You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Tis the Season for Giving Thanks With Christmas just a day away, don't forget to give a big 'THANK YOU' to the VIPs in your life.

By Matthew Toren

entrepreneur daily

Around the holidays, it's easy to get bogged down by the day to day of launching your startup -- especially if you have a seasonal business or one that kicks into overdrive this time of year.

But the holidays should also be a time for introspection, review and giving thanks. Given the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. -- and the emotions of everyone from family members to employees running raw -- following this regimen may be more important now than ever.

Here's a list of people to consider this time of year and how to pay them thanks:

If you're fortunate enough to still have your parents in your life, let them know how much you appreciate them. Even if you went through some patchy times before, ultimately they helped instill the values that launched you on your entrepreneurial journey. Make an effort to reach out and invite them to lunch. Verbalize your appreciation.

Also, if you have a family of your own, be sure to remind your loved ones that they're your first priority. Find time to spend a family weekend together, away from work. And start plowing money away for college, or even a start-up nest egg.

Friends that you've made early in life will keep you humble and give you perspective. It can be harder to forge real friendships in adulthood, but if you keep an open mind, you can still make genuine connections. If you have friends who are struggling financially, try to pick up dinner or drinks even when it's not your turn. If they're your real friends, they would do the same for you.

Related: 4 Holiday Gifts for Time- and Fashion-Challenged Young Entrepreneurs

You don't have to give money to charity to give back to your community, or other hard-hit communities. Get involved in community organizations. Give your time. In many ways, it's more valuable and meaningful than your money. Volunteer on a holiday or organize a fundraiser with charitable proceeds through your company. Work to make your business sustainable. Not only is it a powerful ethical decision, it's a sound financial move. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of sustainability and will actively seek businesses that reflect their values.

Related: 10 Ways to Win Over an Unsupportive Family as a Young Entrepreneur

If you have a particularly good month or quarter, reward your employees accordingly. They are the life-blood of your company after all. Little gestures like free muffins or sushi go a long way. An outing for dinner and drinks to celebrate the holidays, or even just a big sale, builds team spirit and shows that you're eager to share the rewards of success. Again, make time for your employees. Address their concerns individually and with candor, and verbally acknowledge people who are putting in extra effort.

Related: 5 Ways to Win the Hearts of Employees

Share your positive attitude with those around you who are willing to accept it. There will always be a collection of negative and cynical people don't care. Ignore them and focus on communicating your entrepreneurial mindset with other positive people and those looking for a boost. In a way, a person with a powerfully infectious positive attitude gives more back than anybody.

You don't need a monocle and a sailboat to start being philanthropic. Benevolence and altruism are states of mind. Adopt them, and let them influence your business, your interactions with loved ones and your relationship with your community.

How have you thanked the people in your life this year? Let us know in the comments section.

Matthew Toren

Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor and co-founder of

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

James Clear Explains Why the 'Two Minute Rule' Is the Key to Long-Term Habit Building

The hardest step is usually the first one, he says. So make it short.


Get Your Business a One-Year Sam's Club Membership for Just $14

Shop for office essentials, lunch for the team, appliances, electronics, and more.

Business News

Microsoft's New AI Can Make Photographs Sing and Talk — and It Already Has the Mona Lisa Lip-Syncing

The VASA-1 AI model was not trained on the Mona Lisa but could animate it anyway.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Some Costco Stores Are Now Selling a Frozen Item That Looks Just Like a Trader Joe's Fan Favorite

The Frozen Kimbap is a Trader Joe's cult favorite, and now a version can be found at Costco, too.