This is the beginning of a gratitude post.

I have a tremendous amount of gratitude that I hold inside. It’s been hard for me most of my life to openly share my gratitude to people, even the ones closest to me. This past year I have begun to start expressing my gratitude to the people in my life and all around me and it has had a very positive effect on my life and other people.

So today I want to say thank you to all the teachers I have had in my life over the last 10 years. And no, I’m not talking about my schoolteachers or college professors. I’m talking about all the managers, business owners and employers I have had throughout my professional life thus far. You guys have taught me so much more than I ever learned in my 4 years in college. You all individually have helped me grow and progress in different ways. All of you have each prepared me for a different step in my life and without all of your help I would not be where I am today.

gratitude

So here goes…

Erik - Thank you for pushing my creativity. You not only took extra hours in your day to go above and beyond to train me in photography but you also pushed my creativity and me with the camera. Not only did you help shape me into a better photographer but you showed me that photography is much more than just taking someone’s photo; It’s fun, its art, its expression, and much more and you are one of the best photographers I know. You also were the first person to show me what customer service is. I developed a lot of my professionalism through working with you. I’m so glad I got the chance to work with you and thank you for teaching me everything you did.

Nicole Holland – I have never seen anyone work as hard as I’ve seen you work. You were dedicated and more productive than anyone I’ve ever worked with. You taught me dedication, customer service, responsibility, loyalty to a company, productivity, management skills, organization, and much more. You clearly were born to lead and manage others. I took a lot of what I learned from you and your management style into other companies and my own life later on. I am very grateful to have been able to work with you, and become and stay friends with you over the years.

Phil, Jasmin, & Nicole DeMartini – YOU GUYS. I have learned an unspeakable amount from you three both separately and together. You all individually have taught me more than I can even list here. I went from corporate companies to a small business and I got to see the power in running your own company and I loved it. I saw the ups and downs and everything in between. I saw different customer service styles and different management styles. I saw you guys grow as a company, I learned hiring and firing, management, and more; I started learning about company culture and how different it is from a corporate setting. I saw what dedication looks like and what building up and making your dreams happen looks like. You guys showed and confirmed for me that there is so much more growth and endless stuff to learn outside of the education system. You showed me the power of building something on your own and how to build a team. I am very very grateful to have gotten to work with all of you.

Nick – I have learned a tremendous amount about business and travel from you; essentially some life hacks that have improved my life. Your passion and dedication for business is amazing. You have taught me a very big lesson in life and business – one can never get “stuck.” I see you come up with creative solutions to just about anything. You push and strive and have an inspiring drive towards what you want and you never stop pushing towards your goals. If you set a goal, you achieve it and there is nothing that will stop you. Thank you for the time, energy and transparency you have shown me as both a business owner and as a friend.

Sophia & Yanik – I’m beyond grateful for the two of you. You two have opened me up to a world I didn’t even know existed. You guys have changed the way I view the world, business, and myself. You opened up my eyes to life without limits. Sophia I have learned a tremendous amount from you over the last 2 years from event management, planning, details, travel, company culture, creativity, how to create experiences, and much more. You have pushed me and continue to push me to think outside of the box and leave me with so much room to grow and learn. I have never met anyone who can think on his or her feet as fast as you can. You have also blown me away with your creativity and endless ideas down to every last detail in regards to planning the ultimate experience for people. Thank you for continuing to let me grow and learn from the two of you.

James – I have begun and am continuing to learn and grow with you in your company. Throughout my professional life I have learned a lot about myself and it has brought me to work with someone like you. I love your ethics, your no bullshit, straightforward outlook on life and business. Nothing stops you and nothing “can’t” be fixed or solved. I have learned logistics, and what it means to be loyal within the service industry. I am very thankful to work with someone that has such an intense drive for his company.

Dima – Of course I saved you for last. I know you already know this BUT here it is again: You have taught me more than anyone else in my life. You have taught me anything from how to drive to how to build a company. You have been an instrumental part in my growth and learning over the last 9 years. I am unbelievably thankful to have had you as a teacher in my life and still to this day. You have pushed me since I was a sophomore in high school to do better and go further and to never stop learning or growing. You have helped shape me into who I am and who I am becoming and I am and will be forever thankful for it. You showed me anyone can literally do ANYTHING if they want to. When I was 16 I wanted freedom but I didn’t know what that meant for me. Over the last 9 years you helped me learn what that is for me and that is what I am most thankful for.

“What if you woke up tomorrow with only what you were grateful for today?” 

Ginger Of The Week: Rachel

Rachel is our #GingerOfTheWeek this week! Rachel is one proud ginger and here is a little bit about why: “Before my grandma died, we were the only red heads in our family. Having red hair is unique, and it reminds me of her. She always used to tell me, when I was younger, how special I am to have red hair, so in honor of my her, I’m embracing it more than ever.”

20 Things You Should Do In Your 20s

1. Move around. Chances are you aren’t married and chances are you don’t have kids. So use your parents’ address as your legal address and get up and move around and explore the world and the people in it. If you’re still in college, study abroad, if you are looking for a new job, apply in different cities all over the place. If you happen to be lucky enough to work from home or have an extra chunk of change then what are you waiting for?

2. Learn how to make friends outside of the school system. Ever notice how easy it was to make friends when you were 6 vs. 16? You no longer want to be someone’s friend just because you both like the color green. As we get older we become set in our ways and set in a group of friends. When you attend school you automatically gravitate towards people and make new friends. Once people get out of school, making new friends comes to an  abrupt halt. Start learning how to meet new people: at work, at seminars, join clubs, take up a hobby, go to the gym. Become an open, approachable person who’s goal is to constantly meet new people.

3. Try some personal development. It’s not weird… okay some of it can be… but not all of it. So give it a chance. It will better your life. Whether it be a book, a seminar, or a course. Constantly working to better yourself will help you, the people around you, and your outlook on life.

4. Go to a festival – a BIG festival, like Burning Man, Tomorrowland, Coachella, Mardi Gras, Future Music Festival, there are endless festivals all over the world. It’s a gigantic crowd of people that are solely there to have fun. Go, let loose, meet some new people, and have some fun. While you’re at it, road trip there (if you can) to make it even more of an adventure.

5. Network. Learn how to network. Build your network of people older and younger than you. Build your network all over the place not just in the state you live in. This will help you as you get older. You will know accountants, lawyers, doctors, marketers, hippies, physical fitness trainers, and psychologists that will one day help you or be able to give you advice when you really need it.

6. Figure out what you’re passionate about. Too many people wake up and realize they’re 52 years old and they hate their life, their job, and want to do something else but have no idea what that something else is. Everyone that tells you “Oh you’re still young, you have plenty of time, enjoy your youth, etc.” is feeding you bullshit. Yes take advantage of your youth and your high energy levels and network, experience life and figure out what the fuck you want to do with your life.

7. Realize it’s okay to dump friends. It sounds harsh but let’s be honest – just because you have known someone for most of your life does not mean it is a healthy, beneficial relationship to keep. If anything it could be bringing you down and holding you back in life. If you wanted an anchor or crutch you can go out and find yourself one when you decide you want one. Getting rid of the Debbie Downer’s just makes more room for the Positive Pamela’s.

8. Stop caring about what other people think. No but really. STOP caring about what other people think. Just be you, like the real you. Think about it. Why do you care if all the strangers at the mall look at you funny because of how you’re dressed today. Chances are you aren’t ever going to see ANY OF THEM ever again AND if you happen to intrigue a stranger to want to come and talk to you because of how you are dressed then that seems like a perfect way to meet people.

9. Take risks. Taking a risk on a job, starting a business, or living in a new culture where you don’t speak the language is MUCH easier when you’re 25 rather than 45. You have much less responsibilities, you probably don’t own that much and you have less to lose. So take risks in life. Whether you fail or succeed at least you gave it a shot and experienced and learned something new.

10. Do crazy shit. Jump out of a plane, go scuba diving, climb a mountain, do some drugs, run a marathon, take a hot air balloon ride, or enter a pie eating contest. The time is now, you’re at your prime age, just go do some crazy shit that you can add to your bucket list.

11. Learn a unique skill. Juggle, surf, fly a plane, learn magic tricks, master black jack, or learn jiu jitsu. Learning new things is easier the younger you are and it also enhances your brain.

12. Learn another language. If you already speak multiple languages than learn another one. Learning another language is not only practical but it enhances your knowledge and enhances your memory. The older you get the more difficult it becomes to learn a new language so the sooner you learn one the better.

13. Care about your body both inside and out. Yes you are still “young” and you don’t have a bunch of health problems (yet!) so how you treat your body now will effect your body as you age. Stop eating crap. Exercise, get fresh air, and eat good food. Our generation has grown up with factory farmed meat, video games instead of playing outdoors, tanning beds, and a mass amount of radiation around us every single day. How do you think all of that adds up our health as we age? It’s going to SUCK. So start caring about your body, your skin, your bones and organs.

14. Join a cause. Whether its to help out at an animal shelter or give $10 a month to cancer research of your choice you should do it. Join a revolution. Go build houses for people less fortune than you. Stand up for what you believe in. Too many young people don’t care enough. Fight for something you care about or believe in – not only will you help others but you will be helping yourself.

15. Go a week without technology. We have grown up in a generation with the internet, phones, computers, and iPods. Go a week without technology. It will feel refreshing and make you appreciate everything you have at your fingertips.

16. Learn how to manage, invest, and save money. The school systems do an awful job at teaching kids about money. If you were lucky and had parents who saw this as an important lesson, than feel lucky. The majority of 20 something year olds still have no idea how to manage with their own finances. Learn these skills RIGHT NOW. You will be happy you did as you get older.

17. Sleep more. Yes, we are lucky that in our 20s we still have energy like the energizer bunny. We can work all day, workout, and then go party do it all again the next day off 3 hours of sleep. Just because we can do this does not mean it is good for us. Getting the proper amount of sleep is what is going to keep you feeling and looking younger; it will keep your brain and body healthy and well and in turn will help as we age.

18. Learn how to have healthy relationships. I’m not saying go get married tomorrow or that your priority should be in search for the love of your life BUT you should learn and have some serious healthy relationships. Too many people just spend their 20s hooking up and partying and then they turn 35 and realize they have no idea how to have a committed, healthy romantic relationship and yet they want to get married and reproduce. This is where divorces and unhappy families come in. So learn to love, be committed and respect another human in your 20s.

19. Show gratitude. Appreciate the world around you, where you live, and the people you have in your life. Be thankful for your life and everything in it. Gratitude increases your happiness levels and also makes others happy – and who DOESN’T want to be happy? I’m not saying have Thanksgiving every week but what I am saying is tell and show the people in your life that you are thankful for them. Take time more often than you do now to reflect upon all the things you are thankful for.

20. Make the most of it. Your 20s are going to fly by so make the most of it. You’ll be upset when you are turning 30 or 40 and you think to yourself “fuck, why didn’t I do that or start that.” So be conscious, have fun, and make the most of your prime 10 years on this earth.

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