Just over 400 years ago the Pilgrims and Native Americans gathered for the first Thanksgiving. A year earlier the Pilgrims had sailed from Holland to Plymouth Rock, where they settled. However, they were ill prepared for survival in the harsh new world. Over the winter about 1/2 of them died. The rest would have likely perished too, if not for the mercy and assistance of some friendly Native Americans. Squanto and his people took mercy on the Pilgrims and taught them how to build shelters, grow crops, and survive. As a result, the Pilgrims not only said thanks, they decided to show it – inviting the Native Americans to a celebratory feast of thanks. The Pilgrims realized that they owed their survival and future success to the kindness and generosity of the Native Americans and they decided to show it with the first Thanksgiving feast – a tradition that we are all pretty thankful for.
What about you and your business? Are you doing something to show the people who matter most to the future of your business that you appreciate them? Are you saying thanks? Are you showing it? The lesson of the Pilgrims is not just to be thankful, but to show it. To actually give something back in return for kindness. This might be the most effective form of marketing you ever do, and it is probably some of the most affordable too.
Make a list of the professional connections you are truly thankful for – your best customers, mentors, referral sources, vendors, stakeholders, key partners and anyone who has gone the extra mile to help you survive and be more successful. Next figure out how you can show these people exactly how much you appreciate them. It might be a handwritten thank you note. Maybe it is a cup of coffee or a lunch. Perhaps it’s a referral to them, help with a project, or a donation of time, talent, or treasure to a not-for profit cause they care about. These people have shown that they care about you. Return the favor and take a moment here and there to actually give thanks.
To all who have been so kind to me over the years, and the list is long, Thank You! Happy Thanksgiving.
P.S. Contact me and let me know when we can grab a cup of coffee so I can say thanks in person.