Inspiring Reasons to Be Thankful for as a Business Leader in 2021

Gratefulness and thankfulness are powerful. 

So powerful they can shift your entire perspective on life. They can make you happier and generate a snowball effect that influences not only yourself but others too. And it’s not just motivational speakers (and millions of people’s accounts) supporting this idea. 

Many studies have linked the practice of gratitude to happiness to show, with numbers, what words have been saying all along: being thankful is essential to experiencing a sense of accomplishment as a human being.

Yet, unlike love and hate, both gratefulness and thankfulness rarely come naturally. They are muscles of human emotion. You can look at them as invisible organs that need training, feeding, and regular check-ins. No need for Insta selfies, though. :) 

It’s easy to fall in love, and even easier to hate. Yet, it takes commitment and a rewiring of your mindset to feel thankful. This is even more true in times of turmoil such as those we live in. 

Despite everything that’s happened in the past couple of years, people still find reasons to be grateful in different areas of their lives. This includes (but is not limited to) their businesses too. 

We wanted to dig deeper into the catalysts of thankfulness and gratefulness in business. So, we asked a few entrepreneurs and business leaders about their one most important reason to be grateful for these days. 

Here’s what we found. 

Inspiring Reasons Business Leaders Are Thankful For in 2021

There are as many ways to run a business as are entrepreneurs. And there are just as many reasons to be grateful for your position as a business leader. 

Like, for example: 

Making an Impact on So Many

As a business leader present on social media, you have the chance to change people’s lives. You can inspire them with your words and push them to be better with your actionable advice. Here’s what Lee Cockerell, former Vice President of Walt Disney World told us about this: 

“I am grateful that I have the ability to impact so many people on a regular basis through social media, my online course, and via speaking engagements. I watch people become excited again about life and creating magic for others. 

When you are around someone who is grateful, you can feel it, can’t you? I used to think about what I didn’t have and complain about it. At some point in my career, I became more grateful for what I do have... and you know what, life became more enjoyable.”

 - Lee Cockerell, former Vice-President of Walt Disney World

Lee Cockerell

Building Teams and Helping People Grow 

Business leaders are at a great advantage when it comes to the impact they can have on those they work with. Josh from BarBend put it very nicely: 

“The thing I'm most grateful for as a business owner is the unique opportunity it offers me to help my team members grow. On a case-by-case basis, nothing brings me more fulfillment. There are so many elements of business that are out of your control. Swings in online trends, supply chain issues, the surprise tax bill, and so on. But having a positive impact on people's lives is something that a business leader is very much in control of — and many don't take advantage of this gift.

 - Josh Pelletier, CMO @BarBend 

Making a Difference and Adding Value

Building something that will help people is the not-so-secret dream of many entrepreneurs. Brian Dean made it happen — twice, and here’s what he had to say about it: 

“The most rewarding aspect of becoming an entrepreneur is the opportunity to develop a product or service that has the potential to benefit millions of people. Businesses with a purpose are more likely to flourish than businesses with a gimmick, and there's a good explanation for this. There are many things to be thankful for if you're an entrepreneur attempting to make a difference in the way something works.” 

 - Brian Dean, CEO & Founder @Backlinko and Co-Founder @Exploding Topics

Brian Dean

Structures that Help Businesses Grow 

Tomek Młodzki, the CEO of PhotoAiD, said something that struck a very personal chord in us.  123 Form Builder wasn’t built with governmental help. But many in the local business community can relate to what Tomek said about governmental structures: 

“As someone who was born on the other side of the iron curtain in communist Poland, I never imagined being able to own a business as a kid, much less being funded directly by the European Union (EU) to develop cutting-edge technologies. With Poland joining the EU and the possibility to apply for the European Smart Growth Fund, all this changed.”

 - Tomek Młodzki, CEO @PhotoAiD

The Challenges Coming Your Way 

As we were moving on with getting input from business leaders, we realized we didn’t ask Florin, our own CEO, what he feels grateful for.

Oopsie! 😬

We fixed it, though, and he came back with a reply that inspired us: 

“Well, I’m grateful for all the interesting challenges that have come my way and all the things I have learned. All these experiences have offered me a different view on life and what it means to really grow -- and I wouldn't have gone through them if it weren't for entrepreneurship. So, yes, I am extremely grateful I had the chance to face and overcome challenging situations.”

 - Florin Cornianu, CEO @123 Form Builder (the one and only, wink-wink)

Florin

Productivity Tools & Technology 

Sometimes, it’s the seemingly simple things in your life as an entrepreneur that lighten up your day. Like these ones, for example: 

“Technology that boosts productivity! What would we do if we didn't have our smartphones? Twitter? CRM? You can bet that running a business isn't as much fun.” 

 - Teo Vanyo, CEO @StealthAgents 

People’s Generosity 

Having customers, patrons, and communities that stick with you through thin and thick is a true reason for joy and gratefulness. Here’s what Simon, Creative Director at Crowdfunder, said about this: 

"Since we started Crowdfunder, we’ve seen communities come together for anything and everything and, even after all these years, we’re still blown away by the crowd’s generosity. The pandemic set so many organizations back financially and we are so proud that we could be there to support them in their time of need. We’re thankful for our community and the way they have grown with us."

 - Simon Deverell, Creative Director @Crowdfunder

Crowdfunder quote

The Example You Set for Future Generations

Good leaders are an example not only for their teams, but also for their children and the young people they come in contact with. The fact that you can inspire the future generation is, indeed, a truly beautiful reason to feel thankful! 

“As a parent, I am grateful for the opportunity to set an example for my children by working as an entrepreneur. I can teach my children the importance of doing what they enjoy and following their dreams.” 

 - Tanner Arnold, CEO & Founder @Revelation Machinery

Seeing Your Staff Provide for Their Families 

As an entrepreneur, you help others make a living. That's one of the most important functions of businesses, regardless of how large or small they may be. We have to admit, David’s argument for being thankful this year touched us:

“As a business owner that saw the world change and bring a great deal of uncertainty for everyone. Coming from the pressure of not knowing what would come next, to wondering if you would be able to keep your staff post the pandemic. I am grateful to be able to pay my staff! I am grateful to see them provide for their families through their work.”

 - David D. Hughes, Founder @The Whittling Guide 

… And Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic

To say the world has changed since March 2020 is a severe understatement. The human impact of a disease that didn’t exist before 2019 is too hard to even comprehend right now. 

And yet, in the midst of the fear, anxiety, and chaos, lucky entrepreneurs found themselves grateful. Surviving the pandemic and all its strife was one of the strongest reasons they had. 

“If anything, I'm grateful that the business survived the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic wasn't just a bummer for personal health, it also accelerated the demise of a lot of startups. The fact that ours survived despite all the challenges, is a major reason for gratefulness.

While we're not fully out of the woods yet, I can't be any more grateful than I am. I appreciate the growth, the downs and ups, and the customers that stuck with us through the pandemic. Those were the real saviors for us.” 

 - Sally Stevens, Co-Founder @FastPeopleSearch

Sally Stevens Fast People Search Quote

Customers and Their Feedback 

What would a business be without their customers? We can definitely relate very much to what Ouriel Lemmel told us about gratefulness. High-five, Ouriel, we’re SO with you on this one! 

“I am incredibly grateful for our valuable customer feedback, which has not only helped us improve our product but also contributed to our growth. Our loyal customers have helped us reach thousands of new customers by trusting our service.” 

 - Ouriel Lemmel, CEO & Founder @WinIt

Want to show gratitude to your own customers? We have a bunch of form submission Thank You message examples you can grab anytime you need!

Check 'em out

Choosing (and Making) Your Own Path 

There are many reasons why people start their own businesses. Getting a chance to do it their way is both a very good reason to start a business and a powerful one to be thankful for. 

“As an entrepreneur, I am grateful for being able to choose how I go about achieving results. I can experiment with new approaches and broaden my experiences.”

 - Leslie Gilmour, Marketer @ServisBOT

The People Around You 

Entrepreneurs are frequently depicted as lone wolves, taking the road not taken, never in need of someone else to help them move on. And yet, lone wolves or not, so many of them are so genuinely grateful for those around them! 

“As a business owner, I am grateful to my friends and family for their support. It's natural to feel defeated on particularly difficult days, months, or even years. I've been able to lean on a network of good folks during these trying times. My closest friends and family have been there for me through thick and thin. Without them, I would have been unable to overcome self-doubt or navigate dangerous, uncertain business quarters. On Thanksgiving, I express my gratitude for them.” 

 - Robert Bolder, Founder @VPS

Robert Bolder VPS quote

Gratitude in Itself 

This might sound weird, but the fact that gratitude itself exists is reason enough to be thankful. Or, as Terrie puts it: 

“I am grateful to have the power within to change my negative situation at any time with GRATITUDE! When I focus on “What’s Strong vs What’s Wrong”, that is where the shift happens.”

 - Terrie Nathan, CEO/ Founder @Strong Girl Enterprises 

Entrepreneurship, an Act of Continuous Gratefulness 

When I was a kid, my father always told me that the fields of Economy and Business are more related to Humanities than Sciences. 

It boggled me. The way I saw it, business was a matter of numbers, and numbers had nothing to do with the books I had befriended on long summer nights. 

Yet, the more I grew up, the more I realized that, although connected to numbers, business, entrepreneurship, and economy are all about humans. 

The more businesses I followed, the more I understood that it was the power of gratitude and hope that pushed entrepreneurs to do better.  

The reasons behind their thankfulness might differ from one case to the other. Beyond all of it, however, money in itself is almost never the true motive behind their growth. It makes sense: you need ideas, dreams, goals, creativity, and human emotion to fill in the four walls and make them more of a home instead of just a house. 

Statistically, entrepreneurs tend to be more worried, more stressed out, and more prone to develop mental health imbalances than employees are. And yet, focusing on the positives helps them stay in motion, as shown by their quotes above. 

Gratefulness is powerful. So powerful it can help you move past your most difficult moments, as an entrepreneur, business leader, or anything else. The more thankful you are, the more joy you find in life — and the people who shared their thoughts with us for this article prove it very well. 

This Thanksgiving, let’s all be grateful for opportunities, growth, and the special people in our lives!