When we think about November, we generally think about fall leaves, pumpkin spice, and gratitude – we even have a national holiday centered on being thankful. But is November the only time you focus on gratitude?
According to a Harvard.edu article Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier, “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.” Seems obvious, but is there a certain way we need to express gratitude to reap the benefits? Not really. Saying “thank you” to those that we appreciate, writing a daily gratitude list or simply reflecting on what we are thankful for are all ways we can reap the benefits of being happier. So, if you are like me, we must ask ourselves why do we only focus on gratitude once a year?
As business owners, we are often focused on the needs of our clients, the needs of our business and somewhere down the line we may address our own needs. If we are aiming to be happier, shouldn’t we make out our happiness higher on the list and focus more on gratitude year-round?
I’d like to start by sharing the Top 4 things I am grateful for, and you may find that many of them resonate with you as well.
Grateful for the freedom of being a business owner
Throughout this year I have shared how being a business owner has allowed me to have freedom. Freedom to work from anywhere, freedom to be with my family more and freedom to pursue what makes me happy. For you, it may be other types of freedom, like financial freedom or freedom to really chase your passion. Yes, of course, being a business owner can be stressful and it requires working long hours and a lot of commitment, but having the ability to chase your dreams is worth the work.
Grateful for my support team
Freedom as a business owner does not come automatically. You have to build a support team that you trust. This is the team that helps you grow your business, that supports you and keeps your business running smoothly, even when you are not physically there. For some business owners, it may be your partner, officer manager, assistant, or all of the above. For me, it is my CPA and marketing contractor. With their support, I can focus on what I love doing – helping my clients with the accounting support they need to keep their businesses running smoothly.
Grateful for my clients
I love the work that I do and as an accountant/bookkeeper, I work closely with my clients on intimate and detailed information about their company. We generally form a tight working relationship and get to know each other beyond the standard working relationship. As a business owner, client relationships are important. Owning my company allows me to form deeper relationships with my clients and we see each other as people, not transactions. Recently, I took time off to attend my son’s wedding and when I returned, my clients asked about how the wedding went and were genuinely interested. This small gesture reinforced how much I appreciate the relationships we have developed, as life is about more than business.
Grateful for my family
Everyone needs a personal cheer squad and for me that is my family. For some people, it’s your birth family, for others, it’s a family they created through friendships. Let’s not forget about pets, either. Personally, my dogs are so happy to see me every day and I love being greeted with such enthusiasm! Regardless of how you define your family, this is the group that always has your back and encourages you to keep moving forward. I am eternally grateful for mine.
*Bonus Item* – Self-Gratitude
This really should be at the top of the list, but so many people forget to be grateful for themselves. It even sounds odd, doesn’t it? Even though we may have the best teams supporting us and families cheering us on, we are still to make the final decision to move forward. Have you ever taken a moment to look back on all that you have done (or haven’t done) and really appreciated your journey? Everything in your life has brought you to where you are now. It might be time to thank yourself.
Yes, November is here, and gratitude (and pumpkin spice) are in the air. I hope you have a lot to be grateful for, but my bigger wish is that you are able to take that feeling of gratitude with you into the New Year and beyond. That will certainly be my goal!