No. Thank You.

Remember when I shared the reasons why I write, in a post entitled “why am I doing this?”. Through that exchange, you – the active participants – helped to crisp and name the direction of the blog. This gave it form, a tent pole of sorts to shape the work within. This was an incredible gift to categorize both what and to whom I write. (Sparks for innovators, and change agents).

A few days ago, this email arrived…

Hello Nilofer,

I started working for ABC* Plastics a couple of months ago and very quickly the word “Innovate” was instilled into me as more than a buzz word but a real corporate value. I’m a regular reader of Seth Godin’s blog (do check it out if you don’t already read it) but needed more inspiring reading than even Seth offered each day and by chance came across your blog.

I just read “Courage Does Not Roar” and felt compelled to write to you because this post and so many others you’ve written in the 2 months I’ve read your thoughts have not only inspired me in one capacity or another but made me look at a lot of things differently. Frequently too I share your posts with my wife and children (14, 12 and 8 years old). While my kids may not fully understand some of your more introspective writings, my feeling is that in time they will. What I’m thinking is your blog post “And, Who are You?” and more specifically the line “Titles are simply false standards by which we come to define who we are.”

It’s easy to see on your site you’re no doubt a wildly successful entrepreneur, author, and speaker and probably get “fan mail” all the time but it’s not the reason for my note. It’s to thank you for providing so much inspiration for me in my new job and more importantly insightful wisdom I can share with my children as they grow and mature. I hope you realize your writing makes a difference in people’s lives today and hopefully in my children’s futures as well.

Thanks for all you do.


Well then. I don’t know how you feel about this note but I was blown away by it. Because there are thousands of subscribers who remain silent, I might not ever know I was making an impact. But this one person let me know. (And it wouldn’t happened if it weren’t for those of you who helped me name and shape this blog direction and continue to spread the ideas…)

I share all this for one reason. There are people who inspire you for your work and how you become more kick-ass in the world. They could be in the cube nearby, a friend you only get to see a few times a year, a coach, a fellow Board Member that you love to work with… They are part of your community, allowing you to succeed. They are likely people who do it with enough confidence and such that you assume they don’t need to hear from you. But I’m going to suggest that you do it anyways. Tell them what they are doing matters. Tell them how they are doing it matters. Tell them you appreciate them.

So, thank you, XX* (I made you anonymous but you can share your name in the comments if you wish to become public). I wanted you to know, specifically, that your note made a difference to me. So, really: No, thank YOU.


And p.s. I’m a big fan of Seth’s, too. He not only blurbed my first book, and was the publisher for a recent compilation book I participated in, End Malaria, I consider him a fellow thinker and friend.



2 Responses:

  1. Todd. December 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm  |  

    Nicely done…

  2. Leslie Forman. December 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm  |  

    Love it!!

    I regularly write emails like this to writers I like.

    For example, I wrote to the author of the book that inspired me to move to China in 2006. I thanked her for inspiring me to take such a random journey. She put me on her list for updates on new projects. Almost five years later she came to Beijing to research her second book, and we have since become good friends!

    Keep up the good work and you will inspire so many more people, including people who don’t have the guts to write nice emails like that 🙂


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