Thinking of Others First Can Help You Succeed in Business, and Life

As explained by Sir Richard Branson, “A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.” I guess that’s why the Virgin Group has become one of the largest multinational conglomerates, making Branson one of the richest people in the world.

Thinking of people first is a commonality behind successful businesses. As Branson also explains, “If you can make people’s lives a lot better, you’ve got a really good business.”

Branson will be the headliner at this year’s Synergy Global Forum in New York held on October 27th and 28th. He will be discussing ways to change the world while you improve your business and how to create a great company culture. Both of which have helped him become a success.

Sir Richard Branson taking the time to speak at the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C., something he was not required to do. A little lesson showing that he practices what he preaches about thinking of others first.

Supporting others is also considered a trait of people who have a positive impact on the world.

“They are happy to help and support others,” writes Kathy Caprino for Thrive Global. “and have an overflow of positive energy that enriches the lives of everyone they work with and connect with. These positive Influencers want others to grow.”

While you may not plan on your company becoming the next Virgin Group, there are many ways as an entrepreneur you can change the world and receive a great benefit in return.

Thinking of the Environment

Going green seems to be something people want to capitalize on these days. After all, everyone is talking about it. Of course, the best ideas don’t start with “how can I make money from green?” They start with “how can I help the world be more eco-friendly?”

It is the latter-type of thinking that has led to some of the most successful green companies.

One example I like to use for people is the company called the Seabin Project. The company makes small floatable bins that trap trash floating on the surface of water. Seems like a profitable idea, but it didn’t start as a way to make money.

One of the co-founders, who is also a sailor, just thought it was a cool idea of having something he could put in the water to collect trash and make marinas look nicer for those who used it. Now, the idea is profitable with municipalities and environmental groups purchasing the product to help clean up their own area of the world.

The company has also saved a ton of money on advertising. Sine it is an environment first project (most people don’t even think of this as being commercial), it has gained publicity in media outlets such as Business Insider, The Guardian, ABC, NBC, and many others.

Knowing that a company is thinking of the environment is a factor that people use when deciding to buy from that company. People are even willing to pay a little more money for that product knowing it is eco-friendly.

“We found that 35% of people are willing to spend more money on products that are better for the environment,” reports Survey Monkey in a 2015 survey. “And 56% of respondents were at least moderately or slightly likely, indicating that a majority of respondents would consider a higher price point for these products.”

Other People’s Well-Being

Well-being is something that should be important to you. Guess what? It’s important to others as well. That is why many health and nutrition companies make money. As a company, you need to consider your employees’ well-being both on and off the job.

No, I’m not telling you to barge into their personal life, but being considerate of things they need such as getting off early once in a while to make their child’s sporting event goes a long way. We live in a different world and workplace environments need to start adjusting if they care about employee health.

When I talk about employee health, I mean more than just being sick.

“When we talk about workplace wellbeing we take things further, in so many ways,” writes Herdis Pala for Thrive Global. “We add mental health. Social health. Financial health. Spiritual health and more into the mixture.”

When people are not dragged down with mental, social, financial, or other issues, they truly are more productive employees. So, thinking of your employee’s well-being can be rewarding for your company’s bottom line.

Fortune Magazine backs me up on this, reporting on a study conducted by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy. The study found that employees are more productive when they are happy.

“The experiment showed that productivity increased by an average of 12%, and reached as high as 20% above the control group. By way of comparison, Dr. Daniel Sgroi, the author of the report, noted that in regards to GDP and economic growth, ‘rises of 3% or so are considered very large.’”

Corporate Social Responsibility

So, you already have a product or service and not sure how to create something new for others? Well, you don’t have to. Simply create a corporate social responsibility program to help out in your local community and beyond.

In fact, some argue that corporate social responsibility is now essential as part of your brand strategy. That means that developing a CSR program is something that should be built directly into your business plan before you even launch your startup.

A great example of mixing corporate social responsibility into your business is the selling of care packages such as this one at your local grocery store.

Some people start a corporate social responsibility program as a simple way to give money, products, or services to charity. While that works for many, some have taken it a step further by getting employees involved in the process.

Letting employees choose the programs that the company gets involved in creates a great company culture (think of Richard Branson again and his view of company culture). They feel involved and become unintentional brand ambassadors for both your company and the charity chosen to support.

“Volunteering and community leadership have been proven to boost employee morale and instill confidence in both management and the company itself,” writes Jessica Diedrich-Eckstrom for Thrive Global. “Demonstrating that the business cares about more than turning a profit is increasingly important to employees.”

Summing it Up:

Don’t always think money first when it comes to business. Yes, business is about making money and supporting your family. However, having others in mind first can ultimately lead to your success. Keep your employee’s well-being in mind and think of the environment with everything you do.

Just remember what Branson says about making people’s lives better. He is right about your business model being good if you are doing things to make people’s lives better.

For those looking to see Branson in person, the Synergy Global Forum is scheduled for October 27–28 in New York. Additional speakers include Robin Wright, Steve Forbes, Guy Kawasaki, and Kimberly Guilfoyle to name a few. I’ll be there to watch. If you are going to be in the New York area during that time, hit me up on Twitter.

In addition to what I have shared above, I would love to hear how thinking of people first has helped you in business. Has it made other people’s lives better? Your life better? What are some other suggestions you have for those reading who want to change the world and make money while doing it?

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