Whoever you are and whatever you do, I can guarantee you that you and I share one very big challenge in common; we don't have enough time in the day!
Our feeds are busier and noisier than ever and standing out has become increasingly difficult. It is clear that you need to do things differently.
Here are 5 reasons you should not focus on your own needs but rather on the person with whom you are meeting:
By helping others overcome challenges, you learn how to solve diverse problems.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. In every single meeting I've had in the past decade, I've asked the person I am sitting with to tell me about their primary professional challenges. Every time I ask that question, the other person's face lights up because no one has ever asked them that before.
Once they share their challenges with you, you can try and help them overcome some of them, thereby training your brain to come up with solutions to diverse problems. You train yourself to be as resourceful as possible, an important skill you'll need down the road when building your own business.
By focusing on real value, you build yourself a reputation of being indispensable.
It's been said before that there is nothing more valuable than a person's name/reputation. When you focus your time and resources on helping the other person, you establish yourself as a person that people and companies need. The more significant the problem you help solve, the more indispensable you become.
Once you demonstrate your abilities and you over deliver, the recipient of your value will realize sooner or later that they want to engage you in a formal capacity and that's when your value turns into income.
You'd establish new relationships and strengthen existing ones.
When everyone around you is selling something or promoting themselves, you fundamentally differentiate yourself by giving, and not taking.
For example, instead of writing on your company blog about yourself and how amazing your company is, a piece of content no one will read, try to give others a stage. Perhaps interview people. People like to be on stage. People like to have others promote them. By doing that, you instantly get on people's radar and establish a relationship you can later leverage to your advantage.
You'd build an endless pool of people who feel they want to return the favor.
If all the above reasons weren't enough to convince you to focus on giving, here's one more that should put you over the fence. When you give and give, eventually people want to give back.
Imagine you connect a startup to an investor who ends up investing. Imagine the startup raises millions because of your intro. Now imagine you help that same startup get press or sign a strategic deal. It's just a question of time before that founder comes back and wants to give back, whether it's in the form of equity, an ongoing retainer, or something else.
Even if that startup doesn't come back, and this is a crucial point, when you need that founder for something down the road, they'll most likely jump at the opportunity to help you. And even if not, then write off the favor as good karma.
You'd build the foundation of a very lucrative and profitable business.
At the end of the day; when you help and help, you exceed expectations, since the recipient of your value has no expectations. After all, they're not paying you. When you exceed expectations over and over, you create delight. Now think of things in your life that bring you delight. Chances are you'd pay for them.
So focus on giving, on creating delight and when that person comes back to you with hearts in their eyes like in Bugs Bunny, then, and only then can you talk about money.
Instead of acting like everyone else and taking before giving, flip the order and focus on giving and then taking. Try this and watch your business thrive.