I enjoy traveling by plane because it provides quiet time to think. When I left for Thailand last month, I used that time to journal about how my year had gone. For the business, it was a mixed year where most of my initiatives had failed. It was depressing. Frustrating.

Holding those failures in my mind, I asked myself what I was grateful for?

I’m grateful for:

  • The opportunity to learn.
  • The humility and empathy that failure provides. This is foundational in helping others.
  • The things that are working and provide for me and my employees.

I had dinner with several entrepreneurs last week. One of them had closed their business because they felt like it wasn’t going anywhere. Now, he’s a well paid employee at a corporation. He has the financial security that his business lacked, but is dissatisfied with his comfortable life and is looking for his next business.

We build businesses in large part for money. But they provide so much more than that: time, freedom, meaning, service.

After a couple of years of operating as a freelancer, I realized that the challenges of trying to succeed as a one-person business had pushed me to grow in many different ways. It was like a turbo charged version of personal development.

That might be the thing that I’m most grateful for:

Business as a tool to grow and realize the full potential of my gifts.

I’m also grateful for you reading this. I hope it spurs some thought on what you’re grateful for as we head into Thanksgiving.

Featured image is “The Embarkation of the Pilgrims” (1857) by American painter Robert Walter Weir at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC. Used under public domain.