Occasionally, I share a post that I made in the past and update it because it is still so timely.  This is one of those.  As I read it this morning (the day before Thanksgiving 2015), I am once again so very grateful for how far those involved in the challenges mentioned in this post have come. The year 2015 wasn’t as challenging as that year and the year that followed.  It has been a wonderful year with so very much to be thankful for.  Before letting you read that post, I just want to say how very THANKFUL I am for all of you who take the time to read by blog posts and participate in GiftBasketBusinessInsders in whatever way you do.

Now, let’s hold the glass high as we toast the year that is almost behind us and look forward to a prosperous and, most importantly, happy 2016.

“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent
that it changes the world you see.”

— Dr. Robert Holden

As I stop to reflect on the past year, I realize just how much I have to be thankful for.

Many of my readers live in the US and are celebrating Thanksgiving today.  But no matter where you live, what you celebrate or how, taking a moment for appreciation and gratitude can really put things in perspective – and positive light.

It hasn’t been an easy year for me.  The past month particularly has been  a particularly challenging one.

But, as the saying goes, you can look at everything in life as “either a glass that is half empty or half full.”  And I prefer the half full.

This morning is a beautiful sunny day.  To me, it isn’t a day of turkey and all the trimmings or “over the hills and through the snow, to grandmother’s house we go.”  It’s a day to celebrate all the wonderful things that we have to be thankful for.  With that in mind, I  made a list of things I am grateful for, and all the things in my life that I appreciate so very much.  When I finished, I realized that the glass is much more than half full.  It’s almost all the way full.

Interestingly, it was the current challenge  that resulted in the things I am incredibly thankful for now.  It has given me a new perception that has changed the way I see the world and what is really important.  It has brought me much closer to special members of my family  Life has a way of pushing you in the right direction, even when it’s uncomfortable – or downright painful.

When 2012 began, I never guessed how it would end.  And 2013 will be no different.  The ending can be incredibly different from the beginning.

Gratitude is powerful. Even when life isn’t being kind, it pays to appreciate the positives. Or even to appreciate  the challenge at hand, knowing it will shape you into a better person and lead you in a better direction.

And, no, I’m not going to share my challenges.  Life is a journey and we all have challenges of some kind  in one way or another.  It’s how we handle them and what kind of people they help mold us into that makes a difference.

I encourage you to try the exercise in gratitude. It’s amazing how it can change your perspective and affect your attitude, and how much it will motivate you to achieve even more things to be thankful for in the months and years to come.

For those of you celebrating, I wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving Day filled with gratitude.

May your life be full of love, happiness and success.


Ten Traits for Successful Entrepreneurs

Way back in March 2010, we published the very first issue of our magazine.  Back then, it was called “Gift Entrepreneurs.”   We thought that was a great name for who we are and were amazed when Entrepreneur Magazine felt threatened by us.  Deciding that we didn’t have the power in our slingshot as David did, we gave in to Goliath and changed the name.

But we ended the last page of that very first issue with this tidbit that we need to remind ourselves of regularly:

success-keyInvestor‘s Business Daily has spent years analyzing leaders and successful people in all walks of life.  Most have ten  traits that, when combined, can turn dreams into reality. These traits are:

1. HOW YOU THINK IS EVERYTHING. Always be positive. Think success not failure. Beware of a negative environment.
2. DECIDE ON YOUR TRUE DREAMS AND GOALS. Write down your goals and develop a plan to reach them.
3. TAKE ACTION. Goals are nothing without action. Don‘t be afraid to start. Just do it.
4. NEVER STOP LEARNING. Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills.
5. BE PERSISTENT AND WORK HARD. Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.
6. LEARN TO ANALYZE DETAILS. Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.
7. FOCUS YOUR TIME AND MONEY. Don‘t let other people or things distract you.
8. DON‘T BE AFRAID TO INNOVATE; BE DIFFERENT. Following the herd is the direct way to mediocrity.
9. DEAL AND COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE EFFECTIVELY. No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.
10. BE HONEST AND DEPENDABLE; TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. Otherwise, Numbers 1-9 won‘t matter.

Tell us what you think in the comments.  Can you think of other traits for success that you’ve observed in others?

The Most Important Hat of All!

hatsHow many business hats are you currently wearing?

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you work long hours and wear many different hats.
You pile one hat upon the other. There is the designer hat, the accounting hat, the internet hat, the customer service hat, the planning hat, the marketing hat along with many other different hats.

All of these hats scream for attention which can get pretty loud when we have one piled on top of the other.

So we solve the problem by wearing the hat that screams the loudest. Wearing that hat is only a temporary solution since all the other hats keep screaming until we wear them, too.

There is, however, one hat that doesn’t scream very much.

It rarely ever complains as it usually ends up on the bottom of the pile as we take off one hat and put on another. This hat knows it is important, whether it is worn or not, but it doesn’t scream out how valuable it is.
So it gets neglected and forgotten about until the day when the customers quit coming. The other hats quit screaming because they are no longer needed. As you sort through all the hats wondering what is wrong, you suddenly notice the Marketing hat and how little you had worn it.
“Why didn’t I wear the Marketing hat?” you ask yourself.
And then you remember that it had mostly kept silent while all the other hats were demanding your attention. You were also afraid that the Marketing hat was too expensive to wear and would eat up your profits. So what can you do?

Put on that Marketing hat and use it to get the old customers back and to attract new ones. Wear it regularly.
And when you do, the other hats will perk up and start screaming for attention again. But promise yourself that you’ll never neglect that one hat which makes all the difference in your success no matter how silent it is.