Thanksgiving Reflections from AddEvent’s CEO meet addevent

Updated Jan 23rd, 2024 by   Nicolas Zenker

Thanksgiving has always been a special time of year for me. Growing up, I invariably associated the holiday with friends, family, and food. As I’ve gotten older, my approach to Thanksgiving has changed, and I’ve started using it more as a time to pause, reflect, and express gratitude for the many blessings I’ve received. This year, I’m viewing Thanksgiving through a slightly different lens as the CEO of AddEvent, and I’d like to share a few thoughts on what that means to me in the context of our company. 

First and foremost, I want to acknowledge that Thanksgiving comes with a complex historical and cultural backdrop. The traditional narrative we’ve all been taught in school is only part of the story, and there are ongoing and important discussions surrounding its origins. Additionally, we need to be sensitive to not everyone sharing the same perspective on this holiday. Educating ourselves on historical issues and acknowledging differing perspectives is essential, as it opens the door to a broader conversation about the holiday and a deeper understanding of the experiences of others.

For Thanksgiving this year, I’m personally focused on the theme of gratitude in our work. I admit this isn’t a particularly revolutionary concept for Thanksgiving, but it’s become especially relevant for me in the daily chaos of running a software startup. 

In the world of startups, we’re always looking forward and constantly focused on what’s next. We chase ambitious goals, strive to launch new products, and work tirelessly to achieve growth. It’s the nature of the game, and it allows us to accomplish remarkable things. However, this relentless pursuit of what we haven’t yet accomplished – the single-minded focus on what we don’t have, rather than what we do – often prevents us from stepping back and appreciating what we’ve already achieved.

As we all know, this phenomenon isn’t exclusive to startups. In our increasingly fast-paced society, it often feels like we’re all in a never-ending race for the newest tech, the next career milestone, or to achieve that thing we don’t have yet. This constant pursuit can lead to a fundamental sense of dissatisfaction and discontentment. We’re so focused on what we lack that we forget to appreciate what we have. Gratitude, it seems, is something we’ve lost along the way.

Which brings us back to Thanksgiving. This holiday is the perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on all of the opportunities we have been given, the things we have accomplished, and the people who are in our lives in order to express gratitude for it all. This year, I’ve started incorporating gratitude into my daily routine, focusing on a few specific things I’m thankful for every day. As CEO, I’m creating space for our team to slow down and focus on everything we’ve accomplished so far, celebrate the wins, learn from the losses, and express our gratitude for those achievements. This can be tough to do amidst the daily chaos, and that’s partly why timely reminders like Thanksgiving can be so helpful. With enough practice, we aim to build gratitude into a year-round routine and incorporate it as a key part of our company culture.

Whether or not you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this year, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on what you’re thankful for. Remind yourself of your achievements, the support you’ve received, and the opportunities that have come your way, in your personal life and professional endeavors. Express gratitude to those who have helped you along the way, and to yourself for what you’ve accomplished. 

This Thanksgiving, let’s embrace gratitude as a guiding principle for the season and carry it with us into the next year.

Wishing you all a Thanksgiving filled with reflection, thankfulness, and joy.

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