With the Thanksgiving holiday wrapping up and the holiday season upon us, I am reminded of the things that small business owners and their employees have to be thankful for this year and every year. In no particular order:
Being in business: Needless to say, the economy has been tough the past few years, so it is no small feat that you have stayed in business. There is much honor in the hard work it takes to navigate these uncertain times. Your business pays the bills and feeds the family, and provides people with the goods and services that they need.
While there may be a few bumps in the road, I don't know any entrepreneur who would trade her gig in for a different one. We should be thankful for the opportunity to wake up each day and follow our dreams.
Our customers: Customer loyalty is almost an oxymoron these days, so to those customers who stay with us year in and year out, we should give them a big “Thank you!” If not for them, we would not get to live the entrepreneurial dream — in all its pain and glory.
Our staff: No one can do it all alone. We should be incredibly grateful for our people – those who buy into our plans and help carry them out. Whether it's a part-time virtual assistant or a staff of 50, employees make it all possible. We are thankful that they help us so much and that we can afford to keep them on. I bet most of us wish we could do even more for them.
Our family and friends: By the same token, it is practically impossible for an entrepreneur to create and run a business without the love and support of his family and friends. They put up with our long hours and listen to our crazy schemes. Tell them how much you appreciate it. If you’re like me, than the support of family and friends means more than they know.
Our partners: Whether it's a supplier who extended terms to make things easier this year, or the banker who said yes, we typically have an extended network of people for whom we are very thankful and lucky to know. They are the folks who help us stay in business, and for that we are grateful.
This great country: Yes, the election was grueling, but in the end, once again we had a peaceful and democratic resolution to who gets to wield power. And while there are
plenty of problems we need to solve, is there any other place you would rather live and run a business? Nope, me neither.
This is an incredible country, especially for entrepreneurs. I just heard a stat yesterday that said more foreign-born entrepreneurs choose to come to America to start their businesses than any other country. And we all know why:
- We are the land of the free and the home of the brave. That is, we allow people the opportunity to take a chance here, and succeed or fail of their own merits. We not only encourage entrepreneurial risk-taking, we celebrate it.
- We have a great history of entrepreneurship here. We love entrepreneurs. They are our modern-day rock stars.
So we are thankful that the American Dream applies to us all, no matter where we began.
Small businesses in this country have much to be grateful for. I know I do. Thank you so much for visiting our site and reading my column. A happy holiday season to you all. You make it possible.
What are you thankful for? Please share below.
About Steve Strauss
Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest,The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here.