Valentine’s Day Gratitude

Photo of heart shaped text I Love You

If you’ve been following my posts regularly you’ll know I usually sign off by saying “Love you.” Now, I don’t really love you because I don’t really know who you are. Although I can assume we’re somewhat like-minded because you wouldn’t be reading my non-sensical madness unless your brain was wired like mine.

Anywho, my family recently lost someone who was close to us. She was 30, and died after a couple year fight with cancer. It hit my wife particularly hard because she worked closely with this gal for years. With both my wife and I inching closer to our mid-30’s it really put things into perspective.

I’m extremely focused on the future, that I sometimes lose sight of what’s happening right now. Empathy is also not one of my strengths, but that’s a story for another day.

What’s the point?

With Valentine’s Day being this Friday, I’ll let you in on something I’ve been doing for the past 13 years. I met my wife in College over 13 years ago. For our first Valentine’s Day I didn’t know what to get her. For whatever reason, the thought jumped into my mind to write her a letter and stuff it in her locker.

I’ve continued this tradition for the past 13 years with the exception of stuffing a letter into a locker. I usually leave it on her pillow or sneak it into her purse or boot (I try and be creative). Anyway, the letter is basically acknowledging what I’ve loved about her from the past 365 days.

It’s a time to reflect on the special bond we share, and gives us a chance to appreciate what we have in the present.

In recent years – I’ve started this practice in my business life. Every year around Valentine’s Day I call a few people (instead of a letter) who have been instrumental in my business and/or personal life, and tell ’em I love them and thank them for how they’ve shaped me.

  1. It’s a simple gesture to make others appreciate what they’ve done. After all, don’t we all want some sort of recognition?
  2. On a selfish level – it feels good to do it…really good. Hell, Oprah made a career out of giving away free stuff just so she could feel better.

We could do a deep dive into the psychology of giving compliments and/or gratitude, but all you need to do is compliment one person right now, and you’ll instantly feel better. Try it.

You never know

You might like it. The reaper could be coming for you in an hour, a week or 50 years from now, so keep swinging and every now and then take some time to reflect on what you’ve done and who’s helped you get there.

My wife and I’s friend barely had a chance to fulfill her dreams. And we never got the chance to thank her on the impact she made on our lives.

Make a list of those who have impacted your life, business or both. Give them a call, write them a letter, direct message them, whatever…It’ll benefit you, it’ll benefit your business, it’ll benefit your life.

Love you,

Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft

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Making diamonds different

Picking out an engagement ring was one of the most stressful times in my life. The questions I had were endless and the process itself was intimidating. If only I had a Spence Diamonds in my part of the country.

Spence Diamonds is a superb example on how to differentiate yourself from the competition. Most of the big name diamond stores are in malls and all look the same with a bunch of high-priced jewellery locked away in cabinets. The sales representatives wear suits and are quick to mention their financing plans. They mainly advertise around Valentine’s Day and Christmas. It’s very, very predictable.

Spence takes a different approach. They have ONE stand-alone location. Just about everything is out for you to see and touch, the sales representatives wear white lab coats and their engagement ring financing plan, isn’t really a financing plan (you pay 10% upfront and you’ll get a replica of the ring you want while you save up to pay off the real thing).

The video above is quite long, but it basically outlines what I mentioned earlier. Spence Diamonds also happens to advertise year-round and at a high-frequency. I shouldn’t have to tell you that Spence dominates when it comes to market share and top-of-mind awareness (I am privy to some market research).

In a world where most small businesses try to act like the big guys, Spence takes a different road, a road on which they can compete. Almost everything they do is the exact opposite of what the big diamond companies do. Obviously, this makes them stand out and standing out in an over-communicated society is all you need to get an edge on the big guys.

Stop trying to be like everyone else and build your own road. Know your competition and try doing the exact opposite of what they do. Take a risk and do something with your marketing that scares you. It may scare your competition out of business.