Words John DiBartolomeo
I recently read an older issue of ArrowTrade magazine; no, I’m not a bow hunter, nor even a hunter at all. With all due respect to those who hunt, I prefer to obtain my meat by making a trip to the supermarket rather than sitting in a cold field waiting for my next meal to come meandering by. Once again, no disrespect to those who enjoy the “hunt.” Rather I’ll gladly pay the price and tip my hat to those who enjoy that hobby.
But I found a column in the book by a John Kasun very interesting. He spoke of how much a simple thank you is worth in today’s society, which got me to thinking just how our society has become almost faceless between e-mail, texts, Facebook, Instagram, you name it. I’ll text, email, Facebook, whatever with the best of them, but after two or three texts back and forth, I’m pressing the phone icon. Not that I don’t appreciate the brevity of a text, but rather I get tired of touching those little buttons with my fat fingers on my phone. And who hasn’t been vexed with that damned spellcheck?
Bear with me on this. Kasun spoke about how many high school graduation notices he receives, those obviously looking for money, which he said he matches up with the thank you notes he receives following Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, plus the fund-raising candy he has purchased in the past. He says, “Let me just say that those who appreciated my past gifts enough to say ‘thank you,’ will be rewarded for their thoughtfulness at graduation time. Those who were too busy to say thanks in the past won’t have to worry about thanking me anymore.”
When I was young; or younger as I’m still young, at least at heart; my parents would “force” my brother and myself to send thank you notes to those who sent us gifts for whatever occasion. I think like a lot of things we’re “forced” to do as kids; don’t chew with your mouth open, elbows off the table (okay so maybe I still get “yelled at” about those); we somewhat weren’t thrilled with doing them, but that one thing did teach me an important lesson in life. Although I have to admit it took me decades to realize it for myself. (Of course, please don’t tell my parents they were right. Although as both of them have passed on, it might take a really long-distance phone call.)
Here’s a question I pose to you: How many times have you gone out of your way to personally thank a person, or a company for that matter, for something they have done to help you, your racing program or even your family.
Let me use this as an example. Going back two paragraphs, it is something I should credit to my parents. After a win and the subsequent trips to the mailbox to receive contingency checks, we make sure to send a letter to each individual company, thanking them for their award. In reality, they don’t have to do that, but instead choose to do so as their way of thanking you for using their products. Not an e-mail, mind you. Not a text. An actual letter mailed to them with a stamp on an envelope. That in itself is unique in this day and age, but it makes a point along with helping you to stand out from the crowd.
Obviously throughout the years, many racers have purchased additional Wallys and other trophies, memorabilia, etc. after their wins and given them to sponsors, crew, etc. It’s their way of thanking each for their help. Most recently, one thing stood out to me. Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints broke the NFL’s career passing record and in doing so, he maintained the attitude of “Take care of those who take care of me.” In doing so, he sent 174 commemorative and personalized footballs and letters to players, coaches and others who he felt had a hand in his feat. Pretty impressive in my book.
I’m certainly not any type of savant when it comes to promotional abilities, otherwise I’d like to think I’d be in a better financial position than I am. There are people far greater in promotional abilities than I, but I just try to use a common-sense approach to any number of subjects. And of course, I’m not bashful about “borrowing” some great ideas.
Do we succeed in every case? Probably not and there are some we miss along the way. But at least if we make the attempt and put forth the effort. Isn’t trying half the battle? Do yourself a favor, next time something good happens to you, make the effort with a thank you. That can go a very long way.