Why Handwritten Notes Matter (403)

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In this compelling solo episode, Mike discusses the often overlooked but powerful act of sending handwritten notes. He explores how this simple gesture can leave a lasting impact, helping you stand out in our digital-focused world. Mike also shares his personal journey with handwriting, from a child with excellent penmanship to an adult whose writing has evolved over time. This isn’t just about nostalgia; it’s about how handwritten notes serve as a tangible, authentic way to express gratitude and appreciation.

The simple yet heartfelt gesture of a handwritten letter will never go forgotten from those who receive it. These small gestures leave a lasting impact, helping set you apart in a sea of emails and text messages. 

Check out the video version of this episode below:

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Episode transcript below:


0:00:07 – Mike Malatesta:

Hey everybody, welcome back to this Free Thinking Friday episode solo episode this time of the How’d it Happen podcast. So happy to have you here. If this is your first time listening to the podcast, I hope you like it and if you do, I invite you to follow the podcast or subscribe to the podcast or share it and certainly come back. And if you’re someone who’s been listening to me and supporting the podcast for a long time, thank you so much for doing that and tell a friend, or shoot me a note and tell me how I’m doing, or leave me a review or something that gives me some indication of who you are, what you like about the show and maybe what you would like me to do that I haven’t done yet, that you think would be very interesting to you, or something that would light you up a little bit. 


Today I am going to be talking about handwritten notes. I know handwritten notes. Why? What’s so special about handwritten notes? Well, I’m going to tell you. 


I think that handwritten notes are the most awesome way possible for you to pay on or to and make an impact on the person you are writing the note to. I think that for a couple of reasons, and I’m going to share those reasons with you. First of all, if you want to stand out in today’s very crowded digital world, it’s very difficult to do that with an email, for example, and let’s face it, email, thank yous, follow ups, hey, appreciate the meeting, that kind of thing are just so common now that you barely even read them when someone sends you something and it’s very difficult to stand out and express your thankfulness, your gratitude or whatever it is that you have for having had that person meet with you, make an impact on your own, make an impact on you, do something special for you, or whatever the case may be. So I love handwritten notes. This is my latest handwritten note that I’m showing you, if you happen to be watching on YouTube or on my website or somewhere else, and this is to Scott and hopefully you can see that. But I had a meeting recently with Scott and another fellow that he introduced me to and I am writing a. I wrote and I’m going to send him this note because I know that one, he will not expect it. Two, that he will appreciate it. 


And, by the way, today you know, in today’s world, you get something in the mail that’s hand addressed you probably a 100% chance that that person will read it unless it’s president of the United States or something like that but a normal person is going to read that. And third, they’re going to think about you in a different way than they think about most people, at least for a while. And, of course, if you’ve listened to me before, you know that I’m a big believer in creating differentiation between me and someone else, even if it’s only a little bit of differentiation, and I know that it’s only going to last for a while, because that’s my opportunity to do something with that differentiation define myself differently, offer something differently, be more valuable to someone than someone else, etc. Etc. Etc. And so I’m going to admit to you that, and as you can probably see in this note, my handwriting is not great. Used to be. 


When I was a kid, in grade school, I had really really great penmanship. I think I might have even gotten an award for it, and that sort of continued all the way through college. I remember writing handwriting some of my creative writing exercises, my creative writing stories, and admittedly the stories may not have been that great, but the handwriting was pretty good. I still have some of those notebooks with some of that handwriting, in fact even up to 1992, so I was like 26. At that time I handwrote the business plan for my first business, advanced Waste Services, the draft for it and pretty much anybody that could read it at the time, and now that’s not the case anymore. 


Now it’s hard to read my writing and I think what happened is after I got the business started back in 1992, I just you, had to start. First of all, there were a lot of things to sign. You had to sign bank docs and you had to sign all kinds of things, all kinds of times, and speed started to take over. For me at least, speed took over for neatness and as a result and I never focused on it, I never put the focus on it to get it nicer. And in fact now, today I’m 57, I go to try to write something very neat and it starts off neatly and then it, if it’s long, it starts to trail off and by the time it’s done it looks like the chicken scratch that I’m used to Similar to, like a doctor with doctors. So the prescriptions maybe mine’s a little bit better than that, but you get the point. My hand writing basically disintegrated like a paintball when it hits a target, it just like you know, it’s just not good anymore. But even though it’s not good and I admit it’s not good I still write the notes. And the reason is well, I try to do my best so that people can read them, but I still do the notes. 


Even though it would be easier and probably easier for the person reading it to read an email from me or something type written, I still believe that doing the handwritten thing is the way to go, because it’s an authentic way for me and you to express gratitude, to say thanks and to pay honor to someone who, as I mentioned at the beginning, has impacted me somehow or met with me or referred me to someone or done something nice for me or done something nice for the business or done something impactful for a client or a customer. And I’m not saying that an email or an in-person, even if you can thank you, is something you shouldn’t do. You should do that as well. But that handwritten thing is so neat because when you get something in the mail or when you send something to someone in the mail, it’s not just they who read it and are impacted by it, but if they’ve got a family, if they’ve got a spouse, if they’ve got, you know, live with their parents, whatever everybody sort of sees what came in the mail and they’re curious about what came in the mail, especially something that’s not junk mail and it’s handwritten to a person. So it not only honors the person but it gives the people in the person’s family an opportunity to see that this person has done something really amazing and that they’ve made somebody so happy, proud or helped someone so much that the person wanted to send them this handwritten note. So, even though a handwritten snail mail physical, not digital, it’s not an NFT, but it’s something that a person can touch, read over and over again, put somewhere if they want. It’s kind of like an autograph, like a signed autograph, and I’m not suggesting that my notes are the equivalent of a Michael Jordan autograph or put in the famous person you want, but it’s not nothing either to the person and they remember it in a different way than they remember most other things, and I have a story that illustrates this. 


So a guy his name is Rico. We worked together for many years and over those years I sent him a number of handwritten notes for various things, for accomplishments, for compliments that he got for things that he did for me or for the business. And of course I don’t remember all these notes that I sent. But he sent me a picture two years ago because we reconnected and we were working on a business deal together. He sent me a picture of all the notes that I had ever sent him together, like sort of laid out like a deck of cards on the table, and I was like one. I was blown away. Two I was surprised that he kept them. Three I was surprised that he sent me the picture. And four, it made me think. All of those notes that I’ve sent, thousands of notes not all of them mattered to everyone, but some of them mattered to someone, and they certainly mattered to Rico, and he kept those. 


And I feel like that. I don’t know how to pay honor to a person in a more impactful way than that and in an easy way. It doesn’t cost me anything to write a note. Well, maybe there’s a stamp to mail it, but it doesn’t cost me anything to write a note and look what it did. So I encourage you and I challenge you, if you’re willing to be challenged, to adopt a habit of writing notes to someone, and it doesn’t have to be anything special in the note. It just has to be you thanking someone for something that they did for you, on your behalf, for your company, for a client, for a customer that you feel was special. 


Honor them with a handwritten note and I can tell you for sure that they will think about you differently and in a better way than they think about most people who would not take the time to do it. So, handwritten notes, they are awesome. I encourage you to make them. I encourage you to do it widely. I encourage you to just make yourself stand apart from other people with this really easy and really special gift. So that’s it for today. I do. Thank you so much for joining me. 


If you like what I’m doing, please follow or subscribe to the podcast, share it, send me a note, comment on my LinkedIn or one of my other socials, watch this on YouTube if you’re so disposed to doing that. And, most of all, I want you to make sure that you maximize the greatness that’s within side of you today and every day, and that you make your future your property, something that you are very, very proud to own. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this show and, before you go. I just have three requests for you. One if you like what I’m doing, please consider subscribing or following the podcast on whatever podcast platform you prefer. If you’re really into it, leave me a review, write something nice about me, give me five stars or whatever you feel is most appropriate. 


Number two I’ve got a book called Owner Shift how Getting Selfish Got Me Unstuck. It’s an Amazon bestseller and I’d love for you to read it or listen to it on Audible or wherever else Barnes, noble, amazon you can get it everywhere If you’re looking for inspiration that will help you unlock your greatness and potential, order or download it today so that you can have your very own copy, and if you get it, please let me know what you think. Number three my newsletter. I do a newsletter every Thursday and I talk about things that are interesting to me and or I give more information about the podcast and the podcast guests that I’ve had and the experiences that I’ve had with them. You can sign up for the podcast today at my website, which is my name mikemalatesta.com. You do that right now. Put in your email address and you’ll get the very next issue. The newsletter is short, thoughtful and designed to inspire, activate and maximize the greatness in you. 

Alexi Cortopassi

Alexi Cortopassi

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I help entrepreneurs get unstuck, take back their power, achieve their life objectives, and create the futures they want.

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