Your life matters and often in ways you're not even thinking about. There is meaning behind everything you say, every action that you take, and every life you touch. For good or for ill, everything you do creates an impact--some much larger than you even realize.
Yesterday, I was speaking with Darius Hicks, the founder and CEO of Aveo Big and Tall Golf Apparel who mentioned that a 5 minute conversation with Golftini owner & designer, Susan Hess, changed his life. Mr. Hicks had recently launched his business and had a marketing challenge. He could either rent a mailing list to help promote his apparel via a relatively inexpensive direct marketing approach, or he could go big and become an exhibitor at the PGA Merchandise Show.
Your Experience Can Save Others Tremendous Time, Money and Pain
Ms. Hess didn't even hesitate. She'd had a tremendous amount of success at the PGA Merchandise Show and found that her own early direct marketing efforts hadn't performed nearly as well as she was expecting. While both approaches would yield results, she pointed Mr. Hicks in the direction of the conference and that has made all the difference in the growth of his company.
"It was a 5 minute phone call that put me on my path for success", recalls Darius Hicks. "Susan Hess had already done it. She had successfully launched a woman's golf apparel company and was featured in Golf Magazine. I kept bugging her until she agreed to talk with me and my persistence paid off. The PGA Merchandise Show was a lot of money for me at the time, but it paid for itself in the first event. Not only did I get all of my money back, but I actually had to turn down business I knew I couldn't deliver on in the next 3 months."
Today, Darius Hicks and Susan Hess talk 2-3 times a year. Not all that often, but enough to compare notes and share key lessons learned. And that got Mr. Hicks thinking about all the people who touched his life and made such an impact on it. From his mother lending him the money to start his company to his best friend and business partner, Randy Peaches, who continues to work with him to this day, Mr. Hicks knows how deeply those around him have helped him prosper and succeed.
It's the Small Things You Do That Make Such a Big Impact
You may not think it's such a big deal, but a 5 minute conversation with someone in need at the right moment in time can provide precisely the insights needed to make the right decision. This is the principle of Authority, as described in my previous article, 6 Clinically Proven Principles of Persuasion, but used in a unique way. When it comes to Authority, people look to experts to show them the way. Scientific research has shown us just how powerful the principle of Authority can be. Yet, in this case, this wasn't about selling anything, but rather Susan Hess was making a contribution; she was being a Go Giver to her industry colleague and making a contribution of her time.
Making a Contribution Helps Both Parties (And Many Others)
Perhaps the best part of this lesson is that this kind of contribution doesn't just help the one person, but rather it helps countless others. Taking the time to listen and teach others helps the giver of the information reinforce what they know. This helps reinforce the giver's resolve at the information they are imparting on the other person. Once that advice is acted upon, there is an entire ecosystem of others who are likewise helped. This is the ripple effect. In the case of Mr. Hicks, he not only helped himself, but also his suppliers, employees, the retailers who discovered him, and every customer who needed big and tall golf apparel and couldn't get it. Making a contribution is one of the most important gifts you can give in your life and helps you establish and maintain a better "you".
And this is one of the major benefits I receive from writing here on Inc.com. By listening to the incredibly diverse stories of our fellow entrepreneurs and sharing their wisdom, I not only learn myself, but pick up all kinds of great insights that I can use to help grow and shape my business. I most certainly encourage you to do the same.