For the past six years, the Wednesday before American Thanksgiving, I have run The Grateful Challenge.
I first learned about this from Judy Dunn and Jennifer Devitt has since kept me accountable to doing it.
The challenge is this: set a timer for 10 minutes and write down all of the things you’re grateful for—or things that you love—as fast as you can.
The goal is to get to 99 (2013 was 82, 2014 was 67, 2015 was 99, and in 2016 and in 2017 and 2018, I did it a bit differently).
It’s not an easy task.
You’ll see it took me three years to get all 99 jotted down in 10 minutes.
And, once I accomplished that feat, I turned it all on its side.
My Personal Grateful Challenge
This year, I’m going to continue the trend I began two years ago.
They do say content with visuals is more interesting—and it’d be an overwhelming blog post with 99 photos.
So I’m narrowing it down significantly, but sharing slivers of what life has been like this year.
Without further ado, here is my personal grateful challenge.
The Spin Sucks Team
One of the greatest challenges in growing and scaling a business is hiring the right people to work beside you.
People who care as much about your business as you do.
People who will protect you from yourself.
And even those who will stand up to you when you’re flat out wrong.
We’re in scaling mode right now and it is C-H-A-L-L-E-N-G-I-N-G.
I’ll say to my team:
Scale a business, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. You’ll work less, they said.
None of that is true.
But my team takes it all in stride with me—and we actually do have fun…in a stress-filled, constant firefighting sort of way.
People ask me all the time how I’m so prolific.
Uh…that would be the Spin Sucks team and I am grateful for them multiple times a day.
None of this would be possible without them.
The Spin Sucks Community
I have been so incredibly blessed because of the Spin Sucks community.
It’s pretty amazing to watch you all work.
People ask me all the time how we’ve built such a great community.
I’ve taken stabs at guessing, but the truth of the matter is it’s all you.
It has nothing to do with us.
It has been such a crazy ride the past 10 years or so.
Thank you for showing up here every, single day.
And, if you’re not already part of the community, click that link above and you can hang out with us.
It’s free, it’s fun, it’s smart, and it’s worth every penny.
(Hahahaha! I’ve been around Laura Petrolino too long.)
A couple of years ago, we started working directly with agency owners and solopreneurs and it has been the best time of my entire career.
People ask me all the time what I like so much about it.
I love working with my peers who are really smart and who are willing to do the hard work to dig in and solve some massive challenges.
The interesting thing about working with agency owners and solopreneurs is we all have the same challenges.
Sometimes it feels a bit like misery loves company. But we also celebrate massive wins together.
I love every minute of it.
The PR Dream Team
I concocted the whole PR Dream Team idea while sitting on my front porch discussing the merits of Slack with a friend.
We had no idea if it would take off or flop.
But it has become an incredibly rewarding experience.
I think we may actually rule the world together and create peace.
I fully realize it’s my thing, but I cannot imagine doing my job in today’s constantly changing world without the PR Dream Team.
Having It All
In the Spin Sucks newsletter earlier this month, I admitted this year has been a rough one for me personally.
It’s not anything every woman on earth who wants to have it all doesn’t deal with, but that doesn’t make it less challenging.
Kelly is traveling a ton (A TON) so I’ve spent the year being the default parent, running a household, and running two businesses.
People keep asking me how things are going and I’ll say, “Well, I’m in the best shape of my life because my bike is taking the brunt of my stress.”
I am in the best shape of my life and I have it all, dammit!
Those of you who have kids know your relationship with your parents changes when the little ones arrive.
Even your relationship with your in-laws.
Suddenly you completely understand what they sacrificed to get you into the world.
It’s also fun to see what they sacrifice for your children.
I am grateful they are all in her life.
On May 24, we had to put Jack Bauer to sleep.
It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
That damn dog was 16 years old and the first love of my life.
While I sat on the vet’s floor, he curled up in my lap and went to sleep.
I cried so hard, the back of my eyes hurt for days.
This is the first time I’ve written about losing him. I didn’t even post it on social.
(And now I’m bawling so I’ll move on.)
And then, on November 2, we lost Gramma D, Kelly’s grandmother.
She treated me as if I were her own and I will be forever grateful to her for that.
If you’d like to read what I wrote about her on Facebook, you can do so here.
While I’m not grateful for loss, I’m grateful to have had both Jack Bauer and Gramma D in my life.
My Little Family
I have a friend who says having kids is like watching your heart walk around outside of your body.
When you watch your spouse with them, it feels as though your heart cannot handle any more.
I adore that she and Kelly have such a special relationship.
They also antagonize one another to death.
He’ll tickle her and won’t stop until she yells, “Daddy is the best! Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!”
And then, after she escapes, she’ll yell, “Just kidding! Mommy really is the best!”
Now it’s your turn.
Set your timers for 10 minutes and get to work!
You can either do it like I did, or go for the big Grateful Challenge.
I recommend the latter, particularly if you’ve never done it.
If you publish your list, post the link in the comments here so I can share all of the grateful posts for the next week or so.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!