Too often in life, and in business, we can get lost in chasing what we perceive as being best for ourselves. We do things we think are going to bring us the most benefit and add the most value to our lives. There’s nothing wrong with this. However, our actions – and what we deem as ‘value’ – tend to come back to financial gain or other factors of what we call ‘success.’
We rarely take the time out to pay into The Bank of Goodwill. And we need to change that. Because the Bank of Goodwill is the best bank in the world.It’s different to other banks and only works if you commit to paying into it regularly. You don’t know what your interest is going to be, or what your returns will be, or even when it’s going to pay out, but when it does pay out, it becomes the bank that keeps on giving.
Let me explain. Having a strong network around you is incredibly powerful. Again, whether it’s your personal life or business, the networks we form help support us, they give us opportunities, and they can be a huge source of strength.In order to do all of this, they need to be nurtured. And you need to invest in them. This doesn’t mean attending countless networking events. Far from it. It means developing your network not with a view of getting something out of it, but because it’s good to pay into it.
Here’s some tips on how you can do it:
Instead of asking yourself ‘what am I going to get out of this’ switch it around and say ‘what can I do to help.’ Do things for the right reasons, not for selfish ones. Sometimes, these will be one and the same. This is absolutely ok. Take sales as an example. Pushing things on to your customers and actively trying to sell them things will bring limited success. When you switch this around and actively start doing things to help your customers – whatever this may be – then you’re laying the foundations for brilliant relationships.
To continue from the point above, you have to invest in relationships. The best relationships are always nurtured, they get given a little bit of love on a regular basis, and are never taken for granted. Take the time to build strong relationships and they will keep rewarding you in the most unexpected and brilliant ways.
It sounds simple but it’s not something we do that well. I read an alarming statistic recently that said the average employee is only thanked at work once every three months. That’s four thank-yous a year. It’s nowhere near good enough. Small acts of kindness (and small things like saying thank you) have a big and lasting impact.
This is another way to help people. If you’re an expert in something, don’t hoard your best knowledge. Give it away. Be a force for good. It’s a big reason behind why we have this blog and have consistently developed free resources to help people send better email marketing campaigns. Sometimes this will have the added bonus of bringing in new clients but that’s not the reason we do it. We do it because we want to help people have exceptional email marketing programs. Don’t be scared of giving your best advice away for free.
The Bank of Goodwill has been kind to me. Whether it’s referrals I’ve received from it, lifelong friends I’ve made because of it, or a successful business I’ve been able to build on top of it, it is something I consciously take the time to pay into.
I hope this inspires you to take the time to do the same.