There’s a song that goes, “Hold on, Help is on the way!” If you have faith, you know that this is a statement that is very true, but what we usually fail to even consider is that help IS THE WAY to speed up the process.
We often believe that we've exhausted every option when it comes to trying to improve a situation, solve a problem, or reach a goal in our lives. There's one secret key that we always forget about. That secret key is asking how we can be of assistance to someone else. The saying “Give to Get” doesn't just apply to money. We can give our time, wisdom, experience or advice to those in need. And keep in mind that when I say “those in need” I don’t just mean the “needy.” Successful people are often the one’s that need the most help and there is a lot to be learned and gained just from being in their presence. Let's cut right to the chase and look at a few concrete examples of how helping others has a high return on the investment of your time…
Years ago I worked at an after school program where the teens would often ask about employment opportunities. I'd built a relationship with them, so they trusted me when I told them that there weren't currently any opportunities, but they should volunteer in the meantime. Sure enough, after a few months we were awarded grant money to pay teen staff and since those particular young people had been diligently volunteering, they were first in line to get hired. How can you apply this example to your life? Are you seeking employment? You’re never too young or too old to be an intern and you can work your way up. Most major executives started out this way.
Now let's take a look at my writing career. In college I studied elementary education and then social work. I'd never taken a writing class. But I knew that I wanted to write and publish a book...so as soon as I moved back to Detroit I immediately began volunteering for the Motown Writers Network. I basically latched myself on to the founder, Sylvia Hubbard, and volunteered to help her in any way that I could. Now over ten years and five books later, any time she comes across an awesome opportunity for a book signing, speaking engagement, publishing opportunity or whatever, guess who the first person that she calls is? So as if all of the valuable information that I’ve learned by helping her over the years wasn’t reward enough, I also get ongoing perks that continue to help me to grow my business and my brand. If it wasn't for my giving there is NO way that I'd be as far along as I am today. Is there an industry that you would like to learn more about? If you volunteer for some of that industry’s major events you can forgo the registration costs but still learn all of the valuable information while you are helping.
When some people hear the concept of doing something for free it sounds foreign to them or even absurd, but what they fail to realize is that when you give, you benefit as much or more than the person that you are helping.
Think about it like this. Let’s say you charge $30 per hour for consulting and you help someone with what they are dealing with for two hours. Your profit will end at that $60 if you even get the contract. Now if you volunteer to help someone the rewards and benefits you get are often infinite. It may lead to referrals for more contracts, paid speaking engagements, or free access to things that you might have otherwise had to pay for equaling thousands in profit or money saved. Your helping for free just keeps on giving in ways that hold far more value than that mere $60. Now I’m not suggesting that you not know your worth and charge accordingly for it, I’m just making sure that you are aware of the powerful impact and benefit of simply offering your free gift of help.
This week I challenge you to reach out and help someone. Simply ask, “How can I help or support you?” Pick someone who has successfully achieved some of the goals that you hope to achieve. Think Big! Target the top 5 people that you have been watching and hoping to someday achieve what they have. I’ll be tackling this challenge by trying to meet a millionaire mentor. In the midst of my helping them, I can pick their brain to see how they got to where I want to be.
After you’ve done all you can, try a new approach. Help IS the way.