In lieu of my usual Q & A post today, I decided to write about what I’m thankful for. No matter your stance on Thanksgiving and its marred history—or maybe you don’t even live in the US—it’s never a bad thing to spend a day thinking about what you are thankful for.
This exercise is more for my benefit than anything else. I want to internalize my appreciation for the people that are important to me, and writing does that for me. Perhaps when you are done reading my top six, you can write your top six in the comments below.
#1: My Wife
Everything starts here for me. I’ve been married for just about a year and half, and it has been the most rewarding and energizing experience in my life so far. Building a life with someone that I love so deeply is amazing. I am thankful that my wife came into my life.
Coincidentally, I met her through web design. I actually pitched Colorado Ballet, where she worked, and they ended up hiring us. I had no idea that I was actually pitching my future wife.
#2: My Family
When I decided that I would work for myself instead of getting a real job, my parents supported me. They gave me encouragement to keep going, keep working, and never give up. My parents always made sure I could head home for the holidays to get away from the grind and find some peace at their house.
I’m so thankful that my family was able to give me a foundation to create my own enterprise. The older I get, the more and more I realize how integral family is in providing a positive structure of support. I hope that I can provide the same structure for my children one day.
#3: My Team
The uGurus team has become an extension of my family. I spend so much time with them—and everyone is awesome. Over the last year, I have been working to remove more and more official structure from our business. I have encouraged remote work, fostered self-management, and created space for people to succeed. The result has been everyone working ten times harder than before.
I’m thankful that my team has invested so much of their time, creativity, and energy into our vision. I’m thankful that they bring can do attitudes to work every day.
#4: My Mentors & Comrades
Over the past thirteen years of entrepreneurship, I have developed a fantastic network of mentors, advisers, and trusted peers. From one-on-one coaching sessions over coffee, a quick question via email at 2 am, or afternoons sharing victories and challenges over extended lunches, my network continues to give back in ways I never expected. I guess it’s the difference between networking and being networked.
I’m thankful for all of those that have ever taken the time to answer a question, give advice, or share an experience. You know who you are, and I am forever indebted to you.
#5: My Community
Denver rocks. I was just at an “open coffee club” meeting this morning that meets every other week. Next week I’m attending a seminar on early stage valuation for startups. This community is always presenting the unexpected to me. It’s like there are people sitting in a back room discussing how to make it easier to meet great people and have a good time in Denver.
I have met lots of local politicians and civic-workers, and they are all fantastic. Just this morning there was a state employee at our meetup asking our group how they could support small businesses in finding great talent. Well done, Denver. Thanks for all you do for my life.
(Although I could have done without the street sweeping ticket this morning… 🙂
#6: My Customers
Yep, you too. Since launching my first online community in 2010, I have met some incredibly amazing people. Everyday I get contacted by interesting and new people. I could never have expected that I would get multi-page personal stories of struggle and achievement when I started this venture.
I’m especially thankful for those that have stuck around since the beginning. There are some people that I have met around the world that I have been lucky enough to forge strong business and personal connections with. I’ve enjoyed the many email, support tickets, and Skype calls at all hours.
I want you all to know that you’ve helped my growth as much as I’ve hopefully helped yours. Thanks for being so great.
Don’t Be Scared
I sometimes feel a little mushy telling people how thankful I am for the role they play in my life. But today I’m taking off the armor. I want the world to know how I feel about them, and why they are so important.
Thank you. You all mean so much to me.
So there you have it, what I give thanks to. Now it’s your turn. What six things are you thankful for?
Write them below in the comments.
But don’t stop there. Make sure you tell all six people how much you care. Pass it on.