Of course Thanksgiving has a bit of a dark side to it (historically speaking), but while I used to eschew the holiday (or, at least, do so on an internal and philosophical level) it’s become a important day for me in the past decade or so. I’ve been fortunate enough to consistently spend my Thanksgivings with friends, family, or sometimes both and, in addition to the happiness that those gatherings bring into my life, I’ve really come to enjoy using the day to reflect on what I have and practice gratitude. Fortunately, I fell into a habit of doing this type of reflection on a fairly regular basis (must me my old age) but Thanksgiving remains the quintessential time for it.
So I’m using today’s blog post to reflect on what I’m thankful for. My most lucid thinking always results from typing into a computer, so it seems like a good idea.
It’s worth noting that I’m viewing this mostly through my “business and marketing” lens, so there won’t be a ton of, “I’m thankful for my wonderful wife!” (though I certainly am).
I’m thankful for:
- Having an awesome marriage. I can’t not mention that. Having a great marriage with an incredibly supportive partner makes the second item below, UpBuild, possible. At Thanksgiving last year, the initial results of the UpBuild experiment were still very much inconclusive. Having an off month in the business could have been personally catastrophic and I was a stress case much (most) of the time. Having my wife’s constant support and faith in what I was trying to do allowed me to forge ahead, and still does to this day.
- UpBuild. I can’t possibly overstate how thankful I am to have been able to bootstrap my own company and to see it continue to be successful. Even now, I’ll have this unbidden thought pop into my head a few times a month that suddenly it’s all going to fall apart and an old boss of mine is going to be there saying, “I told ya you weren’t cut out for business. You can’t just (let you team vote on clients|not have an office|turn down business from companies you don’t want to work with|tell AP that Net 15 terms is a non-negotiable|do sales|work whenever you want). But here we are, approaching our 2nd anniversary. We’re a team of six now with 14 hand-selected clients. In 2016, our first full fiscal year, we’ll do half a million in revenue and already offer more team member benefits than the last company I worked for. It still stuns me that in May 2015, I started with vision of what my ideal company would look like (one that I’d want to work for now and in 20 years) and I’ve been able to consistently build that and uncompromisingly stick to the vision.
- The UpBuild Team. This may seem redundant, but the team at UpBuild absolutely deserves dedicated thanks. I’ve been incredibly lucky to hire a team of complete rock stars and I’m in awe of them every day.
- Lifestyle optimization. I’m thankful to be building the life I want to live and to have the freedom to experiment and find what activities and what schedule works best for me. For the past few months, I’ve been in an awesome groove where I get up early everyday (around 6am), walk the dogs, meditate, work for a few hours before checking emails, collaborate with my team as needed and take phone calls, finish up with email and log off before 4pm, go do something outside, cook dinner with my wife, and go to sleep before 10pm. It’s amazing.
- Not having to work on Black Friday. Having worked Best Buy Black Friday before, it feels awesome to not have to leave the house or work today.
- Being better off than I ever could have hoped to be. Seriously. This list could go on and on. Suffice it to say, I lead an incredibly privileged life and none of the problems I have or the challenges I face are insurmountable. My privilege, both acknowledged and unacknowledged, gives me a ridiculous advantage in most things and I can’t take that for granted.
There’s a great deal to be thankful for.