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Five Reasons I'm Thankful for Business

By Melanie Ethridge on Jun 15, 2016

We all know that the business world is changing—and I believe mostly for the better. Choosing to start my own business certainly changed the course of my life, enriching it with great friends, great experiences, great income, and a sense of purpose. At a time of year when we are naturally reflective of the things we are most thankful for, I couldn’t help but reflect on the many reasons I am grateful for having the ability to be in business, and today I want to share five of those reasons with you.

Business Empowers Creative Contribution

It’s certainly true that business fuels innovation. Business creates a pathway for people to bring their own unique insights, their special talents, and their greatest skills into creating continually better value to offer the people of the world. As a business owner, you get to choose to show up and work in your strengths and individual creativity – and you get to create a setting where your team can do the same, building a great environment that fuels an even greater innovation and contribution that comes from collaboration.

Business Grants Freedom and Autonomy

At the heart of every desire we have and every goal we want to achieve is freedom. More than we want our goals and desires, we want the freedom to choose those goals and desires. This is a major reason why many people decide to go into business for themselves—the ability to create a life where they have greater control in what they are doing and how they are spending their time. I know this was certainly true for me, and the simple shift of going into business empowered me to take a greater responsibility for how I was living my life and the intentionality I was giving to my contribution to the world.

Business Creates Community and Human Interaction

When I was young, I once heard someone say, “I keep my business and my friendships separate.” I remember that even then something struck me as being very wrong with that statement. And its wrongness has proved itself in my experience with business. Many of the best relationships I have in my life came through business and are with people I still do business with. By its very nature business creates community—businesses are made up of people after all. With business, there is always an interaction and exchange that takes place, and when it is truly understood that there are people on both sides of every interaction, it holds both parties to a higher level of accountability and ethics.

Business Success Requires Ongoing Growth

When I started my first business, I was told, “Your business will grow in direct proportion to your own personal growth.” I’m very thankful that this proved to be true. As I grew and got better, so did the results in my business. Inevitably, this lead to newer and greater opportunities for continued progress and contribution to the world. Growth is a necessary component of business today. The world is changing rapidly. What people want, the way they communicate, it’s all evolving. Without a commitment to growth, businesses and business owners will quickly be left behind and replaced by competitors who are learning, paying attention to the changes in the world, and growing.

Business Is the Greatest Vehicle for Bringing Positive Change to the World

I believe this whole-heartedly. More than non-profits, more than governments, good business has the power to bring great change to the world. It is the only self-supporting, self-sustaining system for ongoing contribution. I have watched the very act of being in business positively change the lives of those who were in it. I’ve watched businesses bring innovations and products to the world that have impacted millions of lives and made positive contribution to healing our planet.

And more of these types of businesses are emerging every day. I’m thankful that good business owners today look beyond only profits for true success. They measure their positive social impact. They take responsibility for their impact on the planet. They take into consideration how they and their people are living—providing situations where people are free to fully show up and bring their best. These kinds of businesses? They are bringing major positive change to the world, and I’m so thankful to be on this journey with them.

 

And now over to you. Take a second to share one reason why you’re most thankful for your business in the comments below.

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