Thinking about all we have to be thankful for is a good way to do a reality check and inspire us to tackle the end of the year deadlines with smiles on our faces. This year has been one for the books, and I am humbled by all the wonderful things that have happened. My team has grown from one to three, we have surpassed our strategic goals, and most importantly, we have had the privilege of working with more than 30 talented businesses. In honor of Thanksgiving, we wanted to take a moment to share what we are most thankful for.

Feel free to chime in! What are you feeling especially thankful for this year?

We are wishing the happiest of Thanksgivings to you and yours. 

- Amanda 


What are you most thankful for in your job? 

Amanda- In the craziness of deadlines and learning how to be a boss, I sometimes forget to take a step back and think about how much progress I have made since I started Rough Draft Solutions. In the rare moments that I soak it all in, I’m blown away that I get to spend my days working with such a variety of business owners and teaching a team of talented and positive individuals. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to make a little difference in the lives of others and to pave my path. I am most thankful for the freedom to spend my days doing work that I love and seeing the businesses we work with thrive. 

Tracey- The thing that I’m most thankful for in my job is helping small business owners grow their businesses in a positive and meaningful way. Knowing that the work we do is helping someone else achieve their goals is very fulfilling.

Emily- I am thankful to have the opportunity to expand my knowledge and gain new skills in doing what I love while helping others at the same time. Changing hats with each client allows me to discover new things each day that broaden my horizons. I am forever grateful to get the chance to learn so much from such an awesome boss and to work alongside two incredible ladies. 


What are you thankful you learned this year? 

Amanda- This year I learned that not only do I do not have to do this alone, but the business is better when I collaborate with others. Hiring two team members was the best choice regarding expanding the business and has enriched and fulfilled me in ways I couldn’t have predicted. I am thankful that I learned delegation is a good thing! The business has grown a lot this year and as a result, I am continually learning how to expand our services, improve efficiencies, and balance it all!

Tracey- This was a big year for me. I got married, made some career changes, and did a lot of “growing up.” I’ve learned so many lessons, but there is one in particular that stands out, and that is that it’s OK not to do everything like everyone else.

I think there are too many times we feel pressured to stick to a set schedule in life. We think, “I’ll get married at this age, and I’ll start my company in this many years,” and that there is some universal, magical timeline we all must follow. However, I learned that I shouldn’t miss out on an opportunity because I felt like it came too soon or it wasn’t the right time. I learned that it’s OK to be different, and it’s OK to do what makes you happy. And although it wasn’t always easy and there were moments I wasn’t always super thankful, looking back at the bigger picture, I’m so thankful I learned that it’s OK to trust my heart and to trust in a bigger plan.

Emily- Writing was something I always loved to do but never knew if I was truly good at. This year I learned to have confidence in my writing and the skills that I have acquired, and always to keep learning and improving my writing! I am thankful to Rough Draft Solutions for being the opportunity that gave my writing and confidence a chance to grow. 


What is something non-related to work that adds joy to your life / makes you thankful? 

Amanda- With the risk of sounding sappy, I will say that I would not be where I am today without my husband, Nate. He adds more joy to my life than I ever imagined, and more than I deserve. I am beyond thankful for his support and encouragement as I have gone on this business-ownership journey. He’s there on the good days and the not-so-shiny days. And of course, he loves to travel almost as much as me, so that keeps life exciting!

Tracey- My family and friends. The relationships in my life are very important to me. If I didn’t have that core community of super awesome individuals to journey life with, I’m not sure what I’d do. The joy they bring to my life is beyond measure. I have that old grandmother, "pinch your cheeks," bake you a pan of fresh cookies, kind of love for them.

Emily- Since this is my senior year of college, it has been awesome to see the finish line of graduation and see all of my hard work pay off. I will be forever thankful for my awesome MSU college experience and amazing roomies who made the experience a million times better. I am also incredibly thankful to have the greatest boyfriend who has always given me unconditional love and support. It’s super important to have a support system surrounding you as you are striving to achieve your dreams :)


What are some of your favorite family Thanksgiving traditions?

Amanda- Thanksgiving just gives me that warm, cozy feeling. It’s the time to be with family and unplug. I grew up in Minnesota, and for my entire childhood Thanksgiving was at my parent’s house and my grandma Leanna was always there. We have the traditional Thanksgiving meal, but there is one unique family tradition that I simply adore. While it may be a bit unorthodox, we always have raspberry sorbet with our Thanksgiving meal. This is a tradition that dates back to the day my Grandma and Grandad got married. While my grandparents are no longer with us, it is a sweet reminder of them. 

After our big meal, everyone crashes in front of the fireplace for several hours of napping, chatting, and hanging out until it is time to eat again. ;)  For supper, we always have leftover turkey sandwiches and play board games late into the evening. Now I look forward to Thanksgiving even more because it means going home and seeing my nieces and nephews!

Tracey- When looking back, some of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving have very little to do with gorging myself with yummy food. It’s the preparation of the food that is my favorite. Every year, my mother and I are in charge of preparing the bird and all the fixings that go with it. While it’s a lot of work, we have such a ball doing it. We crank up the music, share in some good ol’ girl talk, and share in the mutual disgust for gutting turkeys. It makes me chuckle just thinking about it. We literally laugh our heads off trying to prepare that thing. It’s always a grand celebration when we finally get it in the oven! (: (:

Emily- I’m not sure that my family has any specific Thanksgiving traditions, besides spending time together and enjoying a good meal. However, there is one Thanksgiving where Hanukkah took place during Thanksgiving, and it was a holiday I will never forget! Thanksakkah was the perfect mix of delicious turkey, yummy potato latkes, and fun Hanukkah games!:)

What is something you don’t normally express gratitude for and will aim to be more thankful for in the upcoming year?

Amanda- Before I moved to Michigan, I never imagined that it would be a place I loved to call home. And yet, the more time I'm here and the more places I explore, the more I love it. I am thankful that this is my home, and this is where I am growing roots. I am grateful for Michigan’s humble beauty, innovative and hardworking people, and its never-give-up attitude.

Tracey- I know it sounds a bit unconventional, but I wish I were more intentional in expressing gratitude for my mistakes and failures. The truth is, I am thankful for those things even if it’s not the most enjoyable thing to be thankful for. There is so much we can learn from our mistakes, and if I hadn’t made a wrong choice here and there, I wouldn’t have the knowledge and wisdom I do now to make better decisions in the future.

Moving forward, I’d like to change the way I look at failure by shedding some much needed positive light on rather negative situations by replacing bitterness with gratitude.

Emily- As the weather begins to change and sickness appears at inconvenient times, I reflect on how thankful I am to be able-bodied and healthy. We often don’t think of how lucky we are to have good health until we don’t have it. So this year I will aim to express my gratitude for having my health each day and will live my life each day as if it would be taken away from me the next. 


Not only will we continue to sign our emails with “Many thanks,” but we will take that extra minute to express our wholehearted appreciation for one another and the everyday details in our lives. We hope you enjoyed reading about our reflections, gratitude, and traditions! We hope your Thanksgiving’s are filled with love, family, relaxation, and delicious food! What are some of the things you are thankful for this year? 

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