This issue falls slightly after the US Thanksgiving holiday and our regular business development headline act, Keith Smith, takes a moment from the hustle to give thanks. The title inspired by the late great Ian Dury and his track Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3.


I’m very envious of the Americans in that they have a day (or a few days really) when they just give thanks.

I know that the celebration of Thanksgiving has its roots in a one-sided historical retelling of the Pilgrims being supported by the Native Americans, later to literally bite the hand that fed it like a rabid rescue hound, but the principle of taking a day to be grateful for family and friends without feelings being influenced by gift-giving is a wonderful tradition.

In the UK, we transition from a celebration of dead people, to burning effigies of someone who tried to murder the entire Government, to a season of goodwill to all people, which can be a bit jarring for us uptight Brits.

Britain needs a giving of thanks too and I fully support the spirit of the occasion, influenced entirely by the fact that it is also a carb-fest that occurs on the eve of the most important retail event of the year. What a way to walk off 5lbs of turkey, mashed potato, gravy (and too many dinner rolls) and pumpkin pie!

But in case you hadn’t noticed, this year will be different. We won’t be able to mix and mingle, midnight shop and over-indulge with family. But we will still be able to give thanks. So here’s my list of IOUs for the year:

#1 Podcasting

I love podcasts. I love entertainment ones that involve mysteries like Martinis and Murder. I love nostalgic ones that invoke childhood memories, like Box of Delights. I love educational ones like Revisionist History and Freakonomics. And I love B2B ones like Ian Truscott’s RockstarCMO and Lucy Mann’s Small Spark Theory.

As well as being the host of my own sales-related show, where I get to talk to so many wonderful people. It’s a mixture of the conversation and the pure amateurishness of them that is so rewarding. The more ‘labor of love’ they are, the better. I got into podcasting last year and I quickly became a fan of the medium as a content delivery mechanism. It is on-demand audio theatre and the best advertising strategy I have found for my business. Long may it last!

#2 The virus

Before you all walk away muttering “heartless bastard,” yes, I admit, it’s not very correct to wish a pandemic on anyone but the London family I come from used to boil up bomb shrapnel and old rope, throw in a carrot and make a delicious Blitz soup during the war.

You make the best of what you got. The downside of the pandemic is obvious but let’s make some lemonade with these lemons and look at how we’ve all coped. We sang on balconies, we made bread, we Zoomed, WhatsApped and Teamed. We made being apart a participation event.

Vic Lee published a fabulously illustrated diary of the pandemic, John Krasinski made a fortune selling the rights to the Some Good News show format and the biggest winner of all seems to be Joe Rogan and his Spotify deal (see ‘Podcasts’ above).

The virus forced us into a position we were already heading to. We just went there a bit sooner than expected and agile companies have coped magnificently. Thank you virus.

#3 The youth

I refer to my previous point. The development of working from home tech could only have been delivered by a generation of people who hate getting out of bed and going to work to sit in an office for eight hours. So thank you young people for freeing every generation from the shackles of monolithic office culture.

Also, thank you young people for getting out to vote in the US election. You may just have saved the planet from its most unsociable, egotistical, misogynistic, childish, bitter know-it-all popping off a few nukes because he wasn’t getting enough attention or because we were all laughing at his latest set of fuck ups. So again. Thank you young people. You did what we couldn’t do.

#4 My wife

She’s all I have and she supports me in [most of] my endeavors. She plans, she leaves notes, she listens, she cares for our pets and she smiles at my lame jokes. We are so similar. We are the original two heads that are better than one and I’m grateful to have found the one person on the entire planet that thinks like me. Thank you Donna.

Editors note: And thank you Keith for all your rock star insight, humorous articles, and support this year.


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