While many believe that Christmas cards are becoming a tradition of the past, I say we all need to send more Christmas (holiday) cards. It’s important that we send cards of Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) blessings, include family photos, and most of all, send a letter journaling what you and your family (and pets) has been involved in the past 12 months. People who care about you really want to know and appreciate hearing from you. (especially out of town family) This is typically the only time of year that it is culturally accepted to send one family letter to hundreds of people. So just do it!
Please, please don’t use the excuse that Christmas letters and stamps cost too much money. It’s almost always a question of priority. Ask yourself; what is value of nurturing your relationships versus sacrificing a couple of 6 packs, or a few of those fancy coffee drinks, or not buying that new outfit with shoes that you will only wear once? Families and friends should always come first!
In this new age of information, too many of us are inundated with digital, quick to the point messages through Instant Chat, Text & Twitter. It’s easy to see why email is the preferred form of communication in today’s workplace and at home. However, digital, impersonal, often short, email messages can never bond relationships.
If we really want to stay connected, it’s imperative that we spend more REAL TIME with family & friends throughout the year. In addition, send a REAL SendOutCard.com/loryfabian 3 panel Christmas letter to your friends and family updating them on your tough times as well as your family’s achievements and happy times over the past year.
Send a warm, humorous, and genuine letter about yourself and your family. Remember, none of us live edited lives, so never feel like you have to write one. Share the good, the bad & perhaps only a little nugget of the ugly. A lot of times, your letter will prompt others to send a letter back to you.
Another idea for this year; think about writing a letter to Yourself. Send a letter journalizing your celebrations over the past year. Document the tiny changes you made that have made a big difference in your everyday life. Include a paragraph or two on what you are grateful for over the past year and who you are grateful to have in your life. Choose from pages and pages of beautiful blank cards to write your letter on.
And lastly, write a second letter, dated this time next year, in which you describe how your dreams came true. In it, outline your ideal life in detail – exactly what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, who’s doing it with you.
Write these two Christmas letters for your eyes only. This is a letter to not only the world, but to the Universe declaring your aspirations in concrete form. It’s the same as writing down your goals. It can be the most powerful of motivational tools because it engages your emotions increasing the pulses of creative energy your subconscious mind needs to transform a reverie into reality perfected. (idea source – Sarah Ban Breathnach)
SendOutCards.com recently sent out their 100,000,000th (100 millionths) card. There is magic in card sending. If you want to create your own magic this year, visit my website at:
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy Kwanzaa, To You All!
I travel several months a year, speaking to business professionals about networking. When traveling (especially internationally) I try very hard not to forget important items I need for meetings or speaking to groups of people…but I am only human and – as often as I try to get it perfect – I admit it’s hard to remember everything all the time.
A few months ago, I was invited to speak with a reporter working on an article for an international magazine on this very topic. The reporter asked me, “What should business people think about taking with them on business trips that they might not normally think about?” As I began forming the list, I found myself adding more and more things that are vital to ensure a successful business trip.
And here are some of the less obvious things you don’t want to forget when heading out of town on business.
No. 1: Plenty of business cards. It is never a good idea to run out of business cards while traveling. Tuck extras in your suit pockets, wallet/purse, briefcase, luggage, etc. I put stacks in many places to ensure I always have extra.
No. 2: A name badge. If you do any networking while traveling on business, have your own professional name badge. Don’t rely on the hosting organization to do your name badge and do it right.
No 3: Extra pens. Make sure you have a pen with you while you are doing meetings. I always find that I need to write some reminders down while I’m talking to people. It’s troublesome to track down a pen while you are busy networking.
No 4: The contact information (or business cards) of all your referral partners. I sometimes find that having that information at my fingertips allows me to give referrals to people while I’m out networking.
No. 5: Hand sanitizer. I know this may sound a little bit like “Mr. Monk”, the germ-a-phobe title character of a television series. However, I have found that since I’ve started using hand sanitizer after shaking many, many hands, that I have been getting far less colds than I used to get. Just be tactful about the way you use it. Don’t desperately and obviously spray your hands every time you shake someone’s hand!
No 6: Breath mints. As obvious as it may sound – I can assure you from experience that many people have no idea they need them!
No 7: A memory stick. Many times I have either needed to get a copy of something or give a copy of a file or presentation to people while out networking. Having a memory stick handy has been very helpful on several occasions.
No 8: A camera and/or video. A camera is great if you want to memorialize some occasion or a meeting with someone important to you. A video is important for anyone that blogs. It gives you a chance to interview someone during your travels. I do this almost every time I travel.
No. 9: Tools for your business. For me, that includes many copies of my bio for introductions whenever I speak. Despite the fact that my team sends the bio in advance, there are many times when I arrive and they don’t have the bio handy.
Another tool for me is a PowerPoint remote clicker. This is really important for me because I don’t want to rely on someone else to move the slides forward as a I present. Also, you know that memory stick I mentioned earlier? I have copies of my talk(s) on there just in case the group I’m speaking to has misplaced my presentation material.
Extra Odds and Ends
When I asked some colleagues and other business travelers what they would add to the list, they added some that I hadn’t thought of! Here are some of their suggestions:
No. 1: A phone charger. I agree heartily, especially seeing how much these items cost in an airport, or in another country. And you certainly won’t want to forget your laptop power cord – besides being expensive it’s often impossible to be able to get the right one easily, if at all. Also, you should write a “note to self” to fully charge all of your electronic devices the night before you leave!
No. 2: Power adapter/converter. Though it’s usually easy to pick up a “universal” adapter at airports or stores in heavily populated areas, in this electronic age you would hate to need one and not be able to find one, so it’s best to have one (or two) packed and ready when you need it!
No. 3: The right clothes. Most of you have experienced differences in temperature and/or weather from one town to another, so you can imagine how different the conditions could be across the country or around the world! It’s never been easier to plan what clothes to bring, thanks to online weather forecasts for every region of the earth. (Of course, there are no guarantees where weather is concerned!)
No 4: A good book. Oh yes – a most important item to include! Those airport layovers, delays, and long flights can seem even longer without something interesting to read. Here’s something to consider, if you are an avid reader who uses an e-reader or other mobile device to read books: You might want to also include a “paper” book and/or magazine for those take-offs and landings where all electronic devices must be turned off, and in case you actually do run out of battery power on a long trip!
Called the “father of modern networking” by CNN, Dr. Ivan Misner is a New York Times bestselling author. He is the Founder and Chairman of BNI (www.BNI.com ), the world’s largest business networking organization. His book, Networking Like a Pro, can be viewed at www.IvanMisner.com . Dr. Misner is also the Sr. Partner for the Referral Institute (www.ReferralInstitue.com ), an international referral training company.
Peace & Shout out to Dr. Misner who told me personally when I met him at a BNI Convention in St. Louis last year that he uses SendOutCards.com as a tool to keep in touch with his network. He loves the fact that everyone can read his handwriting when he uses SendOutCards.com. SOC’s spell checker is an added bonus. Go to www.sendoutcards.com/128092 and try sending your own free card.
1. Use UNBRANDED cards
2. Use BLUE ink
3. Use word “YOU” (and avoid I, me, my)
4. Be SPECIFIC with your praise
5. The Power of POSITIVE Projection
6. Write RIGHTLY (slope lines upward)
7. The PLUS of the P.S. (add a call to action in your P.S. ).