Appreciating others is something we are born to do. You’ve heard of thinking big? Sometimes “thanking big” is just as important to your self-growth.
Not only does appreciating wonderful things others do for another person, it helps ourselves as well. We’re raised to thank people, orally and in writing, whenever they do something for us. For example, in my first few years of business I wrote over 2,000 thank you notes to people I met and worked with, whether or not they turned into a paying client or significant strategic vendor. Not only did it make an impression on them, but it made me feel good too. As humans, gratitude is instinctive. Maybe that’s why there are so many holidays built into the calendar year where we can show those (like our mothers, fathers, veterans and leaders) just how much we love, respect and thank them for all they’ve done for us!
People we appreciate come into our lives every day, and sometimes when you least expect it. For example, Ashley. Ashley was just a senior marketing major at Aurora University when she became my first intern. She was a calm, mild-mannered, introverted marketing major desperately looking for some experience in the field. Although I am quite different in personality (nobody would ever describe me as an introvert), we clicked instantly. She was highly recommended to me by one of the professors at Aurora and introduced herself at a college fair. Soon she joined me and my husband Juan Pablo (JP) in running our scrappy little marketing firm in our early days.
JJR Marketing, had been growing steadily for the past few years but was now beginning to pick up steam quickly. So much, in fact, that we had moved out of our home into an artsy little office, decorated cheerfully in lively purple accents and our corporate logo, just steps from our home at the time. Ashley, JP and I all had our own space in the office. I was like the mother bird, flying from the nest each morning to attend meetings and business development opportunities to bring new clients to my team!
At first Ashley worked with us, as most college interns do, around her class schedule. From winter through spring of 2013, she was at the office whenever her schedule allowed. She answered the phones and helped with project management, always being cheerful, dependable and invested in the success of the company.
Managers, in particular, have to take care to always be appreciating others, so from day one I expressed gratitude to Ashley for her contributions to the company and thanked her for helping JP and I fulfill our dreams. Quickly, she began to visibly flourish at JJR. She was using her talent for organization, teamwork, creativity and communication in every aspect of her job, from her work with us to clients, vendors, new employees, etc. As we became more and more successful and Ashley graduated, she became our first full-time employee. She kept up with our rapid expansion and as her responsibilities increased, so did our gratitude.
With Ashley on board, I was freed up to bring in more business and expand our team. We were able to grow our team from four to twelve in one year. It was time to implement a project management system to keep track of our rapidly growing client base. Ashley stepped up to the challenge and researched and onboarded an easy-to-use, customizable, scalable system that serves us just as well today, even as our staff and projects continue to increase.
JP and I discussed what we could do for Ashley, and what would be the best way to show her our trust and appreciation for all she had done for the company, as well as our hope that she would keep doing it! After all, what is the most important way of appreciating others? In my mind, it is showing how you believe in them and respect their contribution to your life. It’s also about showing encouragement to bring them wholeheartedly into your mission, even if it wasn’t necessarily the original plan to do so.
As we considered our vision for Ashley with our company, we realized she was already functioning as more than just a teammate; she was more of a partner. So, we decided to make it official. In 2017, we asked Ashley to become a minority partner in JJR Marketing, Inc. She was as surprised as we were. It was never our grand plan to have another partner in our business but we felt it was the right thing to do. It was our way of “thanking big.” After all, if you’re going to show your appreciation for someone why not do it in a big way? The opportunity to “thank big” is just another thing to be grateful for!
Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), author of eight books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker, and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion, and achieving success in business. She has addressed the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance among other corporations to share her inspiration.
If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.