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    GGBA: A Time to be Thankful

    By Michael Gunther–

    Message from Leadership–

    What a year this has been! We’ve seen ups and downs in the ever-changing economy, challenges in growing businesses during the pandemic, a never-ending election cycle, and impacts on our communities from the housing and health crises as well as business closures. The list of ups and downs could go on, but the list of things to be thankful for should be even longer—and can be the list that shapes our attitudes as we approach a new year.

    This holiday season I encourage you to take a few moments to acknowledge the individuals and situations that have assisted you in achieving your goals this year. I would like to share my list:

    1. The Economy – No, I’m not thankful that we are experiencing the existing economic situation, but I am grateful for the associated challenges that have made me and others better business people. We have had to go back to the basics of earning business. We have had to be innovative in creating new approaches, services, products, etc. We have had to work hard to pare down our debts and expenses. I’m grateful that these economic times have allowed businesses to rethink and reenergize their organizations first to survive and then to thrive.
    2. The Community – It is amazing how in a crisis people band together. We are fortunate that we live in a community that relies heavily on small businesses, because our needs have created many organizations and individuals dedicated to supporting the success of businesses. I know the GGBA has been focused on providing resources and tools to help our member businesses succeed.
    3. My Team – I am fortunate to have business partners who share my passion for helping businesses be profitable and sustainable. Their drive and dedication inspired me through many challenges this year and continue to motivate me to be better at what I do.
    4. Our Strategic Partners – At the GGBA, we have a remarkable group of strategic partners (PG&E, SoCal Edison, Comcast, AT&T, to name a few) who not only support the GGBA but also provide support and resources to our members.
    5. My Board Members – Having a group of business leaders volunteering their time to improve the life of our members and community is remarkable, especially during these stress-filled times. I am thankful for the volunteers whom I collaborate with on a regular basis who help me stay grounded and inspire me to drive towards achieving our mission at the GGBA.
    6. Our Members – I am very grateful to have the opportunity every day to assist passionate people to build their businesses. I am inspired by their commitment and determination to make their dreams a reality. Every time I work with our members, I am confident our economy will grow. They truly are the backbone of our economy!
    7. My Family – Being the 14th of 17 children has provided me a large support network. Add in my husband Steve, and I have the balance I need to stay focused even during the most stressful days.

    Is it cliché that during this post-Thanksgiving period I am writing a list of things that I am thankful for? Maybe. But writing this list has reminded me that no matter how large the challenges I face, I have strong connections that provide me the inspiration, motivation, balance, and grounding to support me in achieving my goals.

    The Bottom Line

    Writing out a list of what you are thankful for allows you to see past your challenges to what matters most. Start your list today: Who inspired you? What have you learned about yourself or your business from this pandemic era? Then, make your list the foundation for setting higher goals for your business next year.

    Michael Gunther is the President of the Board of the Golden Gate Business Association as well as the Founder and President of Collaboration LLC, a team of highly skilled business professionals who are dedicated to assisting proactive business owners to build profitable, sustainable businesses through results-oriented education, coaching, and consulting services.

    Published on December 3, 2020