It Don’t Cost Nuthin’ To Be Nice

My mother was the queen of the thank you note. She wrote hand written letters and notes every day of her life. She had a desk just for that purpose. They always made me smile. She understood a simple secret. “I was thinking of you…” Everyone she met said the same thing, “She sure is nice.”

Bob Burg in his terrific book, “Endless Referrals” suggests, “Write a thank you note every day to clients, prospects and friends. Let them know you care.”

There is a story legendary football coach Bear Bryant used to tell when he spoke. “I was recruiting a prospect in southern Alabama and stopped into a little dive for lunch. When the owner found out who I was, he asked me to send him an autographed picture. I wrote his name and address down on a napkin. When I got back to Tuscaloosa, I signed a picture ‘Thanks for the best lunch I ever had’ and mailed it to him. Years later, I was recruiting a young man who was a gifted young athlete. He had his heart set on attending our arch rival, Auburn. His mind was made up. He told me no. Two days later he called me. ‘Is the offer still good to come to Alabama?’ he asked. ‘Yes. Of course. Why did you change your mind?’ ‘When my grandfather found out I had a chance to play for you, and I said no, he pitched a fit. He told me I wasn’t going nowhere but Alabama. He thinks a lot of you and has ever since you met. That picture you sent him your first year as a coach is his pride and joy. He still tells everybody about the day Bear Bryant came into his diner.’ That day i learned the lesson my mama had taught me, “It don’t cost nuthin’ to be nice!”

I recently visited the Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA. My magician friend and mentor Adam Christing. “Hey,” Adam said, “There is Neil Patrick Harris, the actor. He loves magic. He is here all the time.” Never shy, I walked up and introduced myself. “Starship Troopers is one my favorite movies. You were great in that. Was that 1997?” He smiled. “Yes, that was a fun project.” He thanked me for the kind words. We chatted for a few minutes and then politely excused himself. I turned to Adam and said, “What a nice guy. He didn’t have to be.” Adam nodded in agreement. I thought of Bear Bryant. “It don’t cost nuthin’ to be nice.

My mother is gone. She passed away last June. This blog has to suffice. Normally, I would have written her a little note.

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