The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Gratitude, A Little Goes a Long Way

AustinS28

Silver Contributor
Speedway Pass
Sep 25, 2014
287
695
275
28
Manhattan, NY
I run a service business thats success has been highly dictated through customer retention.

I was cleaning my apartment tonight and I found some old papers from 2013….

I found two things.

One was a list of hand written appointments, the other was a SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program) application.

I was ashamed for a while to admit that in 2013 I needed food stamps. I was also ashamed to admit that I dropped out of college and didn’t have a degree. Having a degree is such a common topic of discussion. When you meet someone new (especially in your 20s and 30s), one of the first questions asked is “where did you go to school?” and “what year did you graduate?”

I would always dodge the question by saying I finished the University at Albany in 2013. It wasn’t a lie, but it only told half the truth. I finished on my terms, not with a diploma, and it made life a little bit harder when it came to my self-esteem in these social settings.

It was also a decision that ended up being one of these best decisions in my life because it created an environment where I needed to work really hard, and do things unconventionally to make a living. These real life experiences became some of the best educational experiences I have ever had. I no longer feel ashamed to share my life with people, because I made something of myself with my actions. I shouldn’t have felt ashamed to begin with, but I needed to learn that.

Moving forward to the list of hand written appointments, I came across some very familiar names. Two of the names are people I am still very close with. These two people are customers, but most of all they’ve become friends.

I have a handful of customers that have been working with me for multiple years. They continue to support me and my business and I truly appreciate them. I was lucky enough to fall into my line of work almost accidentally. I knew nothing about the business and customer base when I first entered the industry (I am a personal trainer by profession if you didn’t know).

My entire way of living has been paid for by a small amount of loyal people who benefit from the services I supply. These same people have turned into mentors. I have multiple business owners, lawyers and bankers coming to me for help and the countless hours we’ve spent together the past few years has been a learning experience about life. I’ve developed such strong bonds with these people that most know all the little details about my life, dreams, ambitions and I know most of theirs. In return its setup a situation where I am receiving advice on business from people with 20+ years of experience running successful businesses. Many would fit in here as fastlaners who “made it.” They’d fill the forum with success stories. I feel blessed in so many ways.

But I digress. What made all of this possible began with the relationship I formed with these people.

I cannot stress enough what great customer service and client relationships can do for your business. I felt inspired to write about this tonight because we are at a time in the year where people give gifts and thanks to each other.

I encourage everyone to thank their customers, especially those who have been loyal. Write hand written cards. I know some people deal with a ton of customers in retail situations or members on their sites, but even then, send out some sort of thank you email for the business and if you only have a few customers, make it personal.

I gave my loyal clients a handwritten card this year explaining the positive impact they’ve made on my life and I gifted a bottle of wine. I do this a few times a year, but it doesn’t go unnoticed and only strengthens the relationship and ultimately the foundation of my business.

Kindness and gratitude can never be unappreciated and it never hurts to give a little more.
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

Andy Black

Any colour, as long as it's red.
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
8,174
34,659
4,306
Ireland
www.andyblack.net
I run a service business thats success has been highly dictated through customer retention.

I was cleaning my apartment tonight and I found some old papers from 2013….

I found two things.

One was a list of hand written appointments, the other was a SNAP (supplemental nutrition assistance program) application.

I was ashamed for a while to admit that in 2013 I needed food stamps. I was also ashamed to admit that I dropped out of college and didn’t have a degree. Having a degree is such a common topic of discussion. When you meet someone new (especially in your 20s and 30s), one of the first questions asked is “where did you go to school?” and “what year did you graduate?”

I would always dodge the question by saying I finished the University at Albany in 2013. It wasn’t a lie, but it only told half the truth. I finished on my terms, not with a diploma, and it made life a little bit harder when it came to my self-esteem in these social settings.

It was also a decision that ended up being one of these best decisions in my life because it created an environment where I needed to work really hard, and do things unconventionally to make a living. These real life experiences became some of the best educational experiences I have ever had. I no longer feel ashamed to share my life with people, because I made something of myself with my actions. I shouldn’t have felt ashamed to begin with, but I needed to learn that.

Moving forward to the list of hand written appointments, I came across some very familiar names. Two of the names are people I am still very close with. These two people are customers, but most of all they’ve become friends.

I have a handful of customers that have been working with me for multiple years. They continue to support me and my business and I truly appreciate them. I was lucky enough to fall into my line of work almost accidentally. I knew nothing about the business and customer base when I first entered the industry (I am a personal trainer by profession if you didn’t know).

My entire way of living has been paid for by a small amount of loyal people who benefit from the services I supply. These same people have turned into mentors. I have multiple business owners, lawyers and bankers coming to me for help and the countless hours we’ve spent together the past few years has been a learning experience about life. I’ve developed such strong bonds with these people that most know all the little details about my life, dreams, ambitions and I know most of theirs. In return its setup a situation where I am receiving advice on business from people with 20+ years of experience running successful businesses. Many would fit in here as fastlaners who “made it.” They’d fill the forum with success stories. I feel blessed in so many ways.

But I digress. What made all of this possible began with the relationship I formed with these people.

I cannot stress enough what great customer service and client relationships can do for your business. I felt inspired to write about this tonight because we are at a time in the year where people give gifts and thanks to each other.

I encourage everyone to thank their customers, especially those who have been loyal. Write hand written cards. I know some people deal with a ton of customers in retail situations or members on their sites, but even then, send out some sort of thank you email for the business and if you only have a few customers, make it personal.

I gave my loyal clients a handwritten card this year explaining the positive impact they’ve made on my life and I gifted a bottle of wine. I do this a few times a year, but it doesn’t go unnoticed and only strengthens the relationship and ultimately the foundation of my business.

Kindness and gratitude can never be unappreciated and it never hurts to give a little more.
Great post @AustinS28

You mention the word "relationship" a few times throughout your post. IMO, that's the secret to business (and life probably). Build good relationships.

One of the Fastlane mottos is that we have to give if we are to receive.

I PM a lot of forum members who have never created or replied to a single thread. Often they are more than happy to share their story, hopes and aspirations, but finish with saying they don't feel they can contribute (give) to the forum yet.

I'm by no means religious, but I can't help but think there's something blindingly simple and obvious that everyone can give, that will be gratefully received, and that will work wonders for the person giving.

You don't need special skills, special experience, special status, or an excellent command of the English language (this seems to hold many back from contributing) to be able to add this value.

So what's this amazing gift everyone is capable of giving, that can work wonders for their relationships, and that can work wonders for their business?


.

.

.



"Thanks."



"Give thanks."
 

Andy Black

Any colour, as long as it's red.
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
8,174
34,659
4,306
Ireland
www.andyblack.net
Just read my own comment from 2016 and agree even not vigorously.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom