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Gratitude is the Best Medicine

Gratitude is the best medicine

November is the month of giving thanks. And giving thanks requires action.

What if we worked to create a culture of gratitude in our homes and offices? What would that look like? Let’s start with a gratitude definition that I came across recently that helps zero-in on what gratitude is and what it can do for us.

Gratitude is observation. It’s paying close attention. It’s noticing the things that are already here and pausing long enough to see them and think, look at this – isn’t it good? Gratitude is a way of shining a light on things; it’s a way of seeing deeply, and of letting that seeing ripen into appreciation. When we move through the world with gratefulness, when we notice the good things, suddenly good things are everywhere, and the details and the people and the moments of each day transform. They go from being the things we expect to being something exceptional.

Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps us feel positive, appreciate wonderful moments, improve our physical and mental health, helps us manage challenges, and builds solid and connected relationships. There are so many ways that we can express gratitude:

  • A simple thank you, for a simple task
  • A handwritten note of thanks and appreciation
  • A smile and hello
  • A pat on the back – physically or a shout out
  • Acknowledgement or celebration in front of others

It’s so easy to show appreciation with a simple thank you.

We should not take others or their actions for granted. Being thankful for your mate for taking out the garbage, for your coworker for making another pot of coffee, your child for getting their homework done. These expected daily tasks should be celebrated and appreciated. It builds trust, connection, and engagement. Simply said, it will lift their day right along with yours.

For many, the holidays can be filled with sadness, anxiety, or depression. Those with severe anxiety disorders hopefully seek and find assistance with professional help. But sometimes we’re just feeling a little disconnected, sad, or anxious. Research and common sense tell us that being thankful can actually lift our spirits. When we focus on the positive things in our lives instead of what is lacking, we can bring clarity and joy to our lives.

So, who doesn’t want more gratitude in life! Here are some simple ideas on how to show it:

  • Tell three people why you are grateful for them and why they matter in your life
  • Randomly place post-it notes around your work (or home) space expressing gratitude for those on your team
  • Try to find the good in someone you don’t like
  • Be grateful for yourself! Do something nice for you today
  • Create a Thankful Jar – and fill it up
  • Surprise someone with a thoughtful, and inexpensive (or handmade) gift
  • Create your own list of reasons to be grateful, post it in a prominent place to remind yourself that there is always something to be grateful for – or start a gratitude journal
  • Give someone your vote of confidence
  • In a group, draw names and write a note of gratitude; leave the note in a place to be found by the person you intended
  • Tape gratitude notes to candy bars and hand them out
  • Call a friend and tell them why you are grateful for them
  • Make an effort to use grateful and kind words in all your interactions today

Thank you for taking time to read this blog and I hope it inspires you to find more ways to show, share, and practice gratitude! What are you shining a light on today?

Brenda-Final1

Brenda Peterson, President/CEO
The Wendt Agency

References: randomactsofkindnessfoundation.org, and Grateful, Compendium Live Inspired, M.H.Clark

2020-11-19T15:30:12-07:00November 20th, 2020|Culture, Reflections, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Fangs for the Memories

Halloween memories at Wendt

“Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative.” -Judy Gold

There is no one more creative than the crew at The Wendt Agency, which is why Halloween is such a big deal around here. It’s certainly my favorite tradition!

I was unsure what to expect my first Halloween here at Wendt. Halloween has always been one of my most beloved holidays, but the more I heard about the annual celebration, the more excited I became. As part of the planning committee, I was put in charge of game development. I am still very proud of the original Wendt murder mystery game I designed and created based on the game Clue. The office enjoyed my clothespin game that featured around 65 individually hand-painted clothespins. Another one of my favorite games that year was musical chairs with Halloween music, which I won. I also thought my costume was pretty clever; a social butterfly (a fun play on words since I am the social media specialist at Wendt).

The second year at Wendt, I was dressed as the Cheshire Cat (with a wig, elaborate face paint, and very impractical claw nails). That year, I devised a game to get everyone in the spooky spirit leading up to the actual day. We had an array of skeletons around the office and everyone had an opportunity to set up their very own Skeleton Diorama: I also won this game. The committee had a lot of fun buying a few new Halloween decorations and bedecking the entire office. My favorites included the entry way black lights that illuminated the skeleton scenes set up in the street facing big front windows, the repurposed Christmas trees that became a glowing spooky forest graveyard, and of course, the motion sensor ghost that guarded the entryway to the bathroom.

This year I was asked to lead the planning committee, comprised of all new employees who have never experienced a Wendt Halloween. After bringing them up to speed and conveying the significance of Halloween here at Wendt (and explaining the number one rule…keep your costume a secret!), we came up with a bunch of terror-ific ideas for this year’s festivities. We wanted to get everyone excited for Halloween, so we came up with the 13 Days of Halloween (a reverse countdown spin on the 12 days of Christmas). Each of the 13-days leading up to Halloween we are planning something fang-tastic. And we haven’t forgotten about the party itself! There will be plenty of haunting holiday activities then too.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see the full 13 Days of Halloween and our creative costumes this year! Wishing you a wicked Halloween from all of us here at Wendt.

Tegan Bauer
Social Media Specialist

2020-11-06T14:59:41-07:00October 28th, 2020|Culture, Reflections, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year

Sherwin Williams selects Urbane Bronze as the Color of 2021

Are we all ready to be done with 2020? Do we need some calm and stability in our lives? Sherwin-Williams thinks so, already announcing Urbane Bronze as the color of the year – the year of 2021 that is.

Described as an “anchor that grounds the mind”, Urbane Bronze (SW 7048)  is a rich shade with gray undertones.

“The home is now the ultimate retreat from the world … and Urbane Bronze encourages you to create a sanctuary space for mindful reflection and renewal,” according to Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing, Sue Wadden. The color is part of the Sherwin-Williams Sanctuary Palette, said to pair well with wood finishes, stone accents, woven textiles, and mixed metals.

A very unofficial poll of the Wendt office shows this is a divisive color:

  • I love it. It signifies a life well lived, filled with leather bound books, roaring fires, and soft lamp light.
  • Great organic feel – it will easily coordinate with any other color.
  • This color fills me with darkness. I find this choice a disappointment.
  • The color of doom and gloom – thumbs down!

Pantone, the ball is in your court – can’t wait for your December announcement to see what you pick for the 2021 color of the year!

2020-11-06T15:00:32-07:00October 9th, 2020|Culture, Reflections, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Raise your cup to celebrate National Coffee Day!

Happy National Coffee Day everyone!

That’s right, today has been officially designated to honor that wonderful caffeine delivery system that makes the morning bearable for so many of us – coffee. The average American drinks two cups of coffee per day. Here at Wendt, we drink a combined total of 26 cups per day, although a couple of folks do not drink any coffee at all, and one person drinks decaf – can you imagine! I guess it’s up to the rest of us to pick up the slack, something we are more than happy to do.

Looking to impress your co-workers in the breakroom today?

Here are a few coffee facts to get the conversation started:

  • More than 50 countries around the world grow coffee
  • $40 billion is spent on coffee every year
  • The most expensive coffee is Kopi Luwak, which can cost up to $600 per pound
  • Coffee beans are the pit of the coffee plant’s red berries, meaning they are actually fruit seeds
  • The effects of the caffeine show up 15-20 minutes after your first sip
  • To let students and faculty know when the coffee pot in the breakroom was full, the University of Cambridge pointed a camera at the pot and created the first webcam in 1991. Sadly, it was taken down in 2001.

Whether you are an expert cupper (a professional coffee taster) or just a one cup first thing in the morning person, you can check out all the fun today by using or following #NationalCoffeeDay on social media. And, if your celebration includes a sixth, or tenth, cup of coffee today – no judgment here!

2020-10-26T14:25:27-06:00September 29th, 2020|Culture, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Leading is not going it alone

Ahh, the fearless leader – striding forward, blazing a trail, thinking, and acting independently – basically going it alone. It is an image that seems to resonate with a lot of people, something baked into at least the American consciousness. But is it completely accurate? Isn’t it missing something?  Something like other people?

I recently graduated from the Leadership Montana Master’s Class, an 8-month program designed to help Leadership Montana alumni take a deeper dive into the concept of leadership and what it means to them. It was fascinating, challenging, overwhelming, eye-opening, and visionary all at once. I am still processing everything I learned and will be for quite a while. But one thing which really stood out to me during the final session in June was my new understanding of how empty leadership is without other people.

Of course, leadership means looking at issues in new ways, setting goals, creating a vision, reframing questions, building order out of confusion, etc. But why is a leader doing that? Is it just for internal satisfaction? Or is it to share the journey, to bring others forward, to create understanding and connection? As important as personal growth is, I do not think that is the end goal of leadership. I think leadership is finding ways to create a shared vision.

The process of leadership can be messy. It can involve a lot of false starts. It can need mid-course corrections and the flexibility to respond to changing circumstances. But it must involve other people. It must be about that connection and creating a team dedicated to a common goal – a goal which is bigger than any single person, even the leader.

In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Carol Kruger
Senior Vice President

2020-08-10T14:12:38-06:00August 7th, 2020|Culture, Industry Trends|0 Comments

How well do you know your coworkers?

Just how well do you know your coworkers? Oh sure, you might know how Bill takes his coffee or how much Janet loves her golden retriever, but do you know if either of them would rather have telekinesis (the ability to move things with their mind) or telepathy (the ability to read minds)? If they’d prefer to be in a food fight or a water fight? These are the fascinating things you can learn when you play “Would You Rather?” The questions may be silly but the chance to bond over a shared interest in Marvel movies or the joys of living in a tree house is no joke – it’s a great way to build connection. We started playing “Would You Rather” while we were working remotely and decided to play another round and let you all learn a little bit about us – enjoy!

Would you rather team up with Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel?

I am a huge Marvel fan! I could explain in great detail why I would choose to team up with Captain Marvel, but it might take all day! - Tegan Bauer

Would you rather go backstage with your favorite band or be an extra on your favorite TV show?

Backstage with my favorite band! In fact, I have met the members of some of my favorite bands, including visiting on the tour bus with a very eccentric rock star. I still haven’t met my favorite rock star, but I’ve come close by meeting his wife. - Kara Smith

Would you rather communicate only in emoji or never be able to text at all ever again?

Well, I would communicate in emoji! Since many in my family are deaf, I communicate and think in symbolic systems/gestures/ASL all the time so it’s not that different. 🤩🤓👍🏻🗣🙋🏼‍♀‍🧏🏻‍♀‍🙊🙉🙈🤟🏼💪🏻🙌🏼🤐🤗🧐🦄 This is “starry eyed nerd feeling positive speaking out to you. Yes you. Using my deaf skills to say nothing, hear nothing, see nothing... with love to everyone, staying strong, praise up, zipping my lips, hugs all around, I know it’s weird, I’m weird...because I’m a rainbow heart unicorn. Kiss” 😘 - Pamela Bennett

Would you rather go back to the past and meet your loved ones who passed away or go to the future to meet your children or grandchildren to be?

Go back to the past and meet a loved one who passed away. There is so much we can learn from those who have gone before us and by spending time with someone whose life directly impacted mine, I can gain insight that I can then pass onto my children. Also, my family is made up of some colorful characters and I would love to hear their stories first hand! - Jennifer Beisecker

Would you rather win $25,000 or your best friend win $100,000??

If either I or my best friend won any amount of money we would split it with each other, so it would benefit us both if she won. - Haley Thomas

Would you rather walk to work in heels or drive to work in reverse?

Drive to work in reverse, than walk to work in heels. Since we live 28 miles outside of Great Falls, I’m guessing walking to work in heels would take me at least 10 hours. Plus, my tootsies would never forgive me! Driving in reverse, no problem! - Brenda Peterson

Would you rather have a pause or a rewind button in your life?

Have a rewind button so I could spend more time with loved ones and friends I’ve lost. I’d love to relive family vacations to Glacier, Yellowstone, and both coasts, as well as enjoy family holidays, such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, and birthdays. Those are the activities I miss the most as I grow older and my family grows smaller. - Justin Porter

Would you rather look strong and be weak or look weak and be strong?

Look weak and be strong. I’ve been underestimated by others in the past for various tasks and I’m always delighted to see the looks of surprise on their faces when they discover that they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. - Merle McLeish

Would you rather travel the world for free for a year or have $50,000 to spend however you please?

Travel the world for free for a year. Even if I had $50,000 to spend however I please, there is always the pressure of spending it on bills or other life responsibilities. Imagine the places you could see, the things you could do, the food you could eat, the memories you could make - all while traveling the world (for free!) for an entire year. AMAZING! - Jennifer Fritz
Johnny-Interior

Would you rather master every musical instrument or every type of sport?

Master every musical instrument. Music has always been such a positive influence for me and if I could master every musical instrument, I would be content being able to not only entertain myself, but others for the rest of my life. - Johnny Ewald

Would you rather stay in during a snow day or build a fort?

No offense to the wonder of engineering which is the snow fort but…inside has coffee, blankets, books, Netflix, slippers, snacks, streaming music services, and a lovely view of the snow outside that I can enjoy while staying warm! - Carol Kruger

Would you rather spend a day cleaning your worst enemy’s house or have your crush spend the day cleaning your house?

My crush is my husband, and I would REALLY like to see him cleaning house all day! I would take videos. - Lorie Hager

Would you rather be chronically under-dressed or overdressed?

If by chronically overdressed you mean Prada at Albertson’s, Tom Ford at Petco, Versace at a BBQ, or Gucci at Borrie’s, then sign me up. Oh, and the shoes! A fancy Louboutin will elevate any outfit. Overdressed. Every. Time. - Johna Wilcox

Would you rather never get another present in your life but always pick the perfect present for everyone else or keep getting presents but giving terrible ones to everyone else?

Giving gifts or sending a random card to friends or family has always been something that brings me joy. I love seeing the smile on their face when they open it! - Sheena Annala

2020-07-30T11:19:50-06:00July 22nd, 2020|Culture, Industry Trends|0 Comments

Happy New Year from Wendt

Celebration, reflection, inspiration. 2019 was a big year at The Wendt Agency as we marked 90 years in business. When Wendt first opened its doors back in 1929, print ads were extolling the virtues of a new thing called “sliced bread.” Who could have imagined the transformation the advertising world – and world itself! – would undergo in nine decades?

But even as we’ve moved from the Great Depression to the digital revolution of the 21st century, our core values have remained steadfast. We create success for our clients. We spend time celebrating our past but are always looking at ways to inspire our future. And we are dedicated to the community and state in which we are fortunate to work and live.

As part of our 90th anniversary celebration, we reached out to past and present employees and clients and asked them to reflect with us. It was with immense honor we read the kind words from the great-granddaughter of our company’s founder, L.W. Wendt. We smiled at the stories from our clients, without whom we wouldn’t have a past or a future. And we nodded in agreement as former and current employees shared their sentiments on what makes Wendt so special.

But we also wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to us. That’s why we launched our “90 Acts of Kindness” at the beginning of 2019. Every quarter, we joined together to help a local cause. We donated art supplies to Shodair Children’s Hospital; partnered with the Kiwanis Club to get books to kids; found homes for some furry friends; served meals at the Great Falls Rescue Mission; and pledged to add 90 trees to the planet!

We might be closing the book on 2019 and our 90th year, but our story doesn’t end here. A new decade is dawning, and we can’t wait to see what 2020 and beyond holds. Thank you to all involved with our past, present, and future, and cheers to a new year and new adventures!

2019-12-31T10:07:45-07:00December 31st, 2019|Culture, Reflections, Uncategorized, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Nurturing our Creativity in Nature – Wendt Retreat

We’re a dedicated bunch here at Wendt – to our clients, our creativity, our co-workers, and our company. We work together all day every day creating strategies and solutions that build connections and success. It’s what we do, and we thrive on it.

But all work and no play doesn’t just make Jack a dull boy – it dulls creativity all around. And we need to keep our creative edge sharp. So, every now and again, we retreat, taking the whole team on the road to reconnect surrounded by the amazing natural beauty of Montana. This year, that meant three days at Sage Lodge in the appropriately named Paradise Valley.

Did we work? Of course. Our business meeting was filled with ideas for increasing our productivity and streamlining our work processes. Did we play? You bet! Hiking, fishing, Connect Four, checkers, hot tubbing, and more filled our afternoons. Did we make s’mores and take about a thousand pictures of the sunset? Yup! Did we make memories and forge connections with co-workers that will last a lifetime? I think you all know the answer to that.

Taking time out to think about the big picture under the big sky in Montana always leaves us refreshed and ready to take on the world … one marketing message at a time.