The Real Thank You Economy

by francine Hardaway on March 23, 2011

Every year I hold a fundraiser for the Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation, which I started to teach entrepreneurship skills to disadvantaged populations. I get the best entrepreneurship speakers I can find, beg them to come to Phoenix without pay, and use their star power as a draw to raise  money.

Gary Vaynerchuk did this for me at the height of his celebrity on Wine Library TV. So when I saw a tweet saying that the first 200 people to pre-order his book on Amazon and sent him the receipt would get a surprise, I immediately pre-ordered it, knowing that those pre-orders would help him become the best seller he should be. Of course I  wanted to read it, but I also wanted to help a friend who had already helped me.

Last night I got an email from Gary:

#1 Thank You! This last few weeks have been insane, between SXSW, The Book coming out and now the news that it will be #2 on the NY TIMES list on the 27th it’s all very exciting :) Your Support has meant a lot to me #2 I wanted to let you know I am working on several “deals” to send you something in the mail (hence why i needed the receipt since it has your address) as well as digital gifts. bottom line is , I am gonna make you look back at buying this and say “best move ever”. I will expect to finish negotiating over the next 90-120 days and i will be sending you guys something in the late Spring / Early Summer :) hang with me, it will be worth it :) #3 If you have read it, please review it on your blog or on amazon, even if I really let you down and it has to get 1 star :( also, please “yes” / support the best reviews that express your feelings on Amazon or anywhere And finally I am trying to make a big push tomorrow ( Monday ) If there is any reason you are looking to buy a few more books, please do it tomorrow. If you happen to like the book enough to buy more than 25 copies for clients or customers or for a show, giveaway, conference, please email me that receipt (and we’ll continue the fun) I can never thank you enough for your support! (please note if you get this more than once, I am sorry, I am going BY HAND to my inbox and sending this to all the receipts, some of you bought more than once and some emailed checking in, so sorry for the dupe email)

Can you believe it? He’s thanking ME for buying his book when I thought I was thanking HIM for speaking at the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference:-) And he is actually going by hand through his emails to find out who bought and sent the receipt. No one is doing it for him, and it’s not an algorithm. It’s a friend talking to a friend, expressing gratitude, authenticity, and loyalty.
And that’s what his new book is all about.  In The Thank You Economy, Gary takes us back to the days of the small town, where everyone did business with friends and neighbors. It’s the “mom and pop” mentality brought into the 21st century. Loyalty should be the driving force behind every business transaction, and loyalty is a two-way street. You have to be loyal to your customers if you want them to be loyal to you.

I believe that we are living through the early days of a dramatic cultural shift that is bringing us back full circle, and that the world we live and work in now operates in a way that is surprisingly similar to the one our great-grandparents knew. Social media has transformed our world into one great big small town, dominated, as all vibrant towns used to be, by the strength of relationships, the currency of caring, and the power of word of mouth

And that loyalty must be authentic. The online environment doesn’t tolerate inauthenticity; it expects you to be yourself. Gary’s always been  himself, and he brings that out in others.
His new book is better than Crush It. That first book had all the passion, but this one has the case studies and examples. And the mistakes. It’s more than just advice.
When I finish it, I will probably have more to say, but since Gary asked me to write about it on Monday, it’s Monday and I’m coming in just under the wire. I’m loyal, authentic, and anxious to register my own thank you to Gary for kicking that conference up a big notch three years ago:-)

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