Appreciate the chance to be better tomorrow

For many, it probably doesn’t feel like a time to be thankful. There have been tremendous losses this year — in the community, in business, and personal losses — making it understandably easy to focus on the negative.

Consider, however, that the worst has likely already happened. A massive disruption has completely reshaped the market. Your business might have faced setbacks unlike it has ever seen before, but it’s still here. And even those who have lost their businesses, you’re still here. However much of a setback we’re facing, we still have the opportunity to persevere, to learn and, importantly, to try again.

Everyone knows the name Walt Disney, but not everyone knows of his years of failure. His first studio went bankrupt, he didn’t secure the rights to his first successful character and it was taken out from under him, and his funding requests for the first Mickey Mouse film were rejected hundreds of times before he got a yes. He spent his early professional years broke, and the stresses eventually led to a nervous breakdown. But he persevered, innovated and found rarefied success.

We become prisoners of our fears, worried so much about them that they shape who we are. They make us afraid to take risks or try something new because doing so could mean losing everything we have. But having that fear realized and recognizing that we can overcome it can set us free to reimagine ourselves, reimagine our businesses in ways that we couldn’t before.

Now may be a good time to do a self-assessment. Take inventory of your priorities and identify what’s really important to you. Refocus on who you are and the abilities and traits that set you apart, make you great and make your organization great. It’s possible that, caught up in the day-to-day grind, you lost who you are — that you got locked into one idea or one version of yourself. Now could be a time to refocus on your strengths and attack the market from a new angle, refreshed and reinvigorated.

When you see that the worst has happened, you realize that you can survive more than you believed you could. You’re stronger than you believed, and you can do much more than you gave yourself credit for. Too often we measure ourselves against who we were in the past. But we should be thankful for where we are today, for whatever we have now, and know that we have a chance to be even better tomorrow.

Fred Koury is president and CEO of Smart Business Network Inc.