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Giving Thanks In a Challenging Year
Thanksgiving is one of the most popular days of the year. In the past we’ve talked about its true history, suggested ways a Gent conducts himself on it, argued for (and against) certain conversation topics and even whetted taste buds by talking about favorite dishes old (green bean casserole) and new (deep fried sriracha turkey). In a year in which the “cancellation” of Thanksgiving is being discussed in some parts of the country, this special day is more important than ever. We’ll explain why, using three of our Gents Place values.
It’s always been important to us to welcome and serve, both inside and outside our clubs. It is inspiring to see that many of our members are inspired by that same spirit in their own businesses, and we saw some of them pivot their businesses to serve first in the first half of this year. During the lockdown we couldn’t serve our members in the traditional way of welcoming them into our clubs, but those same members generously gave so that we were able to make donations of hand sanitizer to some local shelters. Giving and serving is fun and the right (and healthy) type of contagious.
Focus on Solutions
There are no consistent national, state, or local guidelines on Thanksgiving gatherings, which is particularly important for those who have to travel from far away to see family. There’s no one size fits all solution (nor should there be), but if your family is drifting around this discussion, undecided, sometimes being pushed and pulled by politics and personality, that’s a great opportunity for a Gent to step up and lead.
- Find out where everyone stands. Some may be for cancelling, some may be for all-as-usual, and some are up for some kind of hybrid. Rather than letting group chat conversations get heated, just talk with everyone individually and get an informal count of where people stand.
- Once you have the numbers, propose a solution. What’s everyone’s least favorite question? “Where do you want to eat?” Twenty minutes later and at least five choices later, there’s still no answer. Gents of a certain age remember the same kind of indecisiveness on those Friday night strolls through Blockbuster Video. Gents don’t wait around for the wisdom of crowds to propose a solution, they offer them themselves and see who’s interested. Be decisive and lead.
- Be empathetic to those who disagree. For those who don’t agree with the final decision, be understanding and be clear that this is a time when coming together on a solution, if not necessarily in person, is the most important thing, perhaps this year more than any other.
The effects of Covid-19 have varied across the board for our members, our team, and our company as a whole. But rather than focus on the financial ups and downs of one given year, we prefer to take the long view. We have pioneered and grown Ultra Premium Men’s Grooming far beyond our Frisco roots to clubs all over the country. While this year may have slowed the opening of some of our newer clubs, those clubs will inevitably open. We get to help Gents look and feel their best, and we know that that alone makes a positive difference in our country and the world. This opportunity has not been taken from us this year. In fact, we realize more than ever how important it is to support the leaders in our local communities.
This isn’t to say at times we haven’t wondered when the hits would stop coming. But by serving first (instead of only thinking about ourselves), by focusing on solutions (rather than complaining about problems), and being grateful (focusing on what we have, instead of what we don’t have), we’ve made it through this year so far, and we’re planning to pick up speed to take on next year with everything we’ve got. This Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to be even more grateful than we have been in past years.
What are you grateful for this year? Share with us in the comments below.
About Ben Davis
A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.
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