O.k.  Excuse me for a moment as I get off the digital bandwagon for just a moment to toot the horn, off the cuff, for small
business.  I love them.  As a solopreneur, I now have an increased appreciation for those of you, some of who are my clients (the rest of you need to get on board!), that have built a business – whether new or franchise – from the ground up.  I can’t tell you how much respect I have for you. Let me count the ways…

I started the self-employment route soon after my lay-off.  I did what a lot of business owners do – start a business because you loved the work.  The further along I got, however, sobered me up.  Can we say taxes?  Quarterly?  You mean I have to pay for the employer AND employee side?  It was a wake-up call to the risk and costs business owners take to pursue a dream.

Yes, you DID build that.

You took the risk.  You invested in your dream.  You put your finances, family, sleep and more on the line.  You went without pay to make sure bills, employees and taxes got paid.  You faced unbelief, lack of support and even ridicule from friends or family.  And then there were the inner voices.  You know the ones.  The ones that echoed that this was ridiculous, a pipe dream, too hard and not worth the trouble.  You sank to the bottom and struggled back.  You made money.  You lost even more.  But you kept going.

Today some of you are wildly successful.  Most of you are survivors, making a modest amount of money, paying the bills, sustaining the national economy, employing people you count as second family.

I don’t understand why society demonizes you – calls you snobs, greedy, selfish.  They have no idea how hard it was to get where you are…and to sustain it still.  They forgot the long, grueling process of your rags-to-riches story.  Indeed, you’d think we’d all know by now that overnight successes do not exist…

As a small business owner, I understand.  I appreciate those that have the audacity to buck the trend, to throw off the status quo and put wings to their dreams.  I’m thankful for the forerunners; your suck-it-up stories that fuel my, and the next generation’s, desire to succeed.  You are an inspiration.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you – the small business, the solopreneur, the franchise owner, the work-at-home mom.  To the ones who do business in the power suit, t-shirt and flip-flops, pj’s or with a baby on one hip.   To the ones making business calls in your car, at your kid’s football game, or in your basement.  To the ones in the bakery before sunrise or working past midnight because the kids are finally in bed.  Thank you.