I end this month with a business license in hand, a brand new website thanks to Zenfolio, and a plan to offer more services and available dates for my clients in Europe. With Thanksgiving and Small Business Saturday (in the United States) this week I reflect on the top three things that I am thankful for as a business owner going international for the first time.
1. I'm thankful for the support of my American clients back home. My past clients have been my "cheering squad" and built the network that has kept my business going through my move. Their support on Facebook, Twitter, and via personal referrals has been a gift that I never expected but I'm happy to have received. What really surprised me was how many of my clients had connections here in Germany even though their businesses operated solely in the U.S.
2. I'm thankful for the time that local photographers, artists, and business owners have spent getting to know me and welcoming me into their community. I'm the "new kid on the block" and I'm not expected to spend more than a couple years on this side of the Atlantic. I was hopeful yet unsure of how I was going to be received. It's taken some time just to be good acquaintances (an adjustment from the speed of American networking events) but it has been well worth the relationships being created.
3. Finally, I'm thankful for my family and friends who have supported me as I build my business in another country. This move has required more flexibility from ourselves and our family's support network than any other single event so far in our lives. Something as simple as a kind message or as difficult as some tough love have kept me on track despite all of the worries, self-doubt, and unexpected challenges that I've encountered.
Thank you for reading my blog and following me on my latest adventure! I hope you're spending this weekend with your own friends and family. And if you're heading out for holiday shopping remember to support your local or online small businesses:)