On Thanksgiving

This is the time of year when many businesses are slowing down, wrapping things up and getting ready for start of the New Year just ahead.

Other businesses are still quite busy, focused on making every sale, collecting every dollar and ending the year on a high note in preparation for getting 2014 off to a strong start.

This Thursday is Thanksgiving. There is no better time to consider just how much there is to be thankful for.

Business owners and leaders have been blessed, but sometimes fail to recognize all that they have earned. What is earned, of course, comes as a result of hard work, but what has been added to that amount are the contributions of others.

With that in mind, use these questions to start the process to consider whom you are thankful to have contributed to your life and to your business.

Is your business healthy? For an enterprise that is doing well, there is always potential for better times ahead; for a business that needs to improve, there are always new opportunities to consider.

How is your physical health? If you are in good health, cherish it, because if you don’t have your health, you have nothing. Just ask anyone who has lost their good health.

If your physical health is not where it needs to be, it is merely a question of priority, time and effort to turn things around.

There are many excuses to be overweight, out of shape and unhealthy as a result of the decisions and mistakes one has made. In the end, they are all excuses.

I gained inspiration for getting healthier several years back on the day after the LA Marathon. On the front page of the Los Angeles Times was a photo of a veteran who finished the 26.2 mile race on crutches. I still struggle with the investment of time, but I never regret going to the gym.

Have you surrounded yourself with family and friends, people you can count on when you need help and are ready to help them when called upon? Who can you call at an odd hour when you need some help?

Are you helping others to succeed by filling their buckets or are you draining them with the wrong attitude, approach, tone or words?

Are you receiving a paycheck? Those that are gainfully employed, even in their own businesses, should be thankful for that; those that are unemployed can also be thankful that in America, opportunity exists to be employed at a new employer.

Who is helping you by filling your business ownership bucket? Do you have a group of people who support you and your vision to be a success in your business? Do you have people that will listen to you without judging who can provide you with the candid advice you really need?

My observation is that people today don’t slow down and take enough time to properly and sincerely thank those who make their lives and businesses better.

This week, take the time to authentically thank those who are part of your lives for all that they have done, and when doing so, don’t resort to a generic statement such as “thanks for your hard work” but speak of a specific instance that you remember that made an impact.

It may be cliché to write this, but this Thanksgiving week, keep in mind that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Finally, I am thankful that I have been blessed to reach so many people and provide them with knowledge and tools to improve their businesses and their lives.

Through the years I have been deeply touched by many individuals who have responded to this weekly column with kind words of appreciation and thanks.

That alone encourages me to continue my writing and sharing each week.