“You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie
We’ve talked before in this space about creating the business that you want, rather than the one other people want for you, or think you should have (here, for example). And it’s absolutely true. You’ll never be happy trying to live somebody else’s life.
But it’s also true that the only way to create a business that’s successful is to focus on providing value to other people. My friend Chris Mason (he wrote a book!) talks about Value to Others. The idea is simple: if you provide value to others, you feel good about that. Your own self-worth goes up. The higher your self-worth, the less you sabotage yourself (which almost everybody does). The less you sabotage yourself, the more successful you are. And then all that value comes back to you multiple times over.
That success doesn’t happen overnight. You can provide a lot of value to others and not always get it back right away. But over time, if you provide enough value to others, you get paid back in spades.
So think about that in terms of your business and your role in it. Are you really providing value to your customers? Do you even know what they really value? How often do you even think about that? I find a lot of businesses spend so much time focused on what they are doing or want to do that they don’t think at all about what their customers actually value.
What about your employees? Are you providing value to them? Do you even know what they really value? Sometimes we assume that what the people in our organizations value is $$, but that’s not always the entire story.
The point is this: if your business is truly providing value to others, whether internally or externally, you will succeed. It may take time, but it will happen. So focus on others. Focus on what they really value, and spend your energy making sure they get it. It will be worth your weight in gold – if not now, then someday.