Say Thanks – It’s Good For You!

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Thanksgiving seems like a good time to pass along the best advice I have ever received and given and it is simply: to say thanks.

I walked into a client’s office last week and he had a thank you card I had written him from 3 years ago on his desk. Said it still inspired him!! Yup, true story. (On the flip side of that coin I have never gone into a clients office to see an email printed out and tapped to a desk. Just sayin’)

When was the last time a customer, client, or co-worker sent you a hand written thank you note? I hope your desk is just littered with beautiful notes but likely it has been a while and that is why this strategy when applied authentically can set you and your brand apart.

And the truth is we are thankful – we do appreciate what others do for us. We just don’t always know how to say it. So keep it simple. Keep it short. Send it immediately.

Here are some hints if you struggle with what to write:

First, think of person you are writing to, visualize that they are standing right in front of you. Now talk to them like you would speak to them if they were really there. This  will insure you get the tone right either formal or casual however you normally converse. Keeping things  keeps  real and sounding less like the Wal Mart greeter. So grab your pen and think of someone you need to say thank you to and start with:

Line 1: why you are thankful

Line 2: why what they have done for you matters to your business or to you personally

Line 3: a burst of generosity  – give some knowledge away

Line 4: a personal line about when you might see them next or something that you both share an interest in.

Here is an example:

Fantastic to connect today – thanks so much for sharing your time and energy with me.

I am completely inspired by the work you are doing  – my mind has been blown wide open! Your work is changing lives and it meant a lot to me hear about what your latest project.

You mentioned you were having trouble coming up (insert something you were discussing) and I had an idea flash –  (insert your brilliant idea or a link to some helpful information here). If you would like any help fleshing this idea out further reach out anytime.

Hope you pile on the pumpkin pie this weekend and cheer wildly for the Riders.

All the best,

Xxx

What to write on?

Well preferably a branded thank you note. If you don’t have that – well email me right now here so we can design one for you! 🙂 Or run as fast as you can to Chapters and buy a stockpile of simple, classy looking thank you notes (think Kate Spade) with a blank inside. Then keep them on top of your desk so you can reach for them often. If your thank you is not branded include your business card in the envelope.

If you were just about to pull out the – “but you haven’t seen my handwriting” excuse. Well, think of this as good practice. Honestly, you can manage 4 lines!

Veering towards the  ‘nah “I’ll just send an email”  – very nice but won’t have a fraction of the impact. Trust me on that.  Old school, is the cool school besides.

And I have saved the best for last – science actually proves that saying thanks will make you happier too. Happiness researcher Shawn Achor has shown that when we thank others and look for the positives we start to feel more positive too. “The more opportunities for positivity we see, the more grateful we become.” And the good news just gets better, Achor says “When researches pick random volunteers and train them to be more grateful over a period of a few weeks, they become happier and more optimistic, feel more socially connected, enjoy better quality sleep and even have fewer headaches than control groups.”

Convinced yet?

Thanks for reading this. It means the world to me that my little thoughts reached yours and maybe started a tsunami of thank you notes being sent around the globe :).

Smile. Breathe and go slowly. Thich Nhat Hanh

I love words.

We spend a lot of time together, and I like to think we get along pretty well. From corporate marketing strategies, to taglines and business names and blogs I crave stringing words together and making them sing. But when it’s time to write for my own blog, I seem to freeze up. (And that’s not because I live in Saskatchewan – it’s only October!) The questions start to swirl – should I  strictly be Ms. Marketing and  “all about the niche, ‘bout the niche, ‘bout the niche” (think Meghan Trainor when you read that) or do I show a little me and what stories inspire my life. My story co pal, the brilliant Kelly Hogan advised me to do the latter. Phew, thank goodness she is so brilliant! I feel much more comfortable doing this. And besides I only have one life – and work, rest and play (and a few dog hairs) are all mushed into it.  So if that’s ok with you then read on…

Reflect on EverythingRecently I had the chance to fall in love with Whitehorse in the Yukon. The ultimate “true north strong and free experience”. It is BIG country and  encourages big, brave, and clear thinking.It was at the heart of the gold rush after all, and you can still feel the electric energy that made this –  the land of the possible (find more Yukon moments on my instagram here).

Taking this picture had me reflecting, on reflection (and yes, my kids groan at my puns) and I had a bit of a lulu moment. Life is full on most of the time and being reflective can seem to go against my movin’ and shakin’ and dream making mentality. But surely if there ever was a time and place to be reflective – this was it!!

So reflect, I did. Got quiet. Sorted through the gunk and here it is – my reflective Yukon inspired manifesto moment:

Breathe BIG.
Walk TALL.
Find the still. Feel the dirt.
Get unhinged every once in awhile
Sparkle.
Expand your view.
Be BOLD

(even with your kitchen dance party moves that no one sees)

Be well.
Know where you stand.
Dream about where you will stand NEXT.
Then stand THERE.
Right now.
Focus.
Sometimes life hurts – and everything is important, and nothing is important all at the same time. I don’t know why.
Everything happens for a reason – is not always the answer.
Sometimes there is no answer.
Reflect what you feel in your heart.
Move people.
Make good stuff then.
Make good stuff great.
Write.
Let it go…
Pass it on.
Make brave a verb.
Put something out there.
Stay curious.
Deep listen.
Shake the world – even just a little.
Love big. Like REALLY big.

 

Found a bit of gold dust in the Yukon stillness, yes I did. (And remember that the phrase “a bit of a climb means something different to a Yukoner than it does to a Flatlander.)
Climb on…

Get Bored!

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Need to ramp up your creativity? Well, you might just need to get a little bored to do that.

Do you remember those summer days, half way through the summer when you got (and I cringe when I say this) – bored? My generation seems to think of boredom as a disease. If your kids were bored – you had failed as a parent. Kids were meant to be constantly  “busy”  bouncing from activity, to activity. Productive always.

Today, life is constant. Devices always humming and buzzing. Its really a challenge to get daydream, bored. We have taught and endorsed  busy –  we can’t possibly seize the day unless we have a millions things on the go. Full speed ahead. YOLO and all that.

But it turns out that some idle thinking-  staring at the stars, making friends with your thoughts and  and just learning to just “be”,  might  the best way to ramp up your creativity.

Our on the go lifestyle is crushing our creativity.  Science can now actually back up the fact  that creativity is on the decline. That just makes me all kinds of sad (and visions of “bring back boring” written on  t-shirts is emerging in my head) Turns out getting a little bit bored is what can ignite our creative juices. The daydreaming state might bring you  face to face with the  realization that you desire new goals, or perhaps help  you to see new ways to solve that nagging issue at work that  seems insolvable. Daydreaming can make your brain find new pathways, challenging you to think and act in new ways.  Study after study have shown that in experiments those  who were given more mundane or boring tasks were actually forcing their brain to make new  connections and that the “boring task” group came up with more creative solutions to whatever problem the researchers asked them to solve.

An occasional  bit of boredom can be good for us. Chronic boredom? Well, that’s not a healthy way to live. But while it’s still summer indulge in a little boring. Languishing on the dock, staring off into space – embrace the “do nothing” vibe. Chase those clouds across the sky and see where your mind wanders.

And if your kids come  running in saying “I’m bored”. Stand proud and tell them they just might be reversing the creativity decline.

Newton was under an apple tree when he discovered gravity.

Enough said.

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