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If there’s ever been a year to give thanks, this is it

This year has been, by far, the most stressful, most exciting, and most eventful of my entire life. I’ve lost a job, started my own company, gotten married, moved, and started another company.

My partner-in-crime Sam Davidson wrote a post this morning titled “No One Does It Alone“. I couldn’t agree more. I wouldn’t be here (and neither would you) if it weren’t for the encouragement and support of other people. I know it’s unoriginal, but tis the season to be giving thanks – here are some things I’m thankful for:

  • Thank you to the last 9-5 job I had (and hope to ever have). They’ll remain unnamed but without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Giving me the boot and forcing me to do what I didn’t have the confidence to do myself is something I’ll be forever grateful of. They proved to me that a very negative situation can be life-changing (for the better).
  • Thank you to my wife, who has supported me from day one when I came up with the crazy idea of running my own business. She’s been the one person in my life who I can always count on, who’s stood behind me when things weren’t great, and when they have been amazing. Marrying her was by far the best thing I’ve done this year, and in my entire life. That day is one I wish I could relive over and over again.
  • Thank you to my friends and family. They may not quite understand what I do, why I Tweet, or the reason I blog, but they care nonetheless and have supported me as I continue down my own “unconventional” career path.
  • Thank you to my partner (and friend) Sam Davidson, who believed in me enough to sign on the dotted line and start Proof Branding together. Sam is someone I’ve respected for a long time – ever since he came and spoke to my marketing class in college, I’ve been heckling him about doing something together. Proof is (no pun intended) proof that patience, and a lot of coffee and beer dates, eventually leads to brilliant ideas.
  • Thank you to Twitter. I know, it sounds weird to thank something like Twitter – but what has started as random conversations has led to many (many) “real life” friendships and business connections. I will forever be a proponent of social networking because it can be and is (when done right) and extremely powerful tool. To all the folks I’ve met for coffee or a beer over the past year (you know who you are) each and every one of you have inspired and motivated me to do better, try harder, and stay humble.

To quote my “Thanksgiving” post from last year:

If ever there is a day to reflect on the year that was, to stop and give thanks to everyone who helped me get where I am today, Thanksgiving Day is the day to do it. There have been so many of you who are reading this that have had a huge impact on where I stand, right now. So many people who have read and watched and listed through all of the changes, challenges, and obstacles over the past 12 months.

Spend the day giving people the gratitude they deserve. Let your friends and family know how much you appreciate them. Throw out the “I love you’s” in abundance. Be grateful, reflect, drink lot’s of wine, eat lot’s of turkey, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Bonus: I’ll be participating in the month-long #Reverb10 project – which involves a different writing prompt each day to “reflect on this year and manifest what’s next”. The ladies behind this are great and their are a ton of amazing folks involved. Go sign up before December 1st and take some time to reflect and plan for the year ahead.

What have you learned this year? What are you most thankful for?

(Photo c/o Rob Williams)

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  1. I couldn’t agree with you more, Matt. Before coming to work this morning, I was thinking about the projects on my plate then realized that I wouldn’t be where I am today without that prior job that paved the way for me. This year has been a year of self-growth for me, a year of finding the path I should be on. I am most thankful for the support of family, friends, & co-workers, the strength& passion to keep going even when I didn’t think it was possible, and lastly I’m simply thankful for the journey – I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without the ups and downs of it.

    Thanks for a great post – Have a Happy Thanksgiving! :)

    • The ups and downs make you who you are – going through both the good, and bad times – it’s all a part of the bigger picture and it helps to define the person you are and who you want to become. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Hey Matt – that’s a fine list of things to be thankful for. Like you I’m in the world of emerging business – we had our first anniversary just a couple of months ago. So to your list I would like to add a thanks to the clients who have confidence in emerging and powerful businesses like yours and mine. I’d like to thank West Sussex County Council, Notting Hill Housing, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Aviv and Yell for believing and supporting. Hell, I’d even like to thank the Focus Group who ripped me. I learned loads from them. So thanks again to wonderful clients who give good work to great businesses like ours.

    Keep up the good work feller. Sending you admiration from across the pond

    • Yes. I HUGE thanks to all of the clients who have put their faith in me and my company over the past year. I would have never imagined things would have panned out the way they have (and so quickly) so a very special thank you to you and all of the other people and businesses I have had the pleasure of working with over the past 12 months. Cheers!

  3. This is very meaningful, Chevy! And, of course, I’m so happy you’ll be participating in #reverb10. Gwen’s #best09 last year gave me my start at caligater.com — and I connected with SO many amazing peeps. We’re hoping to build up an even bigger, brighter community next month with #reverb10! :)

    And I would love to thank Twitter, too. I mean, seriously. I’ve had tons of amazing connections on Twitter, too. (You included!)

    • Yes! Looking forward to being a part of #reverb10, glad I stumbled across it last week. I hope all is well and that you’re rounding out 2010 in style. Hard to believe the year’s already coming to an end…