Gap, Gain & Gratitude


Gap, Gain & Gratitude: a Holiday Message by Randy Haykin

During the past several months I’ve been sharing a book called The Gap and the Gain (by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Ben Hardy) with many friends and leaders globally.

The book discusses “Gap” mentality as a state of mind in which we are measuring your thoughts, desires and goals against an ideal future state…and sometimes making ourselves frustrated, anxious or even depressed about outcomes that don’t feel within our reach. Gap mentality causes us to compare ourselves to others and notice what we HAVE NOT achieved – “glass half-empty” thinking. Most of us mortals have been guilty of this mindset choice at one time or another.

By contrast, GAIN mentality is focused on where we’ve come from and what we’ve gained since starting our journey. Gain thinkers are constantly thinking about the blessings all around them, and what they DO HAVE – a “glass half-full”. Gain thinkers notice small GIFTS and translate them into large GAINS.

In the context of the Gratitude Network, I sometimes talk with prospective donors or supporters who wonder whether we are really making impact against a huge global need. After all, there are 2+ billion children in need throughout the world, and the Gratitude Network is only making an impact on 50 million of them… a drop in the bucket! (GAP Thinking!)

In contrast, I am quite proud of what Gratitude Network has accomplished in the past 10 years, as we’ve demonstrated gains with over 200 social impact organizations across more than 70 countries. Forty stellar executive coaches have volunteered their time this year to working with these organizations, which collectively impact ~50 million under-served children/youth and give them an “up-lift” on life.

One gain is in the quality of leadership of those coming out of our program, which ultimately translates to a gain in the number of children served globally. This has become a great LEVERAGE model for us that has allowed us to grow a network of very grateful supporters worldwide.

Another Gain from our model is more systemic: on average, three years following our gratitude fellowship program, alumni are reporting a 3X increase in the number of children/youth they are serving. If that leverage continues, and Gratitude Network works with another 500-1000 organizations in the coming years, there’s an opportunity to expand the number of children served by 100’s of millions.

What I love about GAIN thinking is that it seems induced by gratitude and thanksgiving. When we notice the small steps we’ve taken in life and stop to appreciate and give thanks to the gains that these small steps have given us, we are living in the Gain. If you’d like to join me in this gratitude, we’d love your support in continuing the work that we do – please see our “Giving Tuesday” and year-end Gratitude page here.

For this holiday season, I’m grateful for the entrepreneurs (and their teams) who have identified a social challenge somewhere in the world and decided to dedicate their lives to solving it. I’m grateful to the Gratitude Network team (today’s team and our past team members) for coming up with superb ways to serve these entrepreneurs. I’m grateful for the hundreds of supporters, Ambassadors, Coaches, and Advisory Council members who have embraced our mission as their own. And I’m grateful for our Board members who have taken to heart our desire to impact MORE children and are dedicated to helping Gratitude Network scale in the coming years.

Our network has recognized what some might consider to be a GAP…and turned it into a GAIN through GRATITUDE.

With love and respect,

Randy Haykin

Founder, Gratitude Network

*Randy Haykin (he/him/his) is a well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur, investor, and coach. Randy left a successful career as a serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist in 2013, when he created the Gratitude Network. Prior to that, he held early digital media leadership roles at Apple, was the founding Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Yahoo, and has worked closely with CEOs at more than 120 early- and mid-stage companies as an investor, advisor, mentor or coach. Randy has also taught courses at UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and at the University of Cambridge. In addition to running Gratitude Network today, Randy coaches several prominent for-profit CEOs. He holds a BA in Organizational Management from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard.