The Value of an Unexpected Heartfelt Thank You Letter

Why ‘Soft Skills’ Are Your Greatest Overlooked Strength

6 February 2017

Every December, LT sits down and pens a letter to her clients.

She takes her time. Her letters are hand-thought (not written; but typed), warm and profound. Each one is personally signed.

She rejects the usual syrupy Holiday cheer email blast to her clients and her email list; too chilly and common.

Not for her, the run of the mill business communiqué nor the festive follower-fodder infographic adorned with social media share buttons.

Instead, LT carefully folds each hand-typed letter into an envelope, painstakingly affixes a stamp and mails it via an actual post box.

With a quaint nod to a more reflective pre-digital time, she deliberately shuns email in favour of snail mail.

Her choice of snail mail is not what makes her ordinary letter an extraordinary experience.

It is the plucky personal content and the gutsy stories which are the hallmark of something remarkable.

A Thank You Letter to the Year’s Valuable Lessons

LT shares the critical steps in her personal entrepreneur journey that year. She does not hold back. It is a bold and unapologetic sharing of the rough and rugged road to creating a successful business.

Her clients are a diverse collection of solopreneurs, business owners and freelancers on their way to becoming entrepreneurs. She takes them on a rollercoaster ride through the snap shots of her triumphs and defeats, pain and healing, mistakes and wisdom, failures and lessons learned.

Vulnerability is not a sign of feebleness; but a mark of courage and strength. Click To Tweet

The act of sharing her story acknowledges that the entrepreneurial journey can take its toll on your mind and soul. Your personal life can take a knock

In our busy, distracted, quick-fire world, carving out time to practise the art of letter writing is as rare as hen’s teeth. By sitting down to write a heartfelt letter, LT shows that connecting with her clients in a more meaningful way is important to her. Here, vulnerability is not a sign of feebleness. Instead it is a mark of courage and strength and a sincere desire to empathise and connect.

She closes her letter with a preview of her business focus for the coming year and makes an offer to help the reader create and fulfill their purpose in the year ahead.

What is the Value of an Unexpected Heartfelt Letter?

The receiver is touched and appreciative of the thoughtfulness and the time taken. What a refreshing delight to receive an actual letter.

When someone is authentic in their communication, it gifts something magical to both the sender and the receiver. It builds trust and a sense of community that is contagious.

Authentic communication creates a trust and a bond between the sender and the receiver Click To Tweet

I received my letter from LT on 6th January and was compelled to respond.

As a mark of respect to the trust given, I cannot divulge exact details of the content. But I share my response here, edited to remove the confidential bits.

My Response to LT’s Letter

Good morning LT,

I returned home after a wonderful time ringing in the New Year with family.   I emptied by PO Box yesterday and discovered your beautiful letter – what a treasure!  I know that you sent it via snail mail before Christmas.  But the timing of your letter is perfect for me – resonating more now at the start of the New Year than at the end when I was feeling fraught trying to wrap up year-end business and rushed making last minute preparations for the Holidays. Stressy!!

Thank you for sharing your personal story and your bumpy road to acceptance and transformation. You honour me with your gift of powerful life lessons and affirmations – all gratefully received.

I too have come to realise that the habits, personality traits or skills we often dismiss as ‘weak’ or ‘soft’ are in fact, our greatest source of power and strength.

Roll Call: Vulnerability, Grace (under fire), Kindness, Compassion, Empathy etc.

Like with any power, it can be used as a force for good or bad deeds, to uplift or to crush, for positivity or for negativity; directed towards ourselves and others. 

Most people dismiss these as ‘soft’ or ‘weak’ because they demand inner exposure, to accept that (**)it might not work out, that the likelihood of experiencing pain and fear is very real. Who in their right mind willingly wants any of that?

But those have walked that road, stepped on hot coals through the fire, know that these ‘soft’ skills are ‘hard’; and demand strength not weakness.

The pain is a signal that healing is taking place (it sure doesn’t feel that way when you are in it).

The fire is a sign that what no longer serves your true purpose is being burnt away – an awakening and transformation in process. It is amazing how this transformation also clears the way for new or different people to enter our lives – more in tune with our authentic selves. We in turn connect with them to build a community that we want to serve. In turn, this community uplifts and challenges us too to be better and more authentically human. 

There is an inner power in choosing to live true to yourself. It acts as a magnet, attracting others who have chosen to do the same.

So here’s to being tender with ourselves, and continuing our journey, writing new chapters of our story as we go. As we do this with an open and genuine heart and fierce spirit, not even the skies will limit us.

Thank you for being part of my circle and my story … so far.

Nicole

How to Juggle the Struggle and Thrive in Your Business

This gutsy, unexpected heartfelt thank you letter served as a reminder. Keep in the forefront of our minds that, as we build businesses we are also building ourselves and creating a community around the intent, stories and values we pour into the foundations.

A thank you letter is an opportunity to share stories and connect with your customers Click To Tweet

There will certainly be episodes of frustration, disappointment and despair as we juggle our personal and business commitments and aspirations. In these moments perhaps it is not about leaning in or pushing through. Instead, maybe the most courageous step is to be vulnerable, reach out and connect with each other. We can take comfort that although our stories may vary and our journeys may take a different routes; we are most definitely not alone.

It was a brainpoke that encouragement appears in surprising forms, like a personal letter delivered by snail mail.

Over to you. It is your turn…

  • What is one unexpected source of encouragement have you received when you needed it most?
  • What is a personalised and heartfelt way you have inspired and encouraged someone?

This week’s article was inspired by Liz Theresa.

Until we meet again down The HR Rabbit Hole…

 

 

 

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