gratitude and reflections
Starting your own business and trying to succeed in a world of successful and determined entrepreneurs is often a daunting task. There’s a lot of people out there who are good at what they do and good at what you do and a lot who are trying to be good at what you also do at the same time as you are trying to. You keeping up with me here?
What I’m saying is that diving into a business head first can be full of competition. But what I’m thankful for in this realm is the friendship of those around you who want you to succeed (even if they also have their nose to the grindstone looking for a breakthrough or maybe just more of the success they’ve already had).
It’s important to keep in mind that no one owes you anything. So the people that go out of their way to help you succeed and keep your head above water are worth cherishing a little extra. Those people who want to see you succeed are going to be the same people celebrating with you when you do and, trust me, work is a lot more fun when there’s people to celebrate with when good things happen.
These are people who maybe have gone through some hardship already and will have answers when you inevitably go through it as well. Or at the very least can commiserate with you because they know how it feels. These are the people who see the potential in you because they were once where you were: putting in way too many hours and wondering when the heck it would finally feel like it’s paying off.
So these are the people I’m thankful for. The ones who grab coffee with you because they want to know how business is going. The ones who share the blueprint for their budget plan because they think you can benefit from a similar template. The ones who say “your time will come, I know it will”. Because it will, if not soon, eventually.
I've often felt that the word 'gratitude' gets tossed around recklessly. Much like other power words 'passion' and 'hard worker', 'gratitude' is a word that still barely captures the entirety of its meaning. It doesn't quite encapsulate all of the emotions or sentiments behind it, especially during this time of year when we are all expected to discuss our 'gratitude' for something .
To me, rather than saying I'm grateful for all of the seemingly successes of life, I want to take a moment and celebrate my gratefulness for the failures--replacing the word grateful/gratitude with another descriptor to help convey all the feelings that have built my gratitude this year.
For losing my job, I'm grateful proud of my ability to look out for myself and find support in my business partners and this company.
For mental health, my gratitude strength continues to grow as I continue to grow and learn more about my own resilience and coping mechanisms. The falters, the backwards steps have all helped empower my mind and confidence into risk taking and moving forward in new business and new passions.
For temper tantrums, sleepless nights and poopy butts I am NOT grateful -- just kidding. Those tough moments, like every tough parent moment, have reminded me to be in the moment. To take a step back and breathe. To communicate effectively with your kids, and to have some fun as often as you can. Fun that I find in both the work/life balance I am FINALLY creating here at new voice and beyond.
So yes, I'm grateful, but I am so much more than that word could ever describe, too.
It never fails, for the past five years, right round this time of year, I think about this picture that was taken of me holding my then 1-week-old daughter at Thanksgiving. The photo shows me looking down at her and I am instantly taken back to that moment, recalling this sense of calm and gratitude within me. She napped in my arms while others were scurrying around cooking, chasing cousins, or talking about the latest big news.
But me? I was lost in my newborn's face. I thought it wasn't possible to be more grateful for that moment.
Now, five years later, I have changed jobs twice, added another kid to the family, launched podcasts, videos, and a company. So much has changed, but also so much is still the same. I still try to horde the midwest sushi plate, do the best I can to carve the turkey that is way too big for our family, and watch my kids experience the world one step at a time.
Those are goosebump moments that I live for. Those are the feelings that mean a lot to me.
This year, I am thankful for my amazing partnership through new voice studios with Jessi and Alexis as we try to take this thing to another level.
I am thankful for all of our supporters and community who have rallied around us.
I'm thankful for my wife and my kids and family.
I am thankful for you reading this.
May you take some time and find that sense of calm and gratitude this holiday.