“Nice Bike” is about acknowledging others by being fully present, honoring others by creating memorable experiences and connecting with others by making it personal. No one does it better than my friend, Bonnie Blackman.
Bonnie is one of the top sales reps for Jostens, the leading provider of high school yearbooks. In fact, Bonnie was only the second woman to be awarded the Masters Level top sales award at Jostens. At a time when people acknowledge others with social media thumbs up, Bonnie takes the time to send out over 1000 personal cards a year via the USPS.
“Likes, emojis and social media posts are fun and make you feel good for a moment, but a card can make you feel good over and over whenever you read it. Plus, often times it ends up on the dresser or makes the fridge. When someone takes the time to buy a card, buy a stamp, write a short note, address a card, and mail a card, you know you mattered to them. My career of helping students create yearbooks has been based on my passion for people and documenting moments that matter. I saw 9-11 first hand, I know what it like to have keepsakes and memories. I believe in the permanence and leaving a legacy, a personal card is the way I wish to remember others and be remembered. I guess my ‘Bonnie Cards’ are my Nice Bike to others.”
Bonnie notes, “I ask every person I meet, that has an impact on me or that I connect with for their birthday, anniversary, or anything else I think relates to them. I have 850 people on my birthday card list alone. Plus, I send out cards for special occasions; new births, anniversaries, accomplishments or the purchase of a new home. In fact, if someone on my list moves into a new home, I do my best to make sure a card from me will be the first item to appear in their mailbox. If I know you are sick or fighting a significant medical or emotional challenge, you get a card from me every week.”
Not only does Bonnie take the time to select the cards and write a sweet note, she also selects the perfect stamp for each person. A Wonder Woman stamp congratulating a colleague on her accomplishment, a Scoobi Doo stamp for children or a John Lennon stamp for music lovers. Her local Postmaster knows Bonnie and he makes sure that he orders really unique stamps for her each week.
Bonnie said, “I prepare my cards in groups. Then I put all the dates on my calendar a week before the event so I have them stamped and ready to mail that day. I am rarely late and am usually their first card to arrive for an occasion.”
“One of our friends says he counts on my anniversary card coming early so he remembers to buy a card and gift for his wife! One person told me he knows he can always count on at least one card on his birthday…mine. In a way it’s a compliment, in another it made me feel sad that it might be his only card.”
“Everyone deserves to be seen, heard, and loved. I guess my card list is my way of doing that. I do it because it brings me joy, and in the process, it does that for others. No one should have an empty mailbox, or one only filled with bills.”
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received was to never forget a friend and to never let a friend forget you. You build solid connections with others by being intentional and making an investment in that relationship. It’s time to grab a card, a pen and a stamp and let your friends know that they matter to you.
Nice Bike Bonnie Blackman!