Count your blessings – and thank your clients

Well Thanksgiving is a week past, but still on my mind. Imagine for a moment that it’s 1621 and you’re a member of the Plymouth, Mass. Colony. Times have been hard, and food scarce. The wheat your ships brought over from England refuses to grow in this rocky soil. You don’t know how to build shelter you’re unskilled at hunting and fishing in this type of terrain. Half your fellow colonists have already died and winter is on the way.

That was the situation when the Plymouth colonists were approached by Squanto and other members of the Wabanake tribe of Native Americans. Thankfully, the two disparate cultures found common ground. Squanto and his tribesmen taught the settlers how to hunt, create clothes from animal skins, collect sap, dig and cook clams, build wigwams and other skills vital for survival in the New World. In exchange, the settlers shared with their newfound friends many of the inventions and techniques that had been developed in the European world.

It was a partnership borne out of mutual respect. And because of it, the colonists flourished – even in this harsh “survival-of-the-fittest” environment. As a result, the new partnership was solidified by a feast that became known as the first Thanksgiving.

The story is relevant to us today. As business owners, we’re also just emerging from difficult times. The economic recession is still upon us, and the casualties are all too real. Many of our colleagues and fellow businesses have not survived. It is only the bond of respect between us and our loyal clients – working together – that has given us the opportunity to succeed. It’s important that we never forget this.

This is just a reminder to thank your clients. Take the time to let them see your gratitude. And while you’re at it, learn something about this holiday we now celebrate that we call Thanksgiving.