With the impending US holiday celebration Gratitude and Thanksgivingof Thanksgiving, I wondered what we might say about gratitude. Usually at this point in the week, I’m making sure the final pieces are in place for the Twitter chat, #kaizenblog. However, this week we’re not doing our usual chat but it would never do to just cancel everything. So, #kaizenblog community and all of my readers, please help me write this post.

With the end of the year coming up, it seemed a good time to stop and notice who or what made a difference to us this year. Who would you thank? And why? What delights you in your work, in your life? What makes you feel grateful?

Gratitude is an extraordinary emotion. It can be liberating, energizing and calming. We just don’t spend enough time noticing what is good, no, wonderful in our businesses and lives. No matter what is happening around us, there is usually something right in front of us that gives us our motivation, momentum and reasons to remain optimistic. My friend, Caroline (whose energy and support make me smile) pointed me to this post about feeling grateful for imagination, creativity and flow. How many of us notice these qualities? And yet, we are surrounded by the expression when we see innovative products or applications or even just relish how we provide something valuable to our customers. People are doing extraordinary things everywhere. Some of these things are big and change lives on a grand scale. Some of these things are small and change lives incrementally. The size of your contribution doesn’t matter. Everything counts!

For me, I’m noticing so many of the gifts I’ve received because of my business. While there is much in my personal life that I feel grateful for, it is in keeping with this blog and with #kaizenblog to keep our focus on business. If you are not familiar with this Twitter chat, I host a chat that takes the concept of “kaizen” which is the idea of continual improvement and all aspects of business to apply critical thinking, reflection and action. No matter if you participate in the #kaizenblog chat or not, take a moment with me to consider what 2010 presented to you. What do you most appreciate?

As I think of all the things that are going well in my business, it all comes back to people. There are so many people this year who have helped and inspired me. I thought for a moment of listing them but the list got very long so I’m going to have to do quite a few of those “People You Should Know” type of posts. From people who advised me while my site was re-designed to joining the Twitter chat as c0-host (and now host) to my mastermind group, the gifts of friendship, expertise and mentorship are priceless.

So, this is my feeble attempt to notice how I’ve been blessed this year.

  • My clients– These small business owners are just terrific people who are making the transition to a CEO-type role in their businesses. Their small businesses are growing in revenues and hiring people. My clients are deepening how well they manage their anxieties, communicate their expectations and aspirations as well as putting into practice all they’ve ever imagined their businesses could be. It is a privilege to coach them.
  • #kaizenblog-This Twitter chat has allowed me to engage with fascinating people on a weekly basis as well as ideas that illuminate various aspects of business. It brings me such joy when I read tweets going back and forth about a topic and none of them are directed to me. It’s thrilling to see a community forming! (Thanks, Valeria, for taking a chance on me!) Also a special thanks to Mary Ann Halford and Amber Cleveland for their help with Kaizen Act. You made our inaugural off-line conversation run so smoothly! Hats off!
  • Bloggertone-If you haven’t read a post from this site, you are missing out on valuable advice and ideas about running a small business as well as a warm community who love  a good conversation. Writing posts for this an up and coming resource is a fun and inspires me to write higher quality posts.
  • Mentors-Various people over the year have given me a wealth of wisdom about designing my site, engaging in social media and other ways I can provide additional and better service to my clients. Each conversation with people like John Reddish, Tom Gray and my mastermind group encourage me to improve and deepen how I show up as a coach and as a business owner.
  • Readers of this blog- I know you spend time reading my posts even if there are not a lot of comments. Thank you for your time, attention and feedback.

This is just the beginning of my list and perhaps I didn’t quite express everything adequately. Underpinning every one of the bullet points are people and their generosity. Who and what are on your list?

I invite all of you to share what is abundant in your life this year.

What are you grateful for?