GratitudeToday, I am an entrepreneur.

Today, I have my own small business.

Today, I take steps in a new direction.

And there's a good chance you helped make this possible. It could be “you” in the general sense or you in the specific “yes, I'm talking about you” sense.

A huge round of thanks is in order as I officially end my decade plus at RBC Wealth Management and create totally new ways to provide value to the world.

I can't possibly mention everyone here who played a role in helping me become an entrepreneur. So if you aren't mentioned it's not because your contributions are unimportant.

Even people who aren't thanked will still get some value on how to leverage key people in your life to do something crazy, different…and maybe really important.

To the Obvious and Obviously Awesome

Although this isn't a competition, one person must be addressed first.

To My Wife Melinda

Melinda and Grant

You have supported my journey at all times and sparked my personal renaissance.

You provide financial, emotional, mental and intellectual support (just to name a few) and took leaps of faith when it wasn't reasonable to do.

You are the foundation of everything that comes before and after this new chapter in my life.

To My Other Family Members

Mom: Thank you for listening to crazy ideas rattling around in my head and helping to form them into something useful. Thank you for the encouragement when it wasn't needed and especially when it sorely was.

Dad: Thank you for helping me address the practical changes as a result of resigning from my corporate gig. You remind me that although this is exciting and fun, it also needs to be serious and well executed.

Aaron: Brother, I've always relied on you to give it to me straight and bring a perspective only someone you've known your entire life can provide. Thank you for getting caught up in the excitement and for helping me analyze the future in unique ways.

Aunt Fran: Nobody can compete with you when it comes to encouragement and praise for pursuing a burning passion. From the first time I mentioned this new chapter, all I ever heard was “Wow,” “That's Great!” and “That sounds fantastic.” That means a lot.

Grandpa: Thanks for reminding me that as long as you have family and good health, everything else is extra. You may not fully understand what I'm doing or how I'm going to achieve it but you understand and support the most important piece of the puzzle: Why.

Aunt Char and Uncle Steve: The emails from you two with words of support, courage and wisdom provide a boost in confidence and motivation. Sometimes it's hard to “get it” when I'm not communicating well but you seem to be able to interpret my words the way they were intended. I'm grateful for this.

To Friends Old and New

Jessie: Nobody makes a kick in the pants feel better than you. That's not a back-handed compliment…that's one of my highest forms of thanks.

Erika: Your entrepreneurial spirit gives me a template to learn from. Bouncing ideas, resources and strategies off each other has helped tremendously.

Brian (a.k.a. Biggity): Few people listen more genuinely and attempt to contribute in more sincere ways than you do. I could be starting a business selling snow in the Arctic and you'd find a way to help make me more successful.

Stew: For engaging in philosophical, “what's the meaning of life” conversations. Your sheer intellectual capacity rubs off on me in a groovy kind of way and makes my brain operate better.

Carole: You turned Daily Money Management from an abstract concept into something real. You extended a guiding hand as I labored to explore how I could incorporate the principles of DMM into my future work.

To Present and Former Co-Workers at RBC Wealth Management

Jennifer: My first boss and the person who hired me. Many things you gave me are invaluable like the genuine interest you took in my growth. Or the trust you put into letting me do things outside the normal boundaries of my role. And not to mention the skills and relationships you helped me form and the time you worked furiously to get that wire transfer back from China (you know, the one I intended to send to Canada).

Sarah: Awesome boss #2 but, more importantly, a friend who I just happened to report to. Your feedback about how to handle situations more tactfully and getting me out of trouble when I stepped on someone's toes were huge.

Chris C.: Last in line of a series of great bosses. You showed me how to turn my tactical and technical knowledge into big-picture, strategic know-how. I know how to create a long term roadmap of what this small business thing could be in large part because of your coaching.

Leslie: Work can be fun and games if you have people who are willing to play. I learned part of the approach to just enjoying the heck out of work – regardless of what gets done – based on our interaction over the years.

Molly: Collaborator. Catalyst for helping me just get to the damn point. Someone to just get nutty and non-business like with while still getting business done. All of these will help in the world of small business.

To the People I Feel Like I Know Who Don't Know Me

Don't Know Me

Our era of communication and information allows us to feel like we know people we've never even met. Heck, we can feel a connection to people who don't even know we exist.

Each of these people produce original ideas and content that form the inspiration for what I want to do with my business, how I go about accomplishing it, and why the important things are, well, important.

Tyler: Nobody was more instrumental in hammering home the idea that risk and uncertainty were to be embraced and celebrated, not avoided and feared. From your current masterpiece about freedom to Balance is for the Uncoordinated to your formula for changing the rules, you've planted seeds that are growing into something wonderful. Oh, and not to mention your awesomeness of The Bootstrapper Guild, which is freaking rad!

Joshua: Becoming Minimalist played a huge role in convincing me I don't need a big paycheck and “stuff” to get the most out of life. Wanting less and more importantly, needing less, means I can take steps (like making zero dollars for a while) that would otherwise looks like unfathomable leaps.

Jonathan: Illuminated Mind is practical wisdom distilled into actionable form. And this is rare stuff. Before even taking this leap of faith, you warned me why passion alone won't build my business, illustrated how to beat limiting beliefs and informed me about the benefits of being lazy. You don't just inspire, you push people to embrace what's scary about the modern world.

Scott: Live Your Legend, more than anything else, makes me ask the question “why” before any others are considered. Whether it's master level articles about relationship building or contemplating if what I'm doing actually matters, you get me to reflect on ideas I would otherwise not be aware of.

Raam: My go to philosopher. What you provide goes beyond my potential to cultivate, your amazing Incoming Ethics series and showing us all an alternate business of life. I learn the ethics of respectable business more from you than anywhere else.

Pat: Smart Passive Income was my gateway into the concepts of passive income and identifying a business model that I now work on implementing. Your “evergreen” content is superior to just about anything else out there. Not that's it's a contest or anything (you're winning by the way).

Tim: Spelling out the framework for a sustainable business was huge for me when reading The 4-Hour Workweek. This was a total game changer in ways large and small.

A Second Round of Thanks

Perhaps unnecessary but I'm doing it anyway.

One of you is owed a second round of thanks and that's Melinda. Your contribution to helping me become an entrepreneur justifies enormous gratitude. Don't worry honey, there will still be time for me to say something other than “thank you” and “I love you.”

Need Some Help Becoming an Entrepreneur Yourself?

I'm not special just for quitting a good paying job and I'm certainly not better than anyone else getting a steady paycheck. But if I can help you become an entrepreneur like all these other people have helped me, let me know what role you want me to play.

Once again, thank you everyone!


Photo Credit: SimplyAbbey and eekim