Chris Gelfuso’s Thoughts on Being Thankful in Difficulty

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” I think we can agree that Charles Dickens’s famous lines ring true when looking back at 2020 and 2021 (though “best” might seem like a stretch).

With employees shifting their worlds to make room for new priorities, disruptions to supply chains, new government regulations, and so on, we’ve seen East Los Angeles friends’ small businesses (like yours) in a non-stop “pivot” just to keep things running.

The constant pendulum-swinging of activity has taken its toll, causing a haze of collective exhaustion to set in. When you’re tired, it’s easy to think about the “worst of times.”

But, as we take a little time to rest over here at Uplevel Business Services, we can see that these rollercoaster years have also offered up valuable lessons about what’s important and we’re truly thankful for them. And that’s what we want to focus on right now.

When I look back, I can see (right away) the many blessings of my Southeast Los Angeles County practice. First among them: the joy of you choosing us to be a trusted source, not only with your taxes but also as a guiding source when it comes to your business. We know it’s hard to trust your “baby” (your business) to another, and we don’t take it lightly.

Also, remembering the journey to get to where we are now is a process from which we can dig out nuggets of gratitude. As anyone who runs their own business will agree, it’s a giant leap to go out “on your own.” I still remember what it was like to take this dream I had for my practice and put it into reality. I was a little bit scared, but I was hopeful. It all seemed so risky, but there were friends and other business owners who helped me along the way.

The risk DID pay off of course, and I’m happy about what we’ve been able to create around here at Uplevel Business Services. Now we get to be the ones helping East Los Angeles people like you pursue THEIR dreams.

So, as I gather at my table with family and friends this week … I find myself thankful for people like you. Thank you for your trust, for your business through these difficult years… and for making my first steps into starting and running a firm so rewarding now.

And, here’s a little advice for this week: Whatever difficulties you and your East Los Angeles business happened to have experienced the past two years, find some space for thankfulness. There are hidden gems in the many trials … and hidden fears lying within the windfalls. Finding and savoring the good will help you and your team thrive in the midst of chaos and pressure.


Enjoy your holiday, be thankful, and make some room for the best.


Chris Gelfuso
(562) 259-7777
Uplevel Business Services