Success. It comes in many forms, and everyone defines and measures it differently.
Hard work, dedication, and focus are all known to be necessary ingredients.
But if I told you it would bring you one step closer to success, (whatever your definition of success might be), if you set aside two hours of your day to give to someone else – would you believe me?
Can giving to others help you succeed?
It’s my motto in business, and it’s really the only way that you can profit in my opinion. If you’re serving others, you will be rewarded for that. And in business you get rewarded in a monetary way. And another thing that you should know is that you can only really only give from your own surplus. So you need to be taken care of in order to take care of others.
If you haven’t taken notice yet, people kind of dig it when others want to help them. And I’m not talking about helping the grandma you saw at Trader Joe’s with getting her case of wine from her shopping cart to her trunk (although that would be very kind of you).
I mean like sitting down on the phone with someone who you know could benefit from your knowledge and providing them with insights, resources or advice on how they could better their business, their products, their services – whatever it is you specialize in that they don’t.
Note: this “someone” is not anyone and everyone who contacts you asking for advice. This “someone” is a person who will actually benefit from your expertise.
You may be under the impression that success is attained through hard work and an unrelenting dedication/obsession with focusing on ones own work – and ones own work alone. But a large part of your success depends on building your network and strengthening your relationships.
How to build your network
By giving to others.
When you take the time to share your knowledge with someone else, that means something. This act of unselfishness helps you build relationships, and it allows you tap into someone else’s realm of expertise as well.
Once you “pay it forward”, you’ve made a connection with someone who you can now share ideas with, who you can go to for help if you ever need it, and who can introduce you an even bigger network of people.
I listened to a very brief yet powerful interview the other day with Aimee Groth, a Senior Editor over at the Business Insider, and Adam Grant, the Author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.
In the interview, Grant shares his insights on success and how giving to others can help you get there. And being the youngest tenured professor at Wharton and one of the world’s 40 best business professors under 40 gives Grant all the permission he needs to speak about success.
Grant believes that giving to other people – building goodwill (and your network) and strengthening and broadening your relationships in the process – is a vehicle to help you succeed.
Contrary to popular belief, spending at least some of your time helping others instead of working on your own business could come back to you tenfold.
Community is a powerful thing
So how does Grant give so much, and still find time to get stuff done for himself? Much like Ezra, Grant believes it’s important to set boundaries when it comes to giving to others.
Of course it’s important to ensure you have time to further your own business, products or services before you start sharing your time, and Grant goes on to tell us exactly how he ensures he’ll get his work done before giving to others: he blocks off segments of time for productivity.
Grant’s strategy is to set aside time in the morning to get as much work of his own done as possible, and then, he frees up the afternoon to spend time giving to others by sharing his knowledge.
By giving to others, you’re actively building goodwill, trust and deepening and broadening your relationships.
These are the types of things that will help you expand your network and give you access to other ideas and ways of doing things.
Communities are a powerful thing.
Once you’ve got a strong one that will rally around you in times of need, you’ll realize just how true Ezra’s statement “serve the world unselfishly and profit” really is.
What do you think? Can giving to others help you succeed? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!