I have numerous reasons to be thankful in my life, but most importantly, for being healthy, having a beautiful family, and a job. That’s right – only when you’re unemployed, with a pile of bills staring at you, do you begin to miss all the annoying things about working for a living. I was born to work. I don’t think I could ever stay at home, even if I were really rich. I love the thrill of producing something, and working hard for every pay check. Call it immigrant syndrome if you wish, but I get really excited about my work.
When I came to Bangor four years ago, I found myself unemployed, in a new community where I knew no one. It was more challenging than my first arrival in Boston as a brand new immigrant, because in Bangor, there were no jobs for me. Aside from the stressful economic times of 2008 and 2009, I was overqualified for the few positions that were open in the area. (I often joke about the local Target rejecting my application!)
Like many entrepreneurs, necessity prompted me to open my own business. I needed a job, so I created one for myself. The road from Day One to Day 1,522 (today) has been exhilarating! I won’t lie; there have been times when I felt overwhelmed by the demands of my role as a business owner, and unsure of my next steps. In fact, I think all entrepreneurs feel like that from time to time. In the long run, though, the journey has been a rewarding one, and I’m thankful for all the lessons, opportunities, and successes it has brought me.
This year has been especially good for me, both personally (my mother visited me for 6 month, and those months will remain in my heart until the end of my existence), but also for my business – and I think I know why. This year, I made a significant financial investment in my own professional development – and it is working!
Nobody is good at everything. I thank God daily for my CPA and Lawyer, of course, who have been instrumental in the development of my business. However, there’s a lot more to successful entrepreneurship than crunching numbers, paying taxes, and following complicated business regulations. This year, instead of getting overwhelmed by how much there is to know and get acquainted with in life, I decided to prioritize my needs and look for guidance. I hired a few outside experts to help me get better at what I do, including some stellar marketers in Boston, an executive coach, and a personal fitness trainer. The outcome has been phenomenal. My agency grew 35% in the first three quarters of this year, my work has been well received and recognized, and I am feeling much more secure about my skills set. These are my entrepreneurial reasons to be thankful.
I have always looked to align myself with people who could help me become a better person in life. For that reason, I tend to be highly selective in my hiring process, which has served me well. My employees have far better skills than I do in their respective functions, which makes my team much more effective and productive as a whole. Perhaps the best quality an entrepreneur needs to hone throughout life is humility. There’s always someone who knows more, or can do better than us – but as long as we realize our shortcomings as professionals and strive toward improvement, there will always be a spot in the sun for all entrepreneurs to grow healthy and strong.
This year, I am thankful to realize that there’s a lot I don’t know – but also that I have resources to help me fix my shortcomings! Happy Thanksgiving!