosity as a Small Business Owner: Three Easy Ways to Be Generous in the Workplace

Aisle Planner Ways to be Generous
Photo courtesy Ale Vidal

This month, we’re all about being generous. So, today, we wanted to touch on generosity as a small business owner. As we talked about in November’s wallpaper download, we’ll be focusing our efforts this month on unchartered waters when it comes to generosity. Rather than looking at generosity from a monetary or philanthropic standpoint, we want to talk about giving back in easily accessible, everyday ways—ways that are always readily available to you if you know to look for them. As you work your way through November, then, we challenge you to implement the three following touch-points into your everyday work. By being generous with your reactions, your time and your ideas, you’ll:

Be Generous With Your Reactions

Oftentimes, workplace woes keep us from being the best version of ourselves. Vendors missing deadlines, clients forgetting to fulfill their responsibilities and other unpleasant situations cause us stress and, in turn, keep us from being the boss, coworker and small business owner we strive to be.

As any planner knows, the only thing we truly have control over as small business owners are our own reactions. So, throughout November, we challenge you to be generous with your reactions in the workplace. This means a few things: First it means giving the culprit (i.e. that intern who forgot to print timelines for your client meeting) the benefit of the doubt. Second, it means allowing yourself time to process before reacting. And, third, it means being more pleasant in our reaction than we believe ourselves capable of being.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean we allow others to continually drop the ball or allow ourselves to get walked all over. As is the case with anything in life, it’s about striking a happy medium. We can remain firm while still being generous with our reactions. As you start to internalize this mindset and practice generosity in your responses and reactions, you’ll realize that you (and your constant quest for sanity amongst the chaos) benefit just as much, if not more so, than those you are reacting to.

Be Generous With Your Time

As any planner knows, time is our most precious commodity. Oftentimes, we have to dedicate time to our clients’ weddings above all else—allowing us little, if any, time to connect with our employees or sit down and assess our business.

Though it may be difficult (ok, nearly impossible), we have to devote time to the non-client-facing side of our business. This might mean taking our employees out for a cup of coffee and simply chatting about the workplace. This might mean, rather than writing off an coworker after they’ve made one too many mistakes, taking the time to sit down with them and hear them out. Or, it might simply mean carving out some time each month where you assess your business goals and your progress toward those goals.

As a leader, being generous with our time is one of the most effective ways we can give back to our team. It shows our employees that they are indeed a priority. Think back to a time when you were first starting out in the workplace and desperately needed to chat with your employer but, instead, she or he brushed you off. Think about the difference it would have made to you had they been generous with their time.

Be Generous With Your Ideas

Lastly, we encourage you this month to be generous with your ideas. We tend to keep our ideas to ourselves until they’re fully fleshed out or until we know they’re worth something—and there’s something to be said for that mindset. There’s also something to be said, however, for sharing ideas as they come to you—however half-baked they may be.

Trusting your team to help you flesh out a design idea you had or to help you finish your creative thought will help to both solidify your role as a leader and bring the team closer. We all want to know what others are thinking. We all have half-baked ideas we’re dying to share but keep to ourselves for fear of being shut down. Break that cycle by spending your November focusing on generosity with your ideas. Allow others in on your thought process, your brainstorming sessions, etc. This will benefit both you and your team by strengthening your creative bond and enhancing the trust you have in one another.


Overall, generosity in the workplace can mean so much more than monetary generosity. As leaders of our team, it’s so important to be generous with our reactions, our time and our ideas. These three paths to generosity are accessible to absolutely any planner—regardless of the size of your business or how profitable you may be—and each provides countless benefits to you, your business and your loyal team.

About the Author

Gillian Griffith
Gillian Griffith

Gillian knows there’s nothing as deadly as a woman with good grammar, great nails and a strong backhand (think: tennis). She is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, where she spends the sunny days with her family, her Louisiana Catahoula pup and, her ultimate love, a 1939 typewriter.

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