John Ruhlin is THE gifting guy. He’s the author of Giftology, speaker and founder of Ruhlin Group where he consults companies on how to level up their gifting. John understands the value of relationships, and he emphasizes how a personalized gift can create meaningful connections with people in your network.
A meaningful gift shows someone you’ve taken the time to think about them, and John has been able to help companies grow relationships with clients and employees through thoughtful gifting. “If you give someone something and really personalize it, make it apart of who they are — someday it’ll be an artifact.”
Find out how John achieved career success through the power of Giftology on Find Your Passion Career Podcast!
John grew up as a farm boy from Ohio who wasn’t passionate about a future in agriculture. In school, John was an overachiever with goals of becoming a doctor. As a way to pay for medical school, John applied for a job as a knife salesman for Cutco. Three weeks in he felt ready to quit until he had an appointment with his girlfriend’s father, a successful attorney. John expected to sell the dad pocketknives for him to give his clients, but the dad asked instead for paring knives for his clients’ families to cook with.
This appointment changed John’s outlook on business-client relations. “If you take care of the family in business, everything takes care of itself.”
Based on this wisdom John launched his company, Ruhlin Group. His mission is to help organizations create significant personal gifts for employees and clients to show their gratitude and build meaningful connections. Today through the Ruhlin Group, John has worked with organizations such as the Chicago Cubs and Google.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for John getting to this level in his business. While he maintained the philosophy of Giftology, John didn’t have immediate success, and there were certainly times when he wanted to give up. But the beauty of gift giving is that it’s reciprocal. It gets people to open up and accept your connection, and for John, that opened up doors which grew business.
“One person who’s really bought into you is worth more than one hundred people who happen to know you,” said John.
All relationships in life, whether it’s with your employer or significant other, John realized have a sales aspect to it. You may be selling your skills to an employer or your value to a partner, but either way John strongly believes that a gift that is significant to that person can solidify those connections in the best way.
Not all of us can afford to buy a personalized gift for every person that has helped along the way and that’s okay. But we can all write a letter. (And by letter I don’t mean email.)
“It’s not about spending the most money…I’ll spend $9 on handwritten notes that people never forget,” said John.
I challenge you to write a handwritten note to someone in your life, whether it be a teacher who wrote a letter of recommendation, a college professor who inspired you, or a mentor who took you under their wing, and take thirty minutes to express your appreciation. Those connections will be the links to your passion career.
Once you’re inspired by John’s story we would love to read your review. Thank you so much!