There are many facets of thankfulness. There’s the “why” we should be thankful, the “how” to show gratitude, the history of the holiday, the personal story of what gratitude means to me, or the less common method, using a negative to drive the point home.
But I dismissed all of those and decided instead to write about something that may be slightly controversial, but will offer a different flavor than most of the other stories published around this time.
Pat yourself on the back!
If you’ve started a business, then you are in a special club that the majority of people on this planet do not belong to. Of course the club gets more exclusive if you meet extra qualifiers such as, your business was successful, you sold your business and made a lucrative exit, you’ve started more than one business, etc.
So why don’t more people try being an entrepreneur? The answer: Starting a business is hard work. Yes, that is wildly oversimplified, but it’s true. The commitment and risk required of entrepreneurs to launch a business is daunting and a bad fit for most people, for a variety of reasons, but the truth remains that launching a business is an incredible investment of time and resources and it’s only by your own consistent efforts that success can be achieved. So take a minute today to look at what you’ve accomplished and feel proud of what your efforts have built and produced.
Of course, no man is an island unto himself.
You have suppliers, and if they suddenly disappeared, you would have to immediately find replacements or it’s likely you’d have to close. There are the shipping companies that bring equipment to you and deliver your products to your customers. There are software and tech companies that help design systems to make your processes run smoother, such as accounting, ordering and inventory and communications. You have employees who believe in your vision and support the company, its mission, and care about its future. So you can be thankful that other people do their job, so that you can accomplish the job you’ve chosen to do.
Ultimately, being a business owner is a thankless job
There are always problems to contend with in order to make a business appear to run seamlessly. A woman gets up extra early to go out into the cold and shovel her storefront entrance free of snow. Hours of sleep are lost as a man tries to troubleshoot an error coming from the checkout page on his website. Customers expect a walkway to be clear of ice and their online purchases to go smoothly or else they’ll take their dollars elsewhere. They will always take you for granted, and when things do go wrong, (mostly likely something out of your control), you will not only have to drop everything to promptly fix it, but you’ll also have to respond to customer complaints over the matter. Being the boss is a tough, thankless job, so why do you do it?
It’s not about the recognition
You may have many reasons for why you started a business, but mostly likely it’s NOT for the reason of being put on pedestal while people sing praises to your name. Sure it’s nice to feel appreciated but when the compliments are few and far between, how do you keep your chin up and find the resolve to keep going?
May I suggest you remember:
- why you started the company in the first place
- the amazing journey you’ve taken to get to the point that you are today,
- to appreciate the things you’ve learned about yourself that you’d never have known otherwise,
- to recognize the people who have stood by you and those who have offered a helping hand along your journey
You are alive and achieving a dream, and contained within those two things are a lot to be thankful for.