Minding Your Own Brand: Do You Appreciate Your Elves?

In the story, The Elves and the Shoemaker, the shoemaker runs a small shoe business and he is very overwhelmed. He works long hours and unfortunately, no matter how hard he works, he can never earn enough money to pay the bills.

Exhausted and with nothing left in the store except a scrap of leather, he falls asleep. The next morning he wakes up early and goes downstairs to make his last pair of shoes. Much to his surprise his workbench has a pair of magnificent shoes. That day a customer enters his shop and loves the
shoes so much that she gives him double the price! Now the shoemaker is able to buy leather for two pairs. The shoemaker is so happy; each morning he has enough money to buy more leather and each night the elves make more and more shoes. Before long, everyone is talking about his shop
and word spreads throughout the land.

It goes on like this until the shoemaker is prosperous, however he is not satisfied. So much has been done for him yet he does not know to whom he should extend his gratitude. So one night he hides behind a curtain and as the clock strikes twelve, two naked elves hop onto the bench and begin
to make the shoes. In no time, the shoes are finished and the elves, pleased with their job, dance around the shoes on the bench and leave.

The shoemaker asks himself, “How do I thank those who have made me happy and prosperous? I know; I shall make them some clothes and shoes.” That night, the shoemaker lays out the clothes instead of leather. The elves come in, put on the clothes, dance for joy and leave, never to return.
But they have given the shoemaker so much prosperity and fame that he is now able to help himself.

Like the shoemaker, you are working hard building your company. As you’re looking to close the gap between your current situation and your long-term vision, the important question to ask yourself is, “Am I creating interactions that inspire customers, employees and everyone involved with my organization to be passionately dedicated to my company and actively contribute to my success?” More importantly, you need to ask, “How can I show them that I appreciate the vital role they play in my company’s success?” If you do show your gratitude your passionate advocates will stick with you, unlike the elves, and continue to help you gain prosperity and fame.

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