Recently while in the bookstore perusing the bargain section, a book called “A Simple Act of Gratitude” caught my eye. It had the tag line “How learning to say thank you changed my life”; I became very curious about the story behind that. So I purchased this book by John Kralik and read it all in a day! Although not a literary masterpiece, the idea is so simple yet so profound.
The author had hit an extreme low point in all aspects of his life – with his family, his profession, and his health. While seeming to grasp at straws to sort out the complexities of his life, he committed to the very simple act of handwriting one thank you card per day and giving or sending it. While I would not say this act of gratitude on its own led to a better life for him, it points out the importance of a small gesture. The small gesture of physically writing the thank you cards positively affected Mr. Kralik, but had an even bigger impact on the recipients. I believe implementing this idea could greatly improve our business practice and relationships with colleagues and clients alike!
We do live in a culture espousing the benefits of feeling grateful and some even keeping a gratitude journal, which are great for us personally but do not do much for others in our personal and professional lives. I’ve always been a fan of hand-written thank you notes; it’s always delightful to receive a note from a happy client. There is really something about a personalized hand-written note on a card that screams “you are special!” The hand-written thank you card was a gesture I used to think was nice every once in a while for certain fabulous clients or suppliers that were very helpful. After reading this book, I now think the thank you card every once in a while idea is very shortsighted, and a sincere handwritten card has more tremendous potential for improving all aspects of business.
Why not commit to actually writing one thank you card per day? The cost is nominal — travel themed thank you cards, stamps, and three minutes of your time. It should prove to be a good investment. Think about the dollars you spend for marketing and other outreach to clients and I’m sure it’s much more than a card and stamp and 3 minutes of your time. There are so many clients, potential clients, colleagues, and suppliers that would benefit from spreading a little gratitude! People work harder and are more productive when they feel appreciated, and clients will remain loyal to you if you make the effort to acknowledge and thank them.
I’ve put this on my to do list; you can commit to 3 minutes a day as well!
Marti Litwin is an independent Virtuoso travel advisor with En Route Travel in Southern California. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California. Marti shares her value of sharing unforgettable family experiences with her clients. In addition to travel, she enjoys yoga, health and wellness, her 2 children, and an adorable rescued Golden Retriever, Cookie.