I came across an article on NYTimes.com that reminded me of something that I always knew, but rarely think about during business planning. The article was about how giving is the secret to getting ahead. The article talks about Adam Grant and his book: Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.
The premise of the article and the book is that people who are givers are more motivated and as a result more successful. This is an important thing to remember. As an entrepreneur, this information reminds me to:
- Focus on providing a product or service that helps people
- Hire people that are inspired by helping others
- Create a work environment that fosters a sense of service to the customers, coworkers and the community in general
If you’re not a giver, attempting these will be difficult. So, don’t force it. If you aren’t geared that way, it doesn’t make you a bad person. I know plenty of good people that can’t operate this way because it’s just not in their makeup. They are good people and will help out when needed, but don’t necessarily look for opportunities to help.
People that believe in helping others as a core tenet of their being are a different breed. In certain environments, they can get very burned out. If they are placed in the right circumstances though, they will try to move mountains if that’s what it takes to help. If you’re that kind of person, there are other people out there like you and you can build your business around them. You don’t have to look for sharp edged business people. Building a business that helps people and is peopled by people who are motivated by doing so is definitely a goal worth working towards.