Am I smiling because I’m happy, or am I happy because I smile?

There is a wealth of psychological research, which suggests that happiness is, in many ways, an individual choice; that our outlook on life is driven as much by our internal decision-making as our external realities. In fact, Shawn Achor, the proponent of positive psychology, has shown through his research that there is a link between your own regular assertions of gratitude for things in your life, and your happiness levels.

So what’s all this got to do with sales or even with startups?

Consider Compile.

We are grateful to our earliest customers, who endured the temperamental behavior of our infantile product; they were patient when we learned to crawl, then walk, then run. We are grateful to those that cried “no mas” and asked us to return only when we were more mature: they provided us with the fuel to keep moving forward. We are of course forever grateful to those customers that never left our side and tirelessly encouraged us; they never lost faith in our concept and provided the endorphins (and much needed revenue) to the same end.

We are grateful for our most demanding customers, who pushed us hard to crisply define our product’s use case and shined a bright unforgiving light on every fumble, every failing, every imperfection along the way. How else could we have improved, how else would we have learned?

We are grateful for our prospects, even those that never responded to our outreach. They taught us the importance of focusing on the customer’s point of view - their needs, their context, the reasons they could consider other solutions. We are more persistent and focused sellers thanks to them.

We are grateful to those that became customers, but also to those who left us at the altar. They helped us hone our pitch so we could better articulate our product’s value proposition and demonstrate a clear, big and defensible RoI.

Finally, we are grateful for the readers who have started to pay a bit of attention to our content. Knowing that we’re not just whispering into the deafening great wall of sound, pushes us to think hard about creating content that’s relevant to our audience, to our potential and existing customers and partners. It also inspires our creativity.

We’re smiling. We feel better already, and so does our product.

What are the things you are grateful for? Let us know in the comments below.