For the past five years, the Wednesday before U.S. 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 last year, 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 Community
I have been so incredibly blessed because of the Spin Sucks community.
I wrote an ode to you yesterday, to thank you for standing up for us and for protecting us.
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.
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 Close More Clients Agency Owner Group
In May of this year, we officially launched Close More Clients—our agency owner program.
It has been one of the most incredible and rewarding experiences of my career.
As I explain it to people outside of our world: I get to spend my days working with my peers, doing smart things and evolving the industry together.
Who wouldn’t love that?
I love it.
It has become a source of knowledge for me, too.
During our weekly chats, someone will inevitably say, “Have you tried such-and-such?” and just like that, they saved me five hours a week.
I am so very grateful for them, for the hard work they’re doing, and for their optimism and positive attitudes.
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.
Admitting I Need Help
Last year I was diagnosed with chronic daily migraines, which is totally manageable, but we couldn’t figure out what was causing them.
I went round and round with the neurologist and, because I’m so crazy healthy, I didn’t want to start taking all sorts of drugs to try to control them, especially because we didn’t know the root cause.
Fast forward to earlier this year when I was sitting in the office of my primary care physician and he said to me:
Gini, you’re one of those people who thrives under stress. You do really well when you have lots of plates spinning. I just think maybe you have one too many plates spinning. Could you give one up?
So, against my better judgement, I set out to find someone to help me with the small one after school and on school holidays.
(Because, as I always say, school is not made for working parents.)
And did we luck out!
Paulina has been a godsend—and quickly has become a member of the family.
I don’t know how I managed “having it all” without her.
Now, instead of daily migraines, I have two or three a week.
I know that seems like a lot, but from where I started (and I’ve figured out how to manage them), it’s nothing!
I’m very, very grateful for Paulina.
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.
When my little beanie arrived, Jack Bauer was NOT happy.
For eight years, he was my one and only.
Now he was supposed to share me?
It got a little better when he realized she would feed him from her high chair.
Today, they do nothing more than tolerate one another so I have to capture moments like this when I can.
My Little Family
Likewise, you know exactly what it’s like to watch 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 Kelly will play along with her—and that I can see so much of him in her.
They crack me up.
The Fact That Hair DOES Grow Back
After my small one took safety scissors to her hair, I cried for three days.
It was a rough one to accept.
She was bald until she was two and I spent a long, long time talking to her hair, as if it were a plant.
And now it’s all gone.
But I’ve stopped crying and it will grow back—and she’s still our sassy, smart, confident, beautiful kid.
Now it’s your turn.
Set your timers for 10 minutes and get to work!
You can either do the top 10 things, 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!