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?”