Giving Thanks for Many Things

At this time last year, I encouraged you to pause for a moment to be thankful for the many wonderful things in your life. As another Thanksgiving approaches, I’m taking stock once again and finding that the past year has been good to me. I hope it’s been good to you, too.

Thanksgiving celebrations take many forms. Some gatherings are large enough to feature a “kids’ table” and a “grown-ups’ table” (remember when you were finally promoted from one to the other?), whereas others are small, cozy affairs. Some people endure long plane flights to spend the holiday weekend with their families, and some just drive across town to Grandma’s house. On most Americans’ tables, a roast turkey takes center stage, with a supporting case of cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and other fall favorites. But some families are forging new gastronomic traditions and ditching the turkey in favor of steak, fish, or even tofu.

Even with these many variations, Thanksgiving celebrations all share a common theme: once a year, people put a great deal of effort into preparing and sharing one meal. We place a high value on this experience even though it takes a lot of effort to participate in it. Why?

Because we know that what we get in turn is worth it. A delicious meal, connecting with family and friends, a relaxing day with loved ones—those things are important to us, and that’s why year after year we continue to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Think about how this theme carries over into our professional lives, too. If you provide a value-laden experience, then your clients will keep coming back to you. Once they know that you can give them what they want—not just a particular product or service, but an excellent product or service that’s part of an outstanding business experience—they’ll seek you out. When you make a great impression right from the start, you don’t have to work too hard to convince them to return.

So as you spend the holiday weekend with your family and friends, remember the value of positive associations. Don’t underestimate the power of “I value this experience enough to put forth the effort” to bring people to the Thanksgiving table—or to bring clients to your door.