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During a recent cross-country trip driving from Seattle to Durham, North Carolina with my son, Steve, I had the opportunity to spend eight days on the road, traveling through 13 different states over 3,000 miles.

As we stopped along the way, I would engage in a brief conversation with a clerk at a gas station, a server in a restaurant or perhaps a hotel staff person cleaning the lobby. Each time, I would thank the person for their hard work, providing great service, etc.

After three days of observing these conversations with complete strangers, Steve commented with a smile, “How’s the campaign going, Dad”? to which I replied, “Just got another vote”!

Of course, Steve was well aware of my belief in the importance of living a life with gratitude, not only for the blessings we have, but, as importantly, thanking people who make our lives better because of the service they provide, whether as a first responder, a grocery store clerk, or the high school student collecting the shopping carts in the local mall.

Thanksgiving is a holiday when we’re accustomed to giving thanks for all we have. To enhance that spirit of thanksgiving throughout the year, I’ve found that thanking others by expressing my gratitude for them making my world a better place is personally rewarding.

Sometimes a simple “thank you” just might be the highlight of the other person’s day.

Be Sincere

The key is to make your “thank you” sincere. A person will know by your tone of voice or the words you use if you’re sincere. And the degree to which you receive satisfaction for such kindness will be in direct proportion to the depth of your sincerity.

I believe living a life filled with gratitude is important not only in your personal life, but also in business.

Since launching Carlson Communications in 1989, I have a lot to be thankful for, beginning with the clients we’ve served over the years. From our 20+ year relationship with The Collaborative Companies, F. H. Perry Builder and Whitman Homes to more recent clients like National Development, Kenny Development and The Marrocco Group, we’ve been fortunate to represent some of the finest clients and communities.

Some of my greatest satisfaction has been working with real estate clients where we help developers, builders and brokers reach their goals and grow their business, knowing that people of all ages – from young growing families to empty nesters – are living in a home or community that is enriching their lives.

Working with senior communities has been especially rewarding because helping seniors find the perfect place to live the next chapter of their lives is so important, both for the residents themselves as well as their family members.

Independent senior communities like Fuller Village in Milton, MA and The Woodlands and The Gardens in Fairfax, VA provide exceptional care and it shows in the way their staff relates to the residents and family members.

If you truly believe in what your clients are doing, and if you share the values and vision upon which their business and communities are founded, the client relationship is that much stronger. Which is why many of our clients have been with us for more than 20 years. Is that coincidence or good luck? I don’t believe so.

Helping others and giving back to the community is another way to say “thank you” for all that you do to improve people’s lives. When National Development – one of the most respected developers in New England and a long-time client of ours, held their “Day of Service” in September 2021, more than 60 employees dedicated their time and talents to serving the community, one of many such events held throughout the year. This expression of appreciation to a community can be rewarding, both for the employees and those in the community being served.

Building strong client relationships is certainly not a one-person job and thanks to the entire Carlson Communications team, from “veterans” like Justin, Michelle, Ken and Adam to more recent additions – seasoned professionals like Bethany, Eric, Kelly, Tyler and Brian – our entire team is committed to serving the needs of our clients and helping them achieve their goals. I say a sincere “thank you” to each of you for the excellent contribution you make to ensure our clients’ success.

Reflecting on my recent road trip, I’m reminded of the diverse natural beauty in our country and the inherent goodness of people and how much we collectively have to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Author Rich Carlson

Senior marketing specialist, Rich Carlson, has 44 years of experience working in advertising, marketing, and public relations on national, regional and local levels. In the 11 years prior to founding Carlson Communications in 1989, Rich worked in senior management positions for three prominent real estate developers in New England and Texas, specializing in real estate marketing and sales. Since 1995, Rich has specialized in all facets of marketing senior housing including active adult, independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing. As a marketing consultant, Rich helps clients achieve their sales goals while strengthening in-house sales and marketing teams with strategic advice on planning and implementing effective marketing strategies. He is a frequent speaker at national and regional conventions and is the author of, "Are You Prepared for the Recovery?"

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