Gratitude: What are You Thankful for in Your Business?

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It’s Thanksgiving week, which means it’s a good time to focus on the things in our lives that we’re grateful for. Owning and running a small business can sometimes be challenging or draining, but there are so many wonderful things about it that make the trials worthwhile.

I always try to remember to think on all the parts of running my own business that fill me with gratitude and appreciation for the work I do and the people I work with. Especially around holiday time, when the themes of thankfulness and love are so prevalent, I find it makes me happy to stop and consider everything I have to be thankful for. If you’re an exercise-driven person, doing something like daily gratitude journaling can be rewarding—writing down 3 things each day that made you smile or appreciate what you have in life. Even if you’re not into that, sitting quietly and reflecting on the things you have to be thankful for as a small business owner can be really rewarding and give you a refreshing boost of passion for your work to help tackle the busy holiday season. Here are just a few things we have to be grateful for in business:

The Freedom to Pursue Your Passion
Most people don’t get the kind of freedom at work that entrepreneurs and small business owners do. You started your business because you care about what you’re doing. You followed your heart or dreams and have been successful! How many people can say that they get to work each day on something as fulfilling as a business they started and care deeply about?

The Flexibility of Being Your Own Boss
You don’t have to work 9-to-5 each day, no exceptions. You may end up working weekends or evenings sometimes, but you aren’t living for the weekend and unhappy the rest of the week. You can move your schedule around to suit your workflow, productive hours, and the needs of your family. You can take breaks when you want, and choose what to work on each day. Owning your own business is one of the few lines of work in which you don’t have superiors breathing down your neck. You answer to yourself, first and foremost.

Working with Great Colleagues & Collaborators
No matter the size of your business, you probably work at least some of the time with other people. Whether you have a small team of part-time contractors or a small office of trusted employees, you’ve gotten to choose who works with you. Even if it’s just a single virtual assistant who takes on some of the time consuming tasks that every small business needs to do, I bet you appreciate the fact that you got to select someone who gets your business and works well with you. Most folks working for larger companies don’t get that freedom, and have to work alongside whoever their bosses hire, even if their work style or approach to handling projects are at odds.

The Small Business Community
Related to the previous point, if you collaborate with other small business owners, you know that all of you are passionate about what you do. You share a drive to succeed in your work and accomplish goals to the best of your ability. The virtual team members or one-off contractors you hire to work on parts of your business are often entrepreneurs or small business owners themselves. There’s an understanding built on common experience, and it can be a really positive experience to work with them.

All the Wonderful Clients You Have
Being a small business owner means you get to interact with all sorts of people, and get to know what makes them tick. You may not always see exactly eye-to-eye with all your clients, but the chance to work closely with someone who takes a totally different approach to life and business is informative, and something to appreciate. Plus, there are some amazing clients who you feel like you could be friends with if you’d met outside of a professional environment. Who knows, maybe you’ve even forged actual friendships with some?

Of course, this is but a short list of all the reasons to have gratitude as a small business owner. What have I missed that you’re thankful for? How do you like to recognize the people you work with and appreciate? I hope thinking on the things about your business that gratify you gives you the same kind of boost that it does for me! We could all work on appreciating the little things in life and work more. Enjoy yourself as the holidays roll in!

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