The Lost Art of the Handwritten Thank You

We live in a digital world….it’s way too easy to text, email, message, FB, automate correspondence, chat, snapchat or even voice to text a message to someone.  And I live in this world most of my days and it’s awesome on many levels, but there is something that delivers gratitude more than most…it’s a handwritten thank you.  

We’ve lost it. When is the last time you got a hand written note?  Maybe it still exists prevalently in your world…but for most of us, it’s a rarity.  Everything is automated and it’s easy to hide behind a computer or just electronically send your thoughts. 

My father and I used to write each other a lot.  It was poetic and elegant, and a way that I saw a deeper side of him that many couldn’t in his later years.  And mostly it was just genuine.  So that’s what writing has always been to me…a thoughtful and elegantly genuine expression.  I work to keep it a usual habit to write notes often...especially when thankful.

Showing your gratitude in any form is still such a wonderful gesture, but there is something that just means a little more when you take the time to write these days.  Try it, and do it without expectation.

Reinventing Accounting with Love

So I am not quite sure that I have ever met anyone that loves their accountant.  I mean let’s be real. But in the event that you are in search of a financial love affair, I think I have found the peeps for you, because I love my accountant. 

This budding business romance started because I was in need of some guidance in launching my non-profit, Chemo Noir.  I have run a business, multi-million dollar budgets, helped throw a Super Bowl, but I had no clue how to get a non-profit party started with regards to the IRS.  So as I am vulnerably asking for his help and services, we discovered that we actually needed each other and the sparks started to fly.

Chris is amazing at what he does and has built a very unique process to grow income and value, but he was having a lot of anxiety around marketing.  He had ideas and aspirations and a desire to reinvent his firm, but was not sure how to get it there. So we filed my 1023 and enjoyed a few discovery meetings, and viola! In this cathartic rebrand, I emerged with my non-profit operational and IRS-ed, and we uncovered the identity Chris had been envisioning for years.  Winning. 

I look forward to creating more stories and watching PF flourish. And if you need a little fiscal romance, you should definitely check them out, trust me, you will love the guy.

THE POWER OF ONBOARDING (part I)

Being memorable. That’s what I believe makes a great first impression.  

So often we get suffocated by this world of things, and making the sale, and filling the seats, and end of year goals, and getting the bigger house, and doing what we are supposed to do all the time…that we lose sight of how important people and quality experiences are in the grand scheme of things. Whether it be an employee, patient, client, etc…making that memorable impression could make or break a loyal engagement. So I wanted to thoughtfully share a few insights, because positive people leading is bred from the start. 

POSITIVITY. This one is often easier said than done, but also easy to control.  Positivity, especially when genuine, is contagious and welcoming. It evokes a lasting emotion of caring. I would venture to say that is a good thing when trying to impress upon someone.  I refer back to the poem Attitude a good bit in this life, and it’s become a part of my everyday practice when maestro-ing the many people and situations in my world…life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it. So be nice and positive when you are trying to onboard someone in your world, it will stick with them. 

PERSONA. We all tend to wear different personas in life.  We have our professional persona, and our relaxed happy hour persona, and our family gathering persona, our let loose friend persona, etc…all of which bring out a different energy and emotion in us.  It is key to bring the person to the table that you want remembered and embraced. So leave your bags at the door and bring your A-game. 

PREPAREDNESS. Being prepared to bring someone onboard is key.  People can sense if you are not prepared and are often left with a sense of unimportance. That is certainly not the tone you want to set when trying to make that first experience memorable. In this case people are left with an empty, negative feeling, and although it can often be made up for, it more often leads to disinterest and disloyalty.  So get your shit together if someone is important.

PRODUCT. Swag, people love free stuff and cool swag. Product can be a representation of an actual product, or your company, or your personality, or your capability. It’s just something tangible, useful or memorable that makes people feel like they are a part of something. So be creative and inventive here.

PERCOLATION. That’s what you do now as you think about how you want to onboard your next person of importance. Make it count.

This will be a series of musings on why I think onboarding is a critical part of our human successes. Stay tuned. Cheers!

The Journey of an Irreplaceable Hat Experience

It all started over a cup of coffee, some nostalgic high school memories and the need for some hats....

Back in 2009 I had an agency client that had a need for a very specific, yet simple, golf hat. We were having some difficulty sourcing it so I reached out and discovered that my throwback high school comrade was in fact in the biz of custom hats. Brilliant! So we sat down in Starbucks and Jeff was sharing with me his capabilities to customize hats at a great price, and shared lots about how he got into the biz and his vision for growing it into something special. As he proceeded to show me his site (in his defense, this was our first lesson on the value of brand experience), I believe that I may have thrown up in my mouth a little bit. Visually difficult, confusing identity, camo-esque back ground, clunky UX, and it was in NO way a depiction of what he had been passionately describing to me. I knew in that moment that I couldn't let him go out like that. At the time I was a budding agency owner and just knew that with some brand coaching, Jeff was going to build something special with a very viable product. Now DOME HEADWEAR COMPANY, is a thriving business and evolving into truly an irreplaceable headwear experience.

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We have been through a number of brand evolutions together, and continue to have an invaluable  partnership, relationship and most importantly friendship. Some of my most favorite people, and so excited to continue to watch their boundless success.  Do Better. @domehats