A few years ago, my friend and colleague, coach and author Steve Chandler, recently wrote this:
“Most people try to move toward wealth in embarrassing, clumsy ways. They have cynicism programmed into them from an early age. So they want a course called Manipulate and Grow Rich, or Network and Grow Rich or Win People Over and Grow Rich.”
“They see companies like Apple, Amazon, Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Southwest Airlines, and Google, and they think ‘I need a big, clever idea like that!’ or ‘I need diabolically opportunistic branding and positioning!’ When that doesn’t work, then they think it’s time to suck up to powerful people…polish some apples and lick some boots! Why? Because it’s Who You Know that makes you rich!”
“Yet all the while, there is a spirit that runs through all radical wealth creation…and we’ll keep it simple by calling it service. All the individuals and companies I have worked with in the past 30 years revealed to me this underlying truth: wealth comes from profound service.”
If you’re working to grow your business in these difficult times, make sure your plan includes serving your clients profoundly. If it does, this will be a great year for you.
To get specific, here are a few of Steve’s (and my) tips:
1. Stop Pleasing and Start Serving. As children, we are conditioned to please. “Were you a good girl, today?” Daddy asked, and what he meant was: Were you sweet, passive, obedient and not too vocal about your opinions? Never did we hear him ask: “Were you bold and powerful?” Or, “Were you courageous?”
Adults were the people with the money and power. If we pleased them, we’d get that ice cream or that allowance. As a result, too many of us learned to default to pleasing. We want our clients to think we’ve been a good little boy or girl, so if we think there will be resistance to what we believe serves them best, we choose what will please them instead of what we believe they should do or have.
If we served instead pleasing, we would astonish our clients, instead of simply being “a nice guy”. We would be making a real difference in another person’s life.
2. Create Agreements, Not Expectations. We become anxious because an employee, a client or prospect hasn’t done what we think they “should have” done. Expectations also belong in the recycle bin. To fully serve and grow rich, you don’t need those anymore. In fact, they will slow you down and give you a life of disappointment—even causing nagging and persistent feelings of betrayal.
If you want an employee, client or prospect to do something, create an agreement with him or her. Agreements serve because they are creative collaborations that honor both people. They are like a co-written song. Expectations, on the other hand, live and grow in us alone like cancer. Nothing good can come from them.
3. Don’t try to prove to a client that she’s wrong. Proving that your employee’s, client’s or prospect’s view or understanding about the world is wrong—no matter how ridiculous her opinion might be—is not serving.
Listen for the value in what someone is saying before you respond. Recognize the merit, and acknowledge that you see it. Agree with the “objection” rather than trying to overcome it with a humiliating argument. Agree with her, and find a way to “reframe” how she’s seeing things:
“I understand that you don’t believe in life insurance, and if I saw it the way you’ve explained it, I wouldn’t believe in it either. What I do believe in is making sure my family has money at the most critical time—a time when I won’t be able to help. If we didn’t call it ‘life insurance’, wouldn’t that be something you’d want your family to have?”
Finish off this difficult year by making it one profound service, and it’s bound to end up being one of your best.
In the meantime, keep REACHING…