As the current year draws to a close and the next one begins, most people get a little introspective—and entrepreneurs are no exception.
Every year has its ups and downs, and small business owners know that better than most. They also know it’s never a bad idea to take a pause and count your blessings.
In the fast-paced culture of business where competition and comparison are inevitable, I thought it would be a nice shift to ask entrepreneurs to tell me what they feel grateful for. I found that whether it’s a new space, growth for your business, or the love and support of family, there’s a lot of gratitude to go around.
We’re grateful for our readers, LivePlan users, and Bplans members out there every day starting and running amazing small businesses!
We love to hear and share your stories, so if you’ve got something you want the world to know you’re grateful for, tweet us @Bplans with the hashtag #gratefulbiz and tell us what you’re thankful for!
They’re thankful for: Reaching business goals
“This year I’m thankful that after months of searching, we were finally able to find, sign a lease for, and move into a space.
Landlords in NYC aren’t keen on very young businesses like ours so it was a long, annoying process.
But now it’s finally over and we’re able to start the next phase of our business teaching classes and having a community space for New York City quilters.”
― Ivete Tecedor of Gotham Quilts
“This year, I’m thankful that after a few years in business, sourcing products has gotten easier because I know more people, and those connections lead to other connections.
Having that extra time, allows more time for marketing and other customer centric activities.”
― Mark Aselstine, founder of Uncorked Ventures
They’re thankful for: Essential tools of the trade
“What I’m thankful for is coworking spaces.
When I started working remotely, coworking spaces were not as popular as they are now, and there were not many options.
Now, I go to a coworking space about four days a week. It provides an escape from the home office and helps with work/life separation.
As a remote team, multiple people at Chargify utilize and benefit from this new trend.”
― Adam Feber, Marketing Director of Chargify
“As a solo-entrepreneur, and the first American woman to start a brand of Scotch Whisky (SIA Scotch), I’m very thankful for crowdfunding.
If it were not for Kickstarter, where I launched my whisky business, SIA would not have launched in such a spectacular way and gained all the success it has.
Launching on Kickstarter allowed me to tap into an audience of people who were ready for my product before it was even ready! Today, SIA Scotch is one of the top holiday and corporate gifts among entrepreneurs in the Bay Area, and for all of this, I am grateful.”
― Carin Luna-Ostaseski, founder of SIA Scotch Whisky
They’re thankful for: Loyal employees and great customers
“I am thankful for our amazing customers who inspire us, challenge us, and elevate our thinking.
There is no greater motivator than knowing that everything we build here at UrbanBound has a profound impact on people’s lives during a time when they are dealing with the stress of relocating for a new job.”
― Michael Krasman, Co-founder and CEO of UrbanBound
“As a new business owner, I am thankful for my team, who is helping me make one of my lifetime goals a reality: starting a business which is on the leading edge of technology.
Without their commitment and expertise, it would not be possible.”
― Chris Ciborowski, Founder and Managing Partner of Nebula Works
“I am thankful for my amazing team and their willingness to give back to our community.
One of our company core values is to “spread happiness beyond our four walls,” and our team takes this value very seriously.
For the month of November alone, members of our team have created care packages for a local homeless shelter, written holiday cards to our troops stationed overseas, worked the line at a local food bank, worked with our eyewear vendors to collect donations for our core charity, and helped pack 1,000 Thanksgiving meals for local families.
Their dedication to our community blows me away, and I am proud of the fact that they are giving back from a place of kindness, and not a place of obligation.”
― Angie Stocklin, COO and Co-Founder of One Click
They’re thankful for: Families who inspire and support them
“I am thankful for my business partner and husband Philip Akalp, especially this year above all others. We had a rough patch with our business and this year focused every single day to refocus and rebuild.
I am so thankful that I am able to work every single day with him for the past 20 years and am looking forward to the next 20! We push each other to excel and succeed and were able to turn around our company so much that we made the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing privately-held companies in America this year!
What a year to be thankful for!”
― Nellie Akalp, CEO and Co-Founder of CorpNet.com
“I am thankful for the work ethic that my parents instilled in me.
As a child, you don’t quite understand why you need to work hard or follow the rules. You also don’t comprehend why your parents work so much at home and in their profession.
Everything that I learned from parents has brought me to where I am now. I am so proud and thankful be where I am and pray that my children will inherit my work ethic and values, too.”
― Alison May, of Alison May Public Relations
“I am thankful for my supportive spouse and family.
My business has expanded tremendously this year and I had to travel a lot more often. My husband and family jumped in to help wherever I needed them; making me feel at ease while I was on the road.
I could not have had the success I experienced this year without their support.”
They’re thankful for: Taking the risk that paid off
“We are thankful for finding the courage to say ‘good-bye’ to the security of our corporate jobs and taking that leap of faith that Punkpost needed to be brought to life.
Most startup founders have to make that decision at some point, but we did it almost at the same time risking the whole of our family budget—just saying!
But after all, who else is better to take such a risk with than your closest friend and partner?! Best thing to be thankful for? We get to learn so many things together as a couple (and proud to say that we haven’t had any big fights over responsibilities – thanks for that as well!).
Say, learning letterpress print process was pretty amazing—we took a few classes and are now experimenting with our newly purchased 1920s Golding Pearl, printing our own cards. We also worked together on some card designs and many more things. Having fun together every day while working on our business is the best reward we could get ourselves this year.”
― Alexis Monson and Santiago Prieto of PunkPost
“I’m thankful for this dress.
Why? Because it was this dress and the idea of this dress that started me on the road to Island Contessa.
It was an idea that I had one day while I was commuting into NYC for my banking job. It went through many iterations but it was this dress that did it, and now is my most popular item!”
― Lori Hirons of Island Contessa