“Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier” … “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain” … “The Business Impact of Gratitude.” We’ve all seen the headlines about the positive impacts of showing gratitude, and in my gut, I know them to be true. So as another unpredictable and interesting year ends, I thought I’d take time to reflect on—for the benefit of my mental health—what I’m grateful for as a small business owner.
Owning my own business has been, in many ways, a dream come true. I love the freedom and even the responsibility that come with owning a business. It’s a real gift to do what I want to be doing while making a living at it.
If I had to pinpoint one thing that stands out about owning my own business, I’d say I’m most grateful for the opportunity to determine how work gets done—and in my case as a consultant, for whom that work gets done. There are many jobs out there that offer flexible schedules these days, but it’s the freedom to design what my company does, how we do it, and who we do it with and for, that keeps me motivated to press on when the going gets tough.
I am also very grateful for all of the many people—peers, mentors, colleagues—who often don’t even know just how instrumental they are in my success. Let’s face it … it’s impossible for any small business owner to do this alone. Not only is there simply too much for any one person to know; it’s also both difficult and dangerous to make major business decisions without considering the issue from multiple viewpoints. So I rely heavily on the expertise and perspectives of numerous people in my personal and professional networks. I am forever grateful for the chance to learn from their wisdom, share in their enthusiasm, and soak up their encouragement.
I couldn’t do any of the work I derive so much fulfillment from without the amazing clients with whom I work. My clients are small business owners who believe in their vision and who believe that I can help them improve. Committing to examining the business through a critical lens, getting things on track, or even doing a little soul-searching is never easy—particularly when it’s about the business they’ve worked so hard to build. Yet, my clients trust that the outcome is going to be worth it and, equally important, trust me to help them work through the hard stuff to achieve their goals.
I’ve also had the privilege to work with some wonderful employees, who bring a special perspective and keep me from having conversations only with myself. I am so grateful to those staff who have believed in the vision of Dunathan Consulting and have put their faith in me to make it happen. I’m still in touch with (and get great advice from) some past staff members, and I literally couldn’t do what I do without my current staff!
In closing, I recently had the opportunity to attend a local meeting of small business owners, where the discussion topic was how to show gratitude to clients, customers, and employees in meaningful ways. The discussion focused on the need to make it personal, to show that you put some time and thought into it, and to share the specific reasons you are grateful for that person. I hope I’ve modeled that behavior here and trust that what I shared resonates with readers. I wish everyone a successful year end and hope you are anticipating a great new year!