October 12, 2011

Letting Them Know You Are Thinking About Them

Today was my 44th birthday.

The day itself doesn't really feel any different than any other day. I think that feeling ends when you're around 10 years old...about the same time you stop wearing the shoes out of the shoe store after your Mom buys them and believing that they really do make you run faster.

The neat part about celebrating a birthday is how people go out of their way to make you feel special. Perhaps your spouse or children make you breakfast to start your day or there's a gift or card waiting on your desk at work. Maybe you get to open gifts or have a special meal in your honor with friends and family. Do you choose a cake, or cupcakes (like me) or do you have some other special treat or meal you always ask for?

How Do You Treat Other People's Birthdays?

Sure, it's going to be different for your children or grandchildren. Those special days might include parties and celebrations of grand proportions. You have presents to start the day, treats in the school classroom (unless they celebrate a summer birthday) and usually a big planned event at home or in a fun location.

It certainly should be treated as a very special day for your spouse or partner with perhaps a special date night and some gifts that carry special meaning.

And as we all get older, a parent's birthday (or grandparent's for those lucky enough to still have them alive) begins to have even more meaning and it's less about the gifts you give and more about the time you share together.

I hope for brothers and sisters you're at least reaching out with a phone call or do you take them for granted and think to yourself "I'm sure they know I was thinking about them"? Aunts and uncles, neices, nephews and cousins would also be thrilled with some acknowledgement of their big day.

In today's social media world it has become so easy to recognize people on their birthdays. Facebook will tell us who is celebrating a birthday today and you can even peek ahead and see whose big day is coming up (of course some people may have their privacy set up so it doesn't show birth dates). A quick post on the wall of a birthday celebrant is a nice touch and it's easy too.

Want to Stand Out Even More?

If you are on Facebook you could send a private message to the birthday boy or girl which will be a bit more personal because others won't see it. You could send a video message via Facebook, YouTube, Skype or Eyejot! You could drop them an email or a text or you could even pick up the phone and attempt to wish them "Happy Birthday" or leave a message with best wishes for the day and upcoming year.

I received quite a few phone calls today and more than a couple went to voice mail while I was teaching. Listening to those messages from friends from across the country brought a smile to my face and some great memories to mind. A few even made me sad that I wasn't golfing as they had figured I was. Some of those people who called were people I only talk to every now and then so it meant a lot to me that one of the "nows" was today.

I also received some good old fashioned birthday cards via the US Postal Service which are always fun to open and see what cards they picked out (and check for freshly minted cash like my Nana used to include just for old times sake). Whether you're 4 or 44, finding money in the envelope is always great so special thanks to my Mom and In-Laws.

No matter how they "touch" you, it's a neat feeling to know that they made a conscious effort to reach you on your special day. In a world where we are so concerned about ourselves, it really is powerful to know how a small act can really add to someones day, week, month or even year.

Which Way Will You Wish?

As someone who is trying to achieve success by building relationships, solving problems and having fun, what will be your method to reach out to these people in your lives who have a birthday coming up? It might be the ideal reason to "stay in touch" with people who have done business with you in the past and might in the future. Just imagine the impact your "connection" might have on someone whose family member forgot their birthday but their Realtor remembered. It could serve as a powerful message that your relationship didn't end after the commission checked cleared.

Just don't do it for the chance of future business. Do it because you wanted to let them know you are thinking about them.

I am thankful for all of my Realtor's Toolbox readers, students, co-workers, industry associates, friends and family members who helped make this my best 44th birthday ever.

Thanks for thinking of me.

"There are two ways to face the future. One way is with apprehension; the other is with anticipation."
~ Jim Rohn