Every business starts with an idea, but unless you’re the entrepreneurial equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife, turning that idea into a reality requires tools. Resources. Coffee. And so forth.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’ve asked nine entrepreneurs to tell us what they – and their careers – are thankful for.
Jake Goldman, President & Founder of 10up
10up is a full-service web agency focused on outstanding content management experiences and high scale implementation, with full-time designers, engineers, strategists and systems experts.
What I’m thankful for: Smartphones
While many feel that our smartphones are the culprits that continuously keep us locked to our job throughout the day, I consider my iPhone the most freeing resource I own.
Modern “phones” and mobile networks empower me to walk away from my desk for both short breaks and longer stretches without limiting my ability to connect with my team, respond to important messages and stay attuned to unexpected, time sensitive matters. Because of these modern, tiny supercomputers, we always have access to critical information at a moment’s notice, no matter where we are.
You may call it a tether – as a business owner and competitive entrepreneur, I call that freedom, and I’m grateful.
Monica Eaton Cardone, COO and Co-Founder of Chargebacks911
Chargebacks911 is a risk management firm that specializes in helping online businesses manage chargebacks by preventing loss, minimizing risk, and recovering revenue.
What I’m thankful for: Tough Mudder
Our company runs the Tough Mudder as a team event (yes, you could say a lot of us are pretty crazy!). Many would assume that what motivates me is the fun, mud, challenge, or just the pure thrill of making it through electric
shock and quicksand alive.
However, what motivates me most is witnessing the team I work with, which already accomplishes many amazing feats, come together and confront new frontiers head-on! We have a diverse group of various fitness levels, but it is always the ones I would least expect who go that extra mile.
This type of event inspires me to believe in others and
continue to invest in their unlimited potential. Bottom line: never sell anyone short. You don’t know what someone can accomplish until you give them a chance to really show you.
Courage, dedication, passion and drive are way ahead of inherent acumen. These are the ingredients that make a difference and I am thankful to all of my employees for giving me their best!
Leeyen Rogers, VP of Marketing at JotForm
JotForm is an online form builder that helps you create online forms and receive responses without writing a single line of code.
What I’m thankful for: Medium. PS: Follow me =)
The blogging platform Medium has been tremendously
helpful for my whole company to learn from and inspire each other.
Regardless of what team you’re on at JotForm, you’re encouraged to share your knowledge in the form of a blog post on Medium, which can be posted on the company Medium channel. This allows us to stay updated on what other
teams are doing, even teams that are abroad in our European office and remote developers that are traveling the world.
We also believe it to be a good way to enhance brand awareness locally. JotForm is based in San Francisco, as is Medium, and many readers of Medium happen to be located in the Bay Area.
David Batchelor, President & Co-Founder of DialMyCalls.com
DialMyCalls is a service that calls or texts phone numbers with user-created voice messages or text messages.
What I’m thankful for: StayFocusd
I’m thankful for whoever the genius is that created a little browser plugin called StayFocusd. This app basically limits your time to X amount of minutes per day on whichever website you want.
I installed it as a quick test to block Facebook after 10 minutes per day, which should be plenty of time since I have only like 10 friends on there. Once I was blocked I couldn’t believe how many times throughout the day I
instinctively typed in Facebook.com, only to show up at the blocked screen. No joke, it was at least 15-20 times a day.
I would say this simple little app has saved me at least three hours a week of time wasted. It’s been a Christmas miracle!
Kailei Carr, Image & Presence Strategist
Kailei Carr is a speaker and advisor to women interested in raising their profile, improving their image and performing their best in order to achieve their professional goals.
What I’m thankful for: Canva
I create a lot of presentations and images in my business, and given that I work with people on elevating their in-person and online image, it’s important for my images to be polished.
Creating well-designed images through Canva.com that can be created without hiring a graphic designer has helped me save time and money, and has improved the quality of my images, for sure.
I have now designed everything from my podcast logo, worksheets in my online course, and presentation slides using Canva. It is my favorite free resource!
John Keenoy, Founder of Gift Slicer Inc.
GiftSlicer is a forthcoming social gifting application that makes it easy and fun to share the joy of sending a great gift.
What I’m thankful for: How Google Works
As a founder of a startup, I found the insights in this book crystallized some of the things that I already kind of knew, and put a great perspective on the important things that make a great company.
And it’s a super easy, page-turner of a read.
I started buying copies for the members of my team, and now we have impromptu book club discussions while we work. They’re so into it that we’ve begun digging into the authors’ footnotes.
A book about creating a great team has literally been instrumental in strengthening mine, and I’m thankful for that.
David Denning, Co-Founder of Jumpanzee
Jumpanzee provides affordable branding, web design, & development services for small businesses & startups
What I’m thankful for: Reddit
One resource that we (and our business) are incredibly grateful for and indebted to is Reddit. The community here (especially r/entrepreneur, r/startups, and r/smallbusiness) has been extremely helpful and supportive with the development of our company. It’s always ready to provide constructive criticism, whether it’s for our website, marketing strategy, or tools for our business.
In addition, Reddit has been a wonderful source of
new business, with a majority of our clients coming to us through the site.
I would highly recommend small business owners check out the subreddits I mentioned for seeking feedback and advice for themselves.
Adam Feber, Director of Marketing at Chargify
Chargify provides billing software that streamlines subscription management and recurring billing.
What I’m thankful for: Coworking Spaces
When I started working remotely, coworking spaces were not as popular as they are now, and there were not many options. Now, there are multiple coworking spaces in almost any major city.
I go to a coworking space about four days a week. It provides an escape from the home office and helps with work/life separation. As a remote team, multiple people at Chargify utilize and benefit from this new trend.
And Chargify happens to handle the recurring billing for many coworking spaces around the world, so it’s a win-win.
Steve Sullivan, CEO & Founder of Fibre Athletics
Fibre Athletics is a forthcoming clothing company specializing in versatile, stylish, durable, and sustainable clothing products.
What I’m thankful for: Costco Magazine
As funny as it might sound, the Costco Magazine changed my entire approach to what path my career would take.
One day I was in the lobby of my girlfriend’s building, and lying on the floor was the Costco customer newsletter with a cover story on Tom’s Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie. Reading about how they connected their business model and marketing of their products to a cause changed how I was considering what I wanted to do with a business.
I was thinking, at the time, that I would start a non-profit that helped restore the environment and alleviate poverty, as that is what I had spent the last 10 years doing. The Costco story reaffirmed my belief that business is, and should be, a key driver in solving the critical issues of our time, and the environment and poverty are at the root of almost every challenge we face.
Although we don’t follow the Tom’s model of buy one donate one, as we seek to make impact that supports local communities addressing these issues themselves, it was a clear example of leveraging commerce to take on difficult problems. That was inspiring, and provided the spark that led to Fibre Athletics.