In the busy world we live in going out of your way to be thankful for every little thing is asking a lot. Twenty, thirty years ago…maybe. We had more time back then. Things moved slower and expectations were different. In the hurry up world we live in now most people do not expect a thank you for their time or business. They want you to just do what you say you will do and provide a good product or good service. So stop worrying about those thank you emails, cards, or texts and just focus on your company doing a good job.
Do I have your attention now? Did my sarcastic rant get you shaking your head and calling me bad names? Of course being thankful is good. Of course showing gratitude is the right thing to do. As a matter of fact I assert that in the big picture of life - being thankful is probably one of the most important things we can do. Let’s review a few who’s, why’s, and how’s…shall we? We shall:
The easy one is family. We all say we are thankful for our family, but how many times do we give them our left over time and attention. We get so busy making a living that we forget to live the life we are making.
Friends. Another easy one right. How long do we go between a call or lunch? Remember, friends are the ones that probably bailed you out a bunch and had the courtesy not to share the stories.
Clients. We say we are grateful, but how many times do we act like they get in the way of our ‘to do list’ or running the business. Consider how competitive the world is and how hard people work for their money - now consider how honored we should be that they have chosen to spend it with us, We should never forget how lucky we are to have them.
Supporters/Mentors. These are folks who have listened to you vent over the years. They have attended your events, they have given advice, they have given you time, and helped promote you and/or your brand. They have applauded you when you have done well, and helped lift you up when you were down. Have you thanked them?
Employees. I know - They get paid to do a job, but a good employee is very hard to find and even harder to keep. A consistent attitude of gratefulness will go a long way to keep them and create loyal employees who are invested in the company’s success. You can plan the direction of the ditch, but don’t forget most of the time they do the digging.
Brand Ambassadors. These are not just clients and customers that spend money…they love your product, your service, your experience. If you have heard the word ‘organic’ when it comes to social media or word of mouth advertising - these are the ones that get the credit. Do you have a system in place to consistently let them know how much they mean to your business?
Freedom. I know a little cheesy right? But let’s be honest…we don’t have the opportunities we have without the sacrifice of millions who have given their life and service to help provide us the freedom to pursue our dreams.
Little Things. Here is my personal list (outside the ones we just mentioned)…feel free to add or subtract. -- Sunrise/sunsets, good music, good wine or whiskey or a good beer, camp fires, dogs, tomorrow, yesterday, jazz music, folks who can proof reed (get it?), people with a sense of humor and good hamburgers.
Being grateful just makes us feel good. Want to have a better 2016…be more thankful for things and watch how much brighter and happier your world gets.
People may forget what you say, but not how you make them feel. Think about it…even our words contribute to how we make others feel. A genuine thank you will do wonders.
Karma is real and the bus can either run you over or pick you up and carry you to the next ‘success’ stop. You know this is true….admit it.
When you die…what do you want to be said at your funeral? Do you want the focus to be on you as a business person or as a good person? Whatever it is….go live the life necessary to make it come true.
Because I said so. Seriously….I am telling you what to do…now get to it.
We have a lot of options. Texts or emails. We can post on social media. Maybe a gift? I know it’s old fashioned, but we can send a card or letter and if you really want to send them a throwback - actually write it. Like with a pen. Not the print that looks like it has been written, but it’s actually been written. Now this is radical, but how about a call or lunch or coffee. Spending time with human beings that you are thankful for will do you both a world of good. It’s called perspective.
One last thing. Using the excuse ‘That’s just not easy for me’ or ‘that isn’t what I am good at’…are cop-outs and should never be used by adults when it comes to doing things they know they should do. Being hard isn’t a good reason. Hard is doable if we care enough.
So to recap, be thankful.