As we wrap up 2016 I  can look back on this year and think of so many things to be thankful for. Some of those things are the type of life lessons that can be best described as the “silver lining” or “blessings in disguise”. Our company has experienced ups and downs as any normal company would. I’m so happy and thankful for every single one of them. Even the downs! That’s where we grew the most, learned the most and changed the most. So cheers to you, 2016!

Here’s my top list of what I’m most thankful for, in no particular order of importance.

Space Heaters

You saved my life, or at least my hands. The HVAC may leak through our old windows, but you, space heater, you are different.

Facebook Business Manager

Who doesn’t have a love hate relationship with Facebook Business Manager? Once I added my pages to it everything I ever knew about managing a Facebook page changed; I spent hours figuring out how to add a new ad account; there’s what seems like thousands of new manager options that I got so excited to explore yet found myself not knowing how to find certain things. Where did the page feed go? How come I can’t comment on other pages anymore? Despite the confusion and cluster of separating business from personal profiles, I am thankful for the Business Manager. I’m sure it will only get better (fingers crossed!!!)

Non-paying Clients

Sure, I sent weekly reminders regarding outstanding balances while grumbling under my breath. But honestly, having a few non-paying clients helped us realize how important it is to better qualify clients before we take them on. It revealed weaknesses in our accounts receivable department that we were able to fix. It helped my husband and I turn to each other to figure out how we were going to get through the month, rather than turn on each other. And it made me appreciate our on-time paying clients even more. Thanks for that! For real.

Our Team

It’s taken us a few years but I think we finally have a solid A team. They’ve dealt with us shifting processes, then shifting again. They’ve responded to us on what seems like 100 different communication channels. For real, the notifications can get out of hand. But they don’t complain. They ask questions, they give advice, they listen and they are just seriously awesome. I’m going total cli·ché and saying that we wouldn’t be where we are without them. But it’s true. They’re way smarter than us and we’re OK with that. In fact we LOVE it.

Uberconference

What would we do without Uberconference?!?!?! It’s how we do 90% of our meetings. We rely on it so much it’s kind of scary. It saves us so much in time and gas money. Our clients love it, too. It’s the gateway to our happiness. One love, Uberconference!

Protein Bars

When I’m in it for the long haul there’s nothing more reassuring than knowing my hoarder-level stash of protein bars has my back. Through breakfast, snack, lunch and afternoon snack, they are there for me. Because the last thing I want to do is cook an actual meal when I’m knee-deep in writing blog posts like this, or updating the back end of a website, or scrolling my Facebook feed for the 100th time of the day.

My Flexible Schedule

This is top of the list for sure. I am seriously one of the luckiest gals in the world. I get to work three days a week in my company (which makes me feel so proud and happy) and I get to spend two days a week with my almost three year old daughter. I have to be honest – I battled with staying at home for the first year. It was not my calling to be a stay-at-home mom, and that’s OK with me. There’s something special about women (and men) who can take on that burden and carry it with patience and grace. I certainly stumbled through that new chapter in my life. After we put our daughter, Piper, in daycare part-time it really helped bring more balance into my schedule. I don’t feel guilty at the very least. In fact, Piper is happier now as well. She has new friends, a great teacher and provider, and she really looks forward to her days at school. I’m so thankful for the days I do get with her, though. It’s a nice break in between the days of the week, and I think she’s pretty cool with it, too 🙂

susan aldea work from home

If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. – Frank A. Clark

Trello, Slack

These three tools represent a huge chunk of our processes. It keeps us in check with almost everything we do. We’ve really become accustom to Trello. Thankful for it’s robust app. Thankful for how easy they make it for us to change how we want to organize boards. Thankful that so far we’re still able to get everything we need out of the free version! Slack has really helped us, too. We use it more for internal communication; it’s so much better than emailing back and forth! Thankful for the headaches it has saved me from having.

SharpSpring

This software has literally changed our company. We went from a one-off project model to a full-blown retainer-based agency model with long-term client engagements. SharpSpring helped us transform how we build our client relationships. It’s shaped our entire reasoning behind our business processes, from top to bottom. And for the good, might I add.

My Husband and Business Partner

This guy right here…day in and day out wakes up like it’s the first day on the “job”. And I’m talking about both our marriage and our company. He is so passionate about what he loves. When he’s in, he’s ALL IN. I’m extremely thankful for being able to work side by side with him, without wanting to kill him. He’s fun to be around, even though his music selection can be boring sometimes. He’s always there for me when I need a backrub, or a nap. He puts me first every single day. Without hesitation. I can’t think of anything in this world that could replace that giddy and loved feeling. GLM is a success because of his determination to make it that way. For him, failure is not an option. I’m thankful for his countless hours dedicated to our clients. He has their best interests at heart and it shows through our success.
michael and susan aldea golf

Thanks for reading my post! And Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

susan aldea go left marketingSusan Aldea spent the first half of her working years in customer service for multiple industries including food and beverage, apparel and cinnabons (mmm). At that point it was all about optimal product positioning and carrying a smile even if she was exhausted from school. The second half of Susan’s career was entrenched in the anatomy of a multimillion dollar real estate development, optimizing a large real estate database and assisting Realtors with a multitude of real estate marketing campaigns. Even though she prefers to stay behind-the-curtain, her presence is always known and felt around the office.

Learn more about Susan Aldea

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