As an investor, founder, CEO and business book author, I write about startups, design, how to build a good business, and I like to muse about culture in any form.

Five ways to be a human at a distance

handsThe social media maven Chris Brogan sent out a newsletter yesterday that was jam packed with good advice.  His section on “Five ways to be a human at a distance” held a surprising point.   I’ve heard he’s very appealing, but I thought he might be all about sending warm pixels.  However, he actually wrote:

5.) Send paper cards. This has been great lately, this trend of people sending personal cards in the mail. I got one from Beth Dockins at Scotts and I felt so happy. It was very personable. I just ordered 100 blank note cards and will buy stamps so I have no excuse not to send them.

I was delighted to see Chris highlight this wonderful, trusted way to maintain a personal connection with someone.  In my early career I used to follow every phone call to a sales prospect with a personal hand-written letter.  It was time consuming, but I was always remembered afterwards.  And my sales numbers in that job spoke for themselves….those letters helped.  So this is just not a “make your grandmother happy” insight…Chris is also talking about building meaningful business relationships.

jackie tFor that reason, I always keep a stash of note cards handy, both at home in the office.  I hear that Jackie Kennedy was a world-class thank you note writer, by the way.  I try to channel her when I am trying to be appreciative and articulate at the same time.

And as these things go, just when you are thinking of a topic, it comes across your path.  Minutes ago,  Joanne and I had a front porch chat with Karen Battles of B Designs, the creator of our very early fourth Grommet…the charming letterpress note system,  Desktop Caddy.  She said,

I’m on a mission to help people keep paper and note writing in their everyday lives.  That’s why I keep our cards small.  It doesn’t have to be a big long old-fashioned letter.  Just two lines is enough to make someone really happy.

Two lines.  Anyone can write two lines, no?

2 Responses to “Five ways to be a human at a distance”

  1. Claudia

    When was the last time any of us received a personal letter via US mail? Although our kids are very savvy with social media, it makes me sad that they will never embrace the art of the handwritten letter. They can manage a thank you note, at least!


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