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TV Dinner

While many cultures have days and ceremonies for giving thanks, our uniquely American holiday is just around the corner. Gratitude is the killer happiness app, so it is no wonder I love the concept and traditions surrounding Thanksgiving.

We all know how important storytelling is in the context of business development, and Thanksgiving is special in part because it is a moment when we can combine gratitude and tell stories to our family and friends.

I recently had the chance to hear Jonah Berger of the University of Pennsylvania offer the keynote at LMA Northeast Regional Conference in Boston. Check out his terrific content on his website.

Jonah asserted that we have about 100 conversations a day. Stories are the way to get your customers to do your work and talk about you. If you are really top of mind then you will be tip of tongue. Jonah said, “Stories are like Trojan horses; information travels under the guise of idle chatter.”

Let me share my first Thanksgiving story.

I arrived in the US in 1970 and began attending 4th grade at P.S. 24 in Flushing, Queens, that September. As Thanksgiving approached, I was made aware of the traditions and rituals surrounding it. I marched home and asked my Mom what our plans were to celebrate Thanksgiving.

She said it was going to be an ordinary dinner (Indian food again) with her in her sari and Dad in his pajamas. I had to find a way to fit in so I took my allowance, went down to the local Waldbaum’s and bought a Swanson Turkey TV Dinner.

My parents were bemused as they ate their chapatis, rice and curry and I made my way through the lovely meal in foil, all the while thanking the settlers and the other Indians.

This Thanksgiving, the meal may be finer but the gratitude remains. Thanks to our families and friends for the love, spark and meaning they give us. Thanks to my colleagues at Wicker Park for the opportunity to be part of their team. Thanks to all of our clients for the amazing work you allow us to do with you. Thanks to our friends who point us in the right direction.

Thanks to those of you we are yet to call upon for your open minds and attentive ears. Thanks to our competitors for making us better.

Thanks to all since in the end we really are one.

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