He gave and gave and gave and guess what?
Today, I came across this tweet in my feed. Its about something that Ryan Hoover said at SXSW.
I have actually written a lot about this topic in the past. I thought I would share some of my favorite extracts from those pieces here.
While growing up, I saw first-hand how my grandfather would spend three-fourths of his day serving others. I thought my grandfather was wasting his time, energy and most importantly, his intelligence. Instead of working on his business and focusing on his wealth, he would obsessively assist others grow their businesses and live their lives more fruitfully.
He gave and gave and gave and gave…………and gave……and guess what? He GOT. He got tons and tons of value and more importantly, earned a reputation of being a noble gentleman. Whenever I asked him why he did what he did, he almost always said “Invest in people more that you do in stocks or cars or real estate.” I couldn’t wrap my head around that advice for years. Why and how would anyone invest in something as abstract as relationships?
Years after his death, we still have people visit us just for letting our family know how my grandfather changed their lives. After my grandfather passed away, I slowly started to understand the importance of serving others. I knew I wanted to serve others.
My personal mantra for networking (read it as connecting) is adding net value to people around you and your communities without any ulterior motives. I think such graciousness sets you up for accomplishments and satisfaction in both personal and professional spheres in the long run. Build relationships with people not for leveraging them, but for enriching their lives. Once you do that, you will win over their hearts too. With this mindset, you will earn a circle of mentors, friends and weak ties that will not let you fail in realizing your aspirations.
Why would you be crazy enough to assist others when you are struggling yourself to get through your corporate jobs or scrappy startup lives ? By serving others to help them realize their personal desires and professional goals, they become more receptive to sticking their neck out for you when you need it the most. Get their foot in the door of opportunities that you think they never knew about. Once you start authentically practicing that by incorporating it as a part of your daily routine, you will start becoming “lucky” enough to find yourself in situations that will benefit you in ways you had never imagined. This does not mean that you always help in the hopes of reciprocity.
Generosity is THE foundation of developing relationships.
By just approaching every relationship warmly, you can open yourself up to a wide array of opportunities that will be otherwise unavailable.
Some thoughts on cold emails —
Why would a renowned author, an investment wizard or a highly sought-after speaker help you because you sent them aesthetically pleasing emails with perfectly organized paragraphs? Why would they take time out to take coffee meetings specifically with you to help you get where you want to get?
Cold emails essentially sow seeds for a parasitical relationship. If you are bold enough to ask for a coffee meeting in the first email, you might as well ask for a job or a million dollars in the same cold email. You might think that a coffee meeting is not as big an investment on their part. But, trust me, it is. Time is money for them. Why would they take couple minutes to reply to you or see you in person when they could be spending that time growing their own careers ?
Instead of making them feel leveraged, make them feel valued. Instead of disrespecting their time, make their lives or work simpler. They don’t care about your name or where you came from unless you are Warren Buffet or Seth Godin. They do care about how you can add value to them. By helping them in the tiniest way possible, you can build a genuine relationship with someone over time such that they will make sure that they do their best to help you out in achieving your goals.
Do you agree with all this?