I don’t know about you, but I feel like the societal pendulum has swung so far over to the me, me, me side of the spectrum that I wonder if it will ever swing back. Whatever happened to “give to receive”? Is it really that hard to make the time to extend a helping hand to someone else without expecting anything in return? For a large number of people out there, I guess it is.
I’m a big fan of Bob Littel who wrote a great book called The Heart and Art of Netweaving. The essence of the book is all about connecting others knowing that what goes around comes back around. Throughout my entire professional career, which included running sales teams in the technology sector, I’ve always taken this approach. Bob just gave it a wonderful name to differentiate the approach from traditional networking. The netweaving philosophy, I believe fits the essence of social networking perfectly. Unfortunately, there are legions of folks out there who just don’t get it. Here are a few recent examples:
- I followed a number of people on Twitter yesterday, although with a few of them I am now reconsidering…anywho…out of the 11 direct message responses, 8 of them were sales pitches. I hate that! Get to know me will you before telling me how you can help me make thousands a day selling products online.
- I asked a LinkedIn question about why so many people blatantly ignore community guidelines and hawk their wares in the discussion area anyway, which is supposed to be for discussing ideas and helping others NOT to push your latest tele-seminar. One respondent got pretty ticked off at the question. According to him, that is taking an elitist view, because after all – that’s what LinkedIn is for…selling.
- I received a business launch announcement in my email inbox from people that I do not know. It was the standard pitch with nothing really compelling about it. The kicker…they wanted you to visit their “community page” and when I did (because I was curious) I discovered that the page was still under construction. Big no no! First impressions count and this company scored 2 strikes against them right out of the box. I can think of no reason why I would buy from them.
What’s up? What’s behind the selfishly motivated behavior that seems to be pervasive? I can’t figure out if it’s desperation, impatience, cluelessness or insecurity. Maybe it is all of them. Investing time to help others first to get what they need goes a long way toward building your own reputation and brand. It means you must genuinely care about supporting the success of others knowing that your success naturally follows.
If you have something to sell – everyone does! – whether it’s trying to land a new contract, sell your book, secure a new job, get the kids to take out the trash, raise money for your charity or earn that big promotion – we all sell! When you come from a place of giving to others first, you will be rewarded many times over. It just may not be right this second!
To the folks who lack the patience or willingness to build trust and relationships with others…you’ll be rewarded too. Probably not the reward you had in mind though.
By the way, that’s Cody in the picture. Cody needed a helping hand. His previous owner was evicted from their apartment and abandoned him in the complex leaving him to fend for himself. Whatever the reason, I can’t comprehend the kind of person who could do this sort of thing, but I’m grateful that Cody landed at our vet’s office. It’s a big commitment taking on another doggie, especially a 6-month old Siberian Husky, but he needed the help. I’m glad we could give it! Cody has joined brothers Shorty and Murphy and though the household is in a complete state of disarray, I’m thrilled to have Cody here.
Take a minute to look around to see where you can lend a helping hand! It could be connecting a colleague to a new business opportunity, supporting a charity bake sale or rescuing a puppy from a life threatening situation. Go on – extend your hand! The return on your investment will pay you huge dividends in the end.