No blessing is too big or small to count during Thanksgiving. 66 entrepreneurs share with us what they’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving in 2018. From good health to a great work team, here’s what an attitude of gratitude looks like for business owners around the country.
1. My Team
The thing I’m most I’m grateful for in 2018 is the incredibly talented people that are part of my team. Their determination, expertise, and passion is the thing that drives my business forward. Our company would be nothing without them. — Will Craig, Managing Director, LeaseFetcher
2. Friends, Family, And Health
I am thankful for my friends, family, and health! I am grateful my schedule allows me to pick my kids up from school and have family dinner every night while still having the time to grow my business. — Louis Wood, Owner, DefendItYourself.com
3. My Competitors
This might sound counter-intuitive, but I’m thankful for fierce competition.
Why am I thankful for my competitors? Because day in and day out they push me to improve my business in all aspects: from the product to the processes to the way I market my business. This year my website has more competitors than the year before. However, the information I make available to my readers has increased massively in quality. Competition is one of the drivers of innovation. That’s why I am thankful to my competitors for always pushing me to improve the way I run my business. — Ruggero Loda, Founder, Running Shoes Guru
4. Entrepreneurial Freedom
I’m grateful for my health, the wonderful people in my life, and the freedom I have as an entrepreneur to set my schedule to try to achieve work and life balance. I’m grateful for the opportunities that living in New York City provides, including public transportation, the ability to do (almost) anything at any time, and the chance to make money here, if you’re willing to hustle. — Dana Humphrey, Owner & Lead Publicist, Whitegate PR Inc.
5. Reaching Work/Life Balance
I’m thankful for failure, learning to pivot, and finding work-life balance. We are a husband-and-wife team working in the watersports industry. After our brick and mortar boat rental operation failed, we sold our boats and closed our shop, keeping the one thing that was working for us: our website.
We transformed our business into a niche OTA (online travel agency) and recruited our former competitors as our new clients. This shift has allowed us to enjoy not monetary success. It also affords us the freedom of owning an online business, working from home, and raising our three boys. — Heather Thomas, Owner and CMO, Destin Vacation Boat Rentals
6. Good Health
I’m first and foremost thankful for my health, without which none of what I do is possible. I’m thankful for my business partner Menghan, whose awesome ideas helped us grow fast this year. Last but not least, I’m thankful for my mentor Damian who, as my ex-boss, supported my endeavors over the last few years both professionally and financially. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without him. — Steve Long, Co-Founder, The Travel Brief
I’m thankful to be a first time father, speak at two national conferences, and give generously to my church and other non-profits making a difference! Nothing makes me more excited about the work I do than knowing that what I do improves the quality of life for someone else. — Joey Price, CEO, Jumpstart: HR
8. Great Health
I’m so thankful for my own good health and for the health of those around me. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to fully focus on our businesses, careers, relationships, or live life. Good health is important. Every day I way up alive and well is a great day. — Dustyn Ferguson, Founder, Dime Will Tell
Without creativity I wouldn’t have started my company. I’m grateful that I have a platform to reach my audience and that I get to help women by making them feel good. — Diva Samai, Owner, Tevia Rose Products
10. Personal Health
My own personal health is the reason I started creating new recipes in the first place. That journey has led me to a business that I absolutely love! — Liz Thomson, Author/Blogger/Health Coach, I Heart Vegetables
11. Network, Team, And Clients
The three things we are most thankful for as a small business are our network, epic team, and clients. The people make the difference. They give you an opportunity to grow and build what you love. — Jamie Smith, Finance Leader, Business Advisor, and Connector, Amplify Advisors Inc.
12. Customers, Farmers, And Family
Rosebud CBD would not be here without my customers. They trust us to provide high quality pure CBD oil to them and we are thankful for their ongoing trust. I am thankful for our farmers in Oregon. They work hard to bring organic CBD oil to market and are an absolute joy to work with. Their hard field work allows us to continue to grow. I am also grateful for my husband and family members who continue to step in when I need a team of help. — Alexis Rosenbaum, CEO/Founder, Rosebud CBD
As two former journalists who were aspiring entrepreneurs last November, this year, we’re thankful for the courage that allowed us to make the jump into full-time entrepreneurship. That same courage gets us through every day. We’ve seen first hand how truly wonderful our female friendships are as two best friends who are now thriving business partners. We’re thankful for the women in our lives we’ve grown to call sisters. We’re grateful for the support we’ve experienced with our clients and greater network and are starting to really build a family here. — Grace Joyal, Co-Founder, Emboss Communications
I have a family and kids whom I love and adore. A lot of people delay having children to concentrate on their career aspirations or businesses. I’m grateful every year for my and my husband’s decision to have kids when we did. I don’t think I would be the same person without them in my life. — Alina Trigub, SAMO Financial
15. My Family
I’m thankful for the patience of my family, especially my husband, who was very understanding and supportive of having me in a startup mode. — Elena Ledoux, Chief Mommy, MommyGo.co
16. My Husband
Growing an eCommerce business is exciting, stressful, and uncertain. I owe a lot to my husband, Mike, for supporting me on my entrepreneurial journey. He’s very well versed in product research, paid marketing, and eCommerce strategy. My husband has been both a patient listener and thoughtful mentor since I first launched my business. — Stephanie Wiggins, Founder, DJANGO
17. Customers, Company, And Freedom
I’m thankful for my customers. They are simply awesome people. I’m also grateful for my business’s portability. We had to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Florence. While order processing was delayed, I was able to maintain the computer end of my business with social media, my blog, and emails. I also love entrepreneurial freedom and flexibility. My business affords me the freedom to take time to spend with my family. — Sara Nesbitt, CEO, Coastal Carolina Soap Co.
18. Feedback From Friends
I’m grateful for every single client I’ve connected with this year. It has been an honor to work with such amazing, creative, and ambitious folks.
Most of all, I’m grateful to all my friends, acquaintances, blog readers, and business buddies who helped me promote my new book. They provided feedback on the draft, shared news about the book on social media, and bought it for themselves and as gifts. This turned it into a successful book launch that I couldn’t have done on my own. I’m so happy to be surrounded by people who support my dreams. — Nela Dunato, Brand Designer, Nela Dunato Art & Design
19. My Employees
As a business owner I am thankful for my employees. I am grateful to have them on my team. Their hard work, dedication, talent, and integrity is what makes my company what it is today. I am glad that I get to spend my days enjoying their companionship while building my brand further. — Erica Hartwig, owner and Director of Operations, Organic Moments Photography
20. Our Team, Mistakes, And Impact
I am thankful for my dynamic, kind-hearted, gritty team of change agents. I serve and conspire with them to change the world. They are extraordinary humans. I’m fortunate to build something special with them. Our mistakes this year yielded important learnings that will set us up for success in the future. Finally, I’m thankful for the tweets, emails, and letters from satisfied customers. It’s a privilege to do what we do. We get to continue to do it because of them. — Sunny Williams, CEO, Tiny Docs
We are grateful for the technology at our fingertips to get our message out to millions of people from the comfort of our homes leveraging the power of the Internet. Our team loves witnessing the growth and progress our clients are committed to in all areas of their lives so that they can become the greatest versions of themselves, and therefore create the most impact in their communities.
We are thankful for the amazing team we have cultivated within the organization. Without every key player in our core group, we would not be able to host 10+ events throughout the year that change the lives of entrepreneurs from all walks of life! — Brian Fanale, CEO, MyLeadSystemPRO
22. My Team
They are worth more than diamonds! I am thankful to be surrounded by a team that’s a beast! They understand business and are wise beyond their years. This team is everything a person could ever ask for. They know how to get a job done and care more about the finished outcome and work in a standard of excellence. — Chantay Bridges, Coach, Real Estate Professionals World Enterprise Marketing
23. Gratitude, My Team, and The Food Business
As I reflect on 2018, I am abundantly grateful for three things. The power of gratitude in my life is truly life transforming. It’s something that I try to practice daily, and encourage my team to do as well. I am thankful for my team. Their intelligence, perseverance, friendship, support, and personalities have gotten me through some very trying times.
I’m also grateful for the food business. As an advertising and PR agency that specializes in Challenger Food Brands, most of which are still family owned in the U.S., this category has given us such an abundance of opportunities to use our work to make a difference every day. — Sue Reninger, Managing Partner, RMD Advertising
24. Buying A Travel Trailer!
This year we hit a large milestone in our business goals. We purchased a 38ft travel trailer and fully wrapped it in our branding to use as a mobile office. As a digital marketing agency that works with clients across the country, we’re excited to be able to spend more time on the road. We will be able to meet our clients face-to-face and experience their communities firsthand. This was a huge goal for my business and I’m thankful that this year we were able to make it happen! — Amber Hinds, Creative Director and CEO, Road Warrior Creative
25. Starting A Business Within Another Business
I’m thankful for being able to start my business from within another business. Having the support of a parent company for five years made us a standalone business in our sixth! — Jamie Thomas, CEO and Co-Founder, Cognito Forms
26. My Business Partner
I am most thankful for my current business partner, Michael Epstein. He has taught me so much about owning and running a business. Michael keeps me focused and teaches me how to prioritize my time. I owe much of my business acumen to him. Having someone else to share ideas with has helped me exponentially, especially while growing a small business. After working in the funeral industry for so many years and being on call 24 hours a day, it has helped train me to constantly be thinking about business. — David Levy, Co-Founder, Top Funeral Home
27. Travel, Challenges, And Funding
I’m thankful for three things this year. I traveled a good bit because of work and got to check out California and Mexico. I’m thankful for the challenges in business. We had many, but we overcame them and are still going strong. We also raised funding from our network and government — Robbie Rodrigues, Founder, Flo
I’m thankful for the courage I had to start a new business and for everything to come ahead in 2019! — Kristin Ehlers, Owner & Curator, Hello Lovely Shop
29. Our Staff
Hands down, I am grateful for the amazing core staff I found this year and how much fun we all have together. I love my ladies (and man)! — Emily Rowe, Chief Executive Sensei, Social Sensei
30. My Health
2018 has been a special year for me and one in which I’m super grateful. I have received a clean bill of health after having a few medical challenges. I continue to work hard and have the strength I need as a single mom to raise my 9-year-old son. I’m also grateful for true friendships, amazing clients, and valuable life lessons and experiences I’m able to share with my son each and every day. Blessings all the way around! — MJ Pedone, President, Indra Public Relations
31. My Business Partner, Clients, And Office
Over the past 18 months of being a small business owner, I’ve learned that manning the ship alone would be infinitely tougher without someone by your side. Lindsey (my co-founder) always says that I’m the gas and she’s the brakes. I’m grateful to work with someone who balances me out, has the same values and is on a mission to do meaningful work.
The great part of being a small business owner is the opportunity to have full control over the type of work you do, and more importantly, whom you get to serve. I get the pleasure of working with smart, energetic and positive people every day.
When you’re a small business owner, your blood, sweat and tears come with perks — like not having to climb the ladder to get an office with a window. As I look out my window watching the leaves fall with a cup of coffee by my side, this little moment fills me with gratitude that I’m able to dictate the details of my work life. — Brie Pinnow, Co-Founder, Blinc Digital Group
32. The Internet
I am so thankful for the internet and SEO. Our company’s online presence has grown 4-6 times over our initial foray into web traffic in 2017. Our deal numbers and bottom line have also grown nicely along with the traffic. This has all been organic traffic and organic ranking on Google because of consistent SEO implementation. — Don Wede, President, Heartland Funding
33. Our Growing Team
Our team is growing and we couldn’t be more excited. Having doubled in size in 2017, we have done so again this year and with this growth has come an influx of new ideas, strategies and inspiration for out next steps. We’re thankful for our customer relationships and the impact we continue to have on our customers’ daily lives. — Emma Conway, Operations Executive, VeryConnect Membership Software
34. New Directions
This year, I’m thankful for the scraped knees that led us in new directions. We’ve learned so much from our failures that it’s hard to even call them failures. I’m thankful for our loyal clients that stick with us every month and my team. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. — Chelsey Heil, Owner, Creatives by Chelsey
35. Our Team
We may be small, but we are most certainly mighty. These beautiful people on my team are in it with me day in and day out. I’m very grateful for their dedication. I’m also thankful for the Internet and WiFi. Without it, I wouldn’t have a business! My entire team and I are remote so having a stable online connection is crucial to our success. — Ameet Khabra, Pay-Per-Click Specialist, Ameet Khabra Marketing Inc.
36. The Economy, Employees, And Ecommerce Trends
The top three things I’m thankful for this year are a growing economy, sensational employees and continued trend towards e-commerce. These three things have helped my business tremendously over the past year. — Matthew Ross, Co-Owner and COO, RIZKNOWS and Slumber Yard
37. My Wife
I’m so grateful for my wife, Kym. She is a can-do person and has stood beside me steadfastly on my journey as an entrepreneur. It’s almost impossible to start a small business without the full support of your spouse. That being said, Kym’s behind me 300%! Not only is she an incredible online marketer, but she’s also an amazing mother of two boys and a fantastic cook. — James Heidebrecht, Insurance Agent, Policy Architects
38. Motivated Team
I’m thankful to a motivated team that gets along together. We are all problem solvers, anxious to help one another and take the business to its sales goals. Any founder knows that talent is hard to find and harder to keep. I’m also thankful enough to have traveled to Philippines this year to learn more about my outsourced team and their culture. We are thankful to be paying ‘the 13th’ month because it means we are all learning more about each other’s cultures. — Matt Holmes, Founder and CEO, Handshakin
I’m grateful for the ability to live independently and freely. I am not tied to a desk and can work anywhere in the world. I love being a small business owner and enjoy working on my own terms. — Alex Tran, owner, Schimiggy
40. Fairy Magic
I’m thankful to be surrounded by fairy magic. As a child growing up in Nigeria, I was fascinated by stories filled with magic and fantasy. For years, I didn’t do anything about it. This year, with encouragement from friends and family, I’ve written a magical children’s book and created a line of products featuring African fairies. — Omobola Imoisili, CEO, Feyi Fay
41. My Wife, Daughter, And Family
The three things I’m most thankful for this year are my wife, daughter, and family. My wife joined the business this year, which has turned out even better than expected. My daughter helps keep me grounded and focus on the most important things in live. Finally, my family is a great source of support. — Ian Wright, Founder, Merchant Machine
I am thankful for feedback from our early users. We have a great community of homeowners, architects, designers, and contractors who help make Pocketdoor better at making home improvement projects as delightful as possible. I am also thankful for working with such a talented and enthusiastic team of developers, designers, advisors, and board members. — Dan Meyer, Co-Founder and CEO, Pocketdoor
43. My Employees
I am most thankful this year for my employees. They are the backbone to my business. I am very grateful and appreciative of everything they done to help me run my successful business. — Lisa Chu, Owner, Black n Bianco
44. My Team
I’m grateful for my tight-knit team. We are aligned in our goals and projects, over communicate, and together chase more growth and impact. I’m appreciative of our educators and families in New York City who trust and believe in our mission, vision, and push us to become stronger and greater. I am thankful for my family for understanding the challenges of owning a business, keeping me focused and humble, and for being my biggest fans. — Eiko Nakazawa, Founder, Dearest, Inc.
I’m thankful to have the best job in world: I talk every day about books! I can bring cultural and science proposals to the market via our Quick Immersion series, keeping the freedom of publishing principle alive. I create new projects, bringing new titles to the market with interesting authors and subjects. This helps them see the light as new cultural goods. It’s like a medical doctor who helps to bring new life to the world. — Antoni Comas, CEO, Tibidabo Publishing
46. Client Relationships
I’m grateful for my long-time clients and relationships. These individuals supported me as I started my public relations consultancy. They have become clients and referred new business to me. Having their support gave me the backbone to go out on my own and succeed. — Andrea Pass, Owner, Andrea Pass Public Relations
47. The Economy
We’re grateful for the U.S. economy and the boom in investments in technology innovation. The ongoing tech boom has fueled investor funding, job creation, and innovative new companies. As an industry leader in sales recruiting, we’ve been very grateful for the extreme market demand for modern sales talent. — Jordan Wan, Founder & CEO, CloserIQ
48. My Mistakes
I’m grateful for my mistakes. I wasn’t happy about them at the time I was experiencing the bumps in the road but if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be as strategic as I am now. — Cathy Cowan, Co-Owner, On the Rocks Gourmet Jams
49. Good Health And Friends
I’m so thankful that I can still walk, talk and think. I am also grateful for the quality of friendships and not the quantity. — Zondra Wilson, Owner, Blu Skin Care
50. My Support System
I am grateful that I have found an amazing support system of fellow female entrepreneurs. I can bounce ideas off of and share triumphs or failures with them. We all bring a different set of experiences and expertise and. We encourage and connect with each other on a near daily basis. I am also thankful for the limitless possibilities that come with being an entrepreneur. Giving yourself enough room to fail can be terrifying. However there’s beauty and comfort in knowing that you tried in spite of the risks. — Molly Smith, CEO & Founder, Good PR Co.
We are thankful for a greater push for inclusion of people with disabilities in product design. We are also grateful for a demand for people with disabilities in visible leadership roles and a public space that champions the voices of people with disabilities. — Dana Marlowe, Principal Partner, Accessibility Partners
I am thankful for the opportunity to show the next generation the value of kindness through monthly volunteering at the food bank with my niece. My husband’s support of me, no matter what crazy thing I decide to pursue, is also wonderful. I am also thankful for my business partner. We are proof opposites attract, even in business, and it is a magical thing — Jennifer Stewart, Tech Organizer + Trainer, Gateway Productivity
53. My Daughter
Despite this year being full of ups and downs, I’ve found a lot to be thankful for! I get to spend time with my three-year-old daughter, have a job that changes every day, and get to learn new skills. They wouldn’t be possible without a great team! — Kyle Sloka-Frey, Partner, Aces Design
54. My Colleagues
I am grateful for my colleagues who are client-focused, committed, and engaged. They truly help clients improve their B2B sales results. The people on our team are smart, responsive, self-motivated, client focused, caring, and wickedly funny. How blessed are we! — Debby Rizzo, CEO, Revenue Storm(r)
55. Colleagues, Clients And Challenges
I’m thankful for “C3.” Colleagues who provide support and encouragement. Clients who demand that we continually improve and perform at high levels. Challenges which teach us perseverance and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. — Bill Wallace, Executive Vice President, Revenue Storm(r)
56. My Husband
I am lucky to have my husband, Rich. He took an entire week away from his career to come and work my New York City book release event. He supports my endeavors and gives me the opportunity to support his. Additionally, I send thanks to my best friend Kristen. She is a constant loving, intelligent, sounding board for all my ideas. And, I’m grateful for the critters who share my life. They love us unconditionally. More importantly, they give us the opportunity to love them in the same way. — Izolda Trakhtenberg , President, IST
57. Our Customers
We’re grateful for our amazing customers and being able connect with them. Hearing them tell us how our products have genuinely affected their lives. I’m also thankful to have grit. It keeps me pursuing this mission, and this year seeing leaps and bounds in the growth of our company. — Taran Ghatrora, CEO and Co-Founder, Blume
58. The Community
I am most thankful for the community of entrepreneurs I am part of. Seeing the way they support, and uplift each other all year through highs and lows always inspires me. I am incredibly thankful for my clients who put their trust in me as we work together. Finally, I’m grateful to live in Oregon where a trip to the beach or the forest to recharge is just an hour or two away. — Gwen Montoya, VP of Marketing, The MOB Nation
59. My Family
I am so thankful for my family. I’ve been blessed with a beautiful wife, two kids, and a dog. Spending as much time with them as possible is a priority for me. Other than reading to my kids, I’m also thankful that I have the ability to engage in one of my favorite pastime: skiing. — Gennady Litvin, Attorney, Moshes Law
60. My Team
We’ve achieved phenomenal growth in the last year. I am looking forward to continuing with that speed and success in the year to come. There’s not a chance we’d achieve that without each and everyone on the team. — Lana Elie, CEO, Floom
61. My Workforce
My team of most energetic and innovative minds has performed brilliantly this year. It may be our best work in the last few years. Their combined efforts and hard works have helped my business achieve the estimated target for this year two months before its end. I am really thankful for the dedicated teamwork of my workforce.
It would also be unjust if I do not mention believing in myself. I kept my mind cool to make the right decisions at the right times. Sometimes I took considerable risks, but my decisions have blown away the risks. I am thankful for the ability to judge and make the right decisions. — Andrei Vasilescu, CEO and Digital Marketing Specialist, DontPayFull
62. Relaunching My Business
I am thankful for the chance to re-launch my business this year. Several of my clients, affectionately referred to as Romantics, still follow us on our social media platforms. They patiently waited for us to return back to business. They also readily expressed their interest in our services and products by booking us and participating in giveaways! It was great to be welcomed back and have so many new clients interested in our services. — Ta’Veca Collins, Owner and Operator, Romance On The Go, Concierge Services
63. The Team
Gratitude is a key factor in living a truly happy life. I am beyond thankful for my team of driven and motivated women. We offer each other a constant support system. When we combine our powers, we deliver an even more outstanding product for our clients. We are blessed to have amazing clients from all over the world. As an entrepreneur, I am also thankful for time off during the holidays. I love what I do, but I love the holidays because it gives my team and I time to recharge. We always take a two week sabbatical during Christmas where we close the office to make sure to have uninterrupted time away from the computer. — Kim Cruickshanks, Creative Director, Fuze Branding
64. Business Expansion
I’m most thankful for the opportunity to expand our business. We’re really taking a deep dive into the luxury bedding and lifestyle world, especially with the launch of our newest organic cotton brand. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made and excited to see how 2019 will fare for us. — Ricky Joshi, Co-Founder & CEO, Saatva Dreams
65. Business Growth
This year I am thankful for the ability to grow my team from four to 12 employees. It is an accomplishment that has been beyond my wildest dreams. We are creating new positions and divisions within my company. It’s more grand than what I could have ever expected. — Candice Simons, President and CEO, Brooklyn Outdoor
I am thankful for the opportunity to have worked with a business advisor on learning how to scale my business. As an entrepreneur, there is so much value you can obtain by working with other intelligent professionals. They can guide you through the hardships and downfalls on running a business.
I am thankful to have the time to dedicate to advise and mentor mentees and interns within my business. One of the main reasons I wanted to start my business was to give my knowledge and experience to those just starting out. This provides their careers with guidance on where to start after school. Above all, it gives them social skills to develop for networking, interviewing, marketing, and industry knowledge. I am thankful for the goal to expand and grow my business to contribute to our economy. We also provide jobs and career opportunities to those who need it most. — Ashley Graham, Founder and Creative Director, Brandesso