The Paradox of Serving Your Way to Success

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When you first hear it, serving your way to success sounds crazy, doesn’t it? The idea of being someone’s servant even sounds a little bit demeaning. And don’t I have to focus on me to get ahead? No one else cares about me as much as me.

“I love me some me!” — Terrell Owens, former NFL receiver

That can lead to a downhill spiral – fast. You end up feeling greedy, selfish, and desperate. And, it usually leads to financial and relational struggles.

But, when you truly understand it, serving your way to success makes perfect sense. You can track every bit of success in your life to your service of others.

  • You got promoted and made more income by serving your customers, coworkers, and boss
  • Your marriage is great because you put your spouse’s needs above yours
  • Your business is thriving because of the way you serve your clients
  • You have lots of friends because you’ve shown that you’ll help them any way you can

Sometimes I forget this. Whenever I find myself pressing in my business, or feel like I’m working too hard trying to sell, I always notice that I’ve gotten away from the focus of serving others. As soon as I start looking for ways to help and serve, things start working out again.

I start to feel happier. I begin to create better relationships and friendships. I have more fun in my work. I help more people.

As a bonus, I get more speaking engagements, coaching clients, and book and online course sales. But that isn’t my focus.

Sports demonstrate this as well. You’ve heard people say about a great player, “he’s so good, he makes everyone around him better.” That doesn’t just happen by accident. The great ones serve their teammates by helping them become better. They give them tips on how to play their position, how to study film, how to be mentally tough, and more. They lead by example and by their hard work. They never ask someone to do something they aren’t willing to do themselves.

It’s true in more than just sports. The really great parents, friends, and business people make everyone around them better. And they do it by serving.

It’s amazing how the process of helping others makes you a better person, and leads you to greater personal success than you’ve ever known. Quite often it even leads to more income. That’s not why you do it, but it sure doesn’t stink.

Let’s GO!

Questions for comments:

  • How do you switch your focus to serve others?
  • What do you do to serve others?
  • How does that change how you feel and what you achieve?

(I now offer one to one coaching and an online coaching program for various budgets. Click here for more details.)

Who Doesn’t Like Praise?

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Confession time. I like hearing praise. Crazy, huh? I’m betting you like it too.

I’m not talking about the “everyone gets a trophy because we all have value,” empty praise. That has been proven to actually hurt future performance. I’m talking about earned praise for a job well done.

A friend of mine this week said, “A raise is great, but sometimes a pat on the back letting me know my hard work is valued and that I’m making a difference is just as important.”

Do you agree?

There are two things people want more than sex and money… recognition and praise.

–Mary Kay Ash

That got me to thinking: When’s the last time I gave someone earned praise for a job well done? Too long.

When was the last time you did?

The New One Minute Manager has a great tip on one minute praises. Yes, you can do it in one minute, make someone’s day and really make a difference. You can use this at work, with your family or with friends. Here’s how it works.

  • Praise the behavior as soon as possible when you see it.
  • Make the praise specific.
  • Say how good it makes you feel to see their success.
  • Pause to let them enjoy your comments.
  • Encourage them to keep up the excellent work.

Is there someone you can use this with today? Why wait?