Giving Thanks and Moving Forward

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays!

I remember back to when I was a child and we’d spend the day at my grandparents house. When we’d walk in the front door, the aroma of turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie filled the air. I was always SO excited to get there.

Then, I would help my grandma in the kitchen. Usually she’d give me a task like preparing the salad (or something equally as “kid-friendly”). I’d help set the table with the fine china and I’d always sit in the same spot – right in front of the fireplace.

While the adults had their favorite cocktails, I had my orange juice with grenadine cherries inside my mom’s Shirley Temple glass or a German Beer stein!

But there’s something more significant than the memories of my grandparents and the time spent with family during holidays like Thanksgiving and that’s how the people in your lives impact you and your choices in the future.

You see… for as long as I could remember, my grandparents were in business for themselves. Til the day they died, they continued to believe in a person’s word and the value of a handshake. They were creative and visionaries to say the least and they were smart business people, but unfortunately, the world had changed during those years they were in business for themselves.

So, fast forward 20 years into the future to when I got serious about my own business and decided that I was actually going to build a business and not go after that “next big thing” all the time.

I looked back at the lessons I’d learn and I remember thinking when my grandparent’s passed away that they’d have lived many more years if they did not have the stress in their lives from deals gone bad, from financial challenges, and from not being able to relax. I said that I was going to build my businesses to protect myself from the “stress” I’d watched them suffer from for years.

Yet, up until about a year ago, I was doing exactly the same thing in so many ways!

I was not building a BUSINESS. Sure, I was making a lot of money, but I didn’t have something I could truly walk away from… that I could sell and start something new from scratch! I was tied to everything I did…

So as we’re doing our planning for the new year, I’m reflecting back on some of those very same things and looking at what’s important in life and in business.

Here are the 10 things we’re sticking to as we move forward with all of our changes and our new businesses that are getting off the ground.

  1. Do business only with people that you trust with a handshake (and back it up with a written agreement to protect you both).
  2. Put systems in place that you can monitor and manage.
  3. When you no longer enjoy what you’re doing, it’s time to change what you’re doing.
  4. Think in terms of selling the business. Dream It. Build It. Grow It. Systematize It. And Sell It!
  5. Put relationships first, let the business follow.
  6. Lead with integrity. Let the profits follow.
  7. Focus on the next steps. Don’t look back at what could’ve, should’ve, or would’ve.

And first and foremost… remember to have fun and keep the vision in front of you. Every day, you should be thankful for the business that you have… for the opportunity to build a business… and for the freedoms afforded to us.

Don’t take them for granted and take a few moments to give thanks to people in your life that have affected you and helped you get to where you are now. (Even if it’s not where you wanted to be… it’s the starting point for the next phase in your life and in your business).

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