Embracing gratitude in challenging times: a small business owner’s Thanksgiving reflection


Happy Thanksgiving. This year, like many before, has had its share of challenges. Economic uncertainties, ever-changing market demands, and the balancing act of personal and professional responsibilities have all tested our resilience and patience. It’s easy to be grateful during the good times, but how about the tough times? I know many of you who are reading this article are struggling. However, amidst these hurdles, Thanksgiving reminds us of the importance of gratitude, even when times are tough. A year ago, I wrote about gratitude in the marketplace and made the following comment:

People who can endure adversity with a cheerful, optimistic disposition [inspire me].

That still holds true, maybe more so this year than last year. Let’s explore some ways we can embrace gratitude during challenging times:

1. Recognizing the Value of Community Support

First and foremost, I am deeply thankful for the awesome support of our local community. In an era where big chains often overshadow small businesses, the loyalty and encouragement we receive from our customers are inspirational and heartwarming. Each sale, each positive review, and every referral has been a vote of confidence in what we do. It’s a reminder that our business is more than just a transactional space; it’s a part of a community that values and supports each other.

2. Appreciating the Dedication of Our Team

Our team is the backbone of our business. Their dedication, creativity, and adaptability have been instrumental in navigating this year’s challenges. I am immensely grateful for their hard work and the positive attitude they bring to work every day. Their commitment not only drives our business forward but also creates a workplace that feels like a second home.

3. Learning from Challenges

This year has also been a teacher. Each obstacle we faced taught us valuable lessons about resilience, innovation, and the importance of being agile in the marketplace. I am grateful for these lessons, as they have not only strengthened our business model but also helped me grow personally and professionally.

4. The Gift of Giving Back

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, our business has had the opportunity to give back to the community that supports us. Whether it’s through sponsoring local events, participating in charity drives, or simply offering a helping hand to those in need, these acts of kindness have brought us immense joy and fulfillment. We have so many great non-profit organizations in this community and we take pride in supporting as many as we can.

5. Cherishing Personal Growth

Finally, on a personal note, this journey as a small business owner has been enriching. The challenges have made me more resilient, the successes more appreciative, and the journey itself more meaningful. I am grateful for the personal growth that has come with running a business. There are some things you just can’t learn in a classroom, from a webinar, or by reading a book – you have to get out there and do it.

Happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at CFC. Photo/Joe Domaleski
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone here at CFC. Photo/Joe Domaleski

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s remember that gratitude isn’t just about being thankful for the good times; it’s also about finding reasons to be thankful amidst the trials. It’s about recognizing the people who stand by us, the lessons learned, and the small victories along the way.

To my fellow small business owners, customers, friends, and family – thank you for being part of this journey. Here’s to embracing gratitude, not just during Thanksgiving but every day of the year.

[Joe Domaleski, a Fayette County resident for 25 years, is the owner of Country Fried Creative – an award-winning digital marketing agency located in Peachtree City. His company was the Fayette Chamber’s 2021 Small Business of the Year.  Joe is a husband, father of three grown children, and proud Army veteran.  He has an MBA from Georgia State University and enjoys sharing his perspectives drawing from thirty years of business leadership experience. Sign up for the Country Fried Creative newsletter to get marketing and business articles directly in your inbox. ]