By Rieva Lesonsky

photo turkeyHere’s what I like about Thanksgiving: It’s an all-inclusive holiday. No matter how young or old, whatever race or religion, we can all find a reason to give thanks.

As an entrepreneur in the middle of the biggest recession since the Great Depression, you may not feel that you have a whole lot to be thankful for. Well, think again. First—we’re not in the middle of a Great Depression. (Next time you’re feeling sorry for yourself, go online and search “dorothea lange photos dust bowl.” In about two minutes, you’ll realize how much you have to be thankful for.)

Second, you’re still in business. That’s an accomplishment worth celebrating at any time—but especially now, when the challenges of entrepreneurship have gotten so much tougher.

Third, you’re making a difference. It’s a truism we hear a lot from government (which doesn’t always act on it), but small business truly is the backbone of the U.S. economy. If you’ve got employees, you’re helping support people. If you don’t, that’s OK—you’re still supporting yourself.

What am I thankful for? Last year at this time, my partners and I were thankful that our newly formed company—then just six months old–was up and running. We couldn’t believe how much we had already learned about being in business for ourselves.

Another year later, our company is hitting the 18-month mark—and we’re even more thankful and proud that we’ve come this far. We’ve learned even more (perhaps the biggest thing we’ve learned is that when you’re entrepreneurs, the learning never stops) and accomplished things we didn’t think we were capable of.

My partners and I started a tradition last year. No matter how busy and stressed we are, the four of us take a day to go out to lunch, relax and reconnect with each other. We celebrate our success and brainstorm ideas for our future. It’s a great Thanksgiving tradition, and one we’ll be continuing this year.

What’s your business Thanksgiving tradition? I highly recommend starting one. And for all of you reading this blog, I’m thankful you come to visit

Note: SmallBizDaily will be taking Friday, November 27, off. Happy holidays!