Welcome to the Marketing in the Wild podcast. I’m Julia from Stratos Creative Marketing, where we are obsessed with finding real-life examples of the good, the bad, and sometimes wild, in marketing.

I have been tasked by my bosses, which is really just my team, to create a Thanksgiving episode. If you’re wondering about what to post for Thanksgiving or giving Tuesday, or resources around Thanksgiving this holiday weekend, check back to last year’s episode. We had a really, really great one on how to get involved, what to be posting throughout this weekend. But this episode is just a little bit different because I figured, you know what, we don’t necessarily need to rehash. We could totally repurpose everything that was in that episode, but you can go back and listen to it. 

And so my team suggested that I do something about Thanksgiving, like thanking our clients who are awesome and thanking my team, who is also awesome. But then, the more I keep on thinking about that, it just feels like everything we’re gonna be seeing on Thanksgiving, people’s turkeys, people gathered around family with family, and I’ll be honest, that feels really hard right now. I am so, so thankful for our clients. I just got off of a call with a client who raved about her website and how it’s been getting her, her ideal clients, and that was just so cool to hear. Sometimes our clients get amazing products, but then we don’t hear how they’re working afterwards. So it was great to check in with her and hear that.

I’m also thankful for my team. My team has been amazing this year. We haven’t necessarily grown in staff numbers, but people are growing in how many hours they’re putting in. But I’m also seeing people’s personal achievements; things like going back to school. One of our staff members, Kelsey, is going back to school. I’m so proud, so impressed with her, and how much she’s taking on with life, with work, school, and a toddler. I’ve gotten to see Kat go to Greece and love life even when it’s been hard. I have gotten to see employees take care of their kids, new babies. We have new ventures, new jobs, and I have loved every moment of seeing it. And I can’t believe that I get to hang out with these people every day, every week. We laugh, we tell funny stories, and I am so thankful that a few of them have gotten to see each other in person. We all live across the whole United States, so it’s not super easy, but we’ve gotten to see people meet each other for the first time or hang out in person, and I love it, and I’m thankful for it. 

If you’ve been following my personal life at all, which you can if you want to, on Instagram, I’m Julia Block Pearson, https://www.instagram.com/juliablockpearson/, you know this year has been really hard. In March, we had our first baby, baby Maddie. She is the best baby in all of the world, and I’m not joking. But it was really hard. We spent 50 days in the NICU with her while she had massive surgeries to extend her jaw. We have another surgery coming up in December, and it’s just has been hard. She came home on a feeding tube, we had to figure out how to do that. Thankfully, she’s doing really, really well right now. 

But I don’t know if you’ve ever had a year or a season where you’re like, wow, could anything else go wrong?  And for us, it’s felt like one thing after another. We’ve had family members get sick on the heels of then having to have Maddie’s surgeries, and then right now, I’m dealing with a dog that has 10 stitches in her belly. And it has felt like, yeah, there’s no other way to put it, but one thing after another. I am not here to be a downer, I’m just here to tell it how it is. And if you’ve ever had a year like this, you know exactly how it feels. It just kind of feels like, what the heck? Can’t we win? Roger and I look at each other all the time and we say, “Wow, I feel like we need a vacation.” And then we go on a vacation and we come back, and we’re like, “Wow, I think we need a vacation from our vacation.”

So I’ve been thinking a lot about that and how it is hard to be thankful. And maybe you’re going through a similar season, maybe you’ve lost a loved one and the holidays don’t sound fun, maybe your business is struggling. Ours was hardcore earlier this year while we were in the NICU. My staff was amazing, but we definitely had a few months where we had to make some really hard financial choices. And so it just has felt like a really heavy year. I joke that we’re gonna make 2023 uneventful, but that’s just not how life works. And I can try to tell life what I want it to look like, but I don’t get to decide. So I feel like instead of this being like an open journal, I should turn this back around. 

But I do wanna acknowledge all of the people who are listening to this podcast feeling like life is hard, life is heavy. We just came out of a global pandemic. Well, we’re not even out of a global pandemic, but we’ve been dealing with that. There’s just a lot. It’s been a lot. And so here’s the thing, one of the things that my therapist talks about, and I’ll tell you all, go to therapy even if you don’t need it or you don’t feel like you need it. My therapist has been asking and reminding me how to be grateful. And every time we talk about it, I’m like, “Can you shut up? I don’t wanna talk about this?” But I have been looking around and saying, “Okay, what do I have to be grateful for?” Like, yes, I have to watch my kid go through these dreadful surgeries, yes, I have to see people I love struggle, yes, friendships have changed this year, but what do I have to be thankful for? 

And so this year, gratitude is coming a little bit harder. It is a little bit harder for me this year. But the things that I am thankful for is that our daughter is healthy. I am thankful that I have a great therapist who earns her money. Even, I’m grateful that Roger and I did therapy when we were newlyweds so that we were ready and knew better how to communicate through this really hard season. I’m thankful for my family, my siblings, my parents, and they’ve been huge supporters. I am thankful for my team. My team has continued to provide quality, quality content for our clients, and have just really served them well so that we can continue to exist as Stratos, even when I was working beside the hospital bed in the NICU. I’m thankful for our clients. I would say 99% of our clients are our favorite, the 1% don’t stick around for very long, and I’m okay with that. But they have been so encouraging both in life. 

Stratos, our team, welcomed three or four babies this year, and our clients have been so gracious with us, with maternity leaves and figuring out how we’re gonna structure our schedules. They have also been so excited for us. They sent us gifts for the babies, everything. It just is crazy. Our clients have become good friends and family. And so these are the things that I’m thankful for. I’m also thankful for these really great s’mores chocolate bites that I get from Target and can eat a whole bag at once. I’m thankful that we live in Utah, and the sun comes out more days than not. So I’m thankful for the big things and the little things. So I guess that’s where I kind of wanna leave it, you guys. This has been a very personal episode, nothing about marketing really. 

But I just wanna put it out there that if you are going through a hard time, I see you. I see you, I’m right there with you. But don’t forget that there are little things that we can look around and be thankful for. Well, everybody, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, whether you are with family or on your own, do something for yourself that you love. Sometimes being with family is hard, and so I see that too. So anyway, happy Thanksgiving, everybody. If you’re not from the States, happy Gratitude Day, I guess. We love you all and we’re really grateful for you, all of our listeners as well.

Friends, thanks for tuning into this week’s podcast episode. I am so glad that you have, if you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, I just ask you to subscribe so you know each time we have a new episode coming out. If you loved our podcast and want to give us a rating or a review, I promise we will read each and every one of them. A special shout out to our friend, Carson Childers, who is producing our podcast. We really appreciate him and all the hard work that he’s done for us.

Also, thanks to the Stratos team. They have been behind the scenes doing all of the graphic design, brainstorming, et cetera, et cetera. Really, this wouldn’t be possible without them. I’m thankful for each and every one of you guys. Lastly, listener, we’ll be back next week and I hope you will be too.