Are You Taking More Than You Give?
Early in my career, I learned the most valuable piece of advice that has stuck with me decades later.
“You can have everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”
This lesson came, of course from my mentor Zig Ziglar.
The idea that to get what you want, you must first serve others is a tried and true method. It means putting others interests before or at equal par with your own, giving without expectation and leading with a servant’s heart.
I want you to ask yourself this one, simple question: Are you taking more than you give?
If you are, consider making a change.
I want to share four specific strategies you can apply to day-to-day life, relationships and business:
I love making lists — that’s no secret. “Free generosity” are things which you can give to others without expectation of reciprocation.
Think outside the box — I’m not talking just tangible things like old clothes or canned food. Share an article that can help solve a friend’s problem. Offer to carpool your kid’s teammates to practice. Offer to proof-read a friend’s book manuscript. The list goes on and on…
Whenever I get a speaking or training request, I can’t fulfill my first thought is “dang it!” After the initial disappoint wears off, I run through my network to think of a connection who would do a great job!
I love connecting my network. It’s a win-win-win scenario! Seeing my friends, peers, and colleagues prosper excites and motivates me, and the “good deed” always comes back around.
When someone does a good thing for you, make sure they know it — even the little things. I had a friend share an article with me recently that was exactly what I needed to hear to help me get over a hurdle.
I could’ve replied with a quick, “cool, thanks!”, but instead, I chose to show my gratitude by explicitly telling her how the article helped me and how much she saved my butt!
When you’re chatting with a friend or colleague, do you find yourself dominating the conversation?
I like to stick by a simple rule of thumb: ask more than you answer. If someone asks how you are, reciprocate the same kindness with genuine interest and your very best listening skills.
Better yet, follow up with them in the coming days or weeks to see how they’re doing on a specific problem/project/plan, etc. If they’re struggling with something, don’t just sympathize, ask how you can support them.
I found my place in this world through the immense support, guidance and mentorship of my family, friends, peers and colleagues — let me help you find yours.