The Thoughtful Thought

By Lisa Nichols, CEO | August 20, 2020

The “Thoughtful” Thought

I have spent the entirety of my professional career networking – connecting with people and then connecting those people with others. It brings me great joy to help others by opening up my network to connect them to the right resources. I know it sounds a little cliché, but I love to love people. My good friend, Orv Kimbrough said, “Your next great opportunity is often waiting on the other side of a connection.” I could not agree more.

One topic I frequently speak on is the determination of working from a growth mindset. If you have a growth mindset you’ll have the confidence to dig and lean in – even when you walk into a situation that you know little about. Regardless of the outcome, you will leave that experience as a better version of you for yourself and those around you.

The reality is, we should be thinking about growing every day. People often ask how I have grown both in my personal life and professional career. I could quickly rattle off: I have a formal education, I’m a veracious reader, I listen to podcasts, participate in webinars, and have decades of life experiences. However, one of the richest ways I have grown over the years is by learning from the amazing people I have encountered along my journey. I believe there is such beauty found simply in hearing another person’s story. From the mountains they have faced and how they survived the climb, to their subject matter expertise, the principles that they have formed along the way and what is on the horizon for them can inspire us, encourage us, and help equip us to be the best versions of ourselves. We might also discover ways in which we can help them along their journey, too.

This is the very reason why our Something Extra podcast has been such a special experience for me. I have not only had the opportunity to sit down and talk with so many incredible leaders, but also share their apples of gold with my greater circle. It is a win for all parties involved. It offers the leaders on the podcast the opportunity to share their story, priceless access to wisdom for our listeners, and it continues to offer me the opportunity to change for the better as I also build a deeper, more lasting relationship with these individuals within my circle.

Recently, international speaker and author, John Ruhlin, was on the show. In 2016, John wrote the book, Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through the Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention. The gist of his book is this: by showing appreciation and gratitude with a “thoughtful” thought (gifting) at unexpected times, you will invariably stand out and be remembered for seasons to come. Over the years, Greg and I have been recipients of some incredibly “thoughtful” thoughts, such as when our team gave us a snow globe that housed a replica of our barn, or when one of our Practice Directors (PD) gave us a chainsaw-carved bear for our barn that holds the sign “Welcome Partners” or another PD gave us a framed calligraphy piece with Greg’s grandmother’s Sour Cream Apple Pie recipe inscribed.

The point is this: these gifts were specifically chosen for us based on who we are and what we love. They would hold little meaning for anyone else.

This week I was once again the giftee of “thoughtful,” unexpected giftings as a by-product of doing one of the things I love most – using my network to help connect others to resources that they need. I am always willing to lend a helping hand in situations like these on a weekly basis and never expect anything in return. I just do it simply because I want to help those around me if I can. One dear friend sent us a soft pretzel box (one of Ally and Sawyer’s favorite snacks) as I made a connection that helped her son land a job and another sweet friend sent me the most gorgeous flower arrangement (one of my loves) for helping her with a new business venture she is taking on. Both were completely unnecessary and unexpected, but greatly appreciated. 

The “thoughtful” thought undoubtedly takes more time and creativity; however, I can promise you that the recipient will be blown away by the mere fact that you took the time to really customize a gift of appreciation just for them.

I hope these thoughts on “thoughtful thoughts” will aid in being a catalyst for a new season in your life of intentionality and gift giving. I wish you all the best in connecting and relationship building!!!

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