Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.”
Business experts have made this claim for years: if you want to be successful, spend time around successful people.
What makes the successful person more generous with their time, their advice, their introductions, their encouragement? Are you more likely to find help from a successful person than a less successful one?
Andrew Carnegie remarked, “No man can become rich without himself enriching others.” Studying the habits of successful people offers insight into this idea.
A look at a list of the world’s most generous individuals shows something interesting: the wealthier people are, the more likely they are to be generous with both time and money. The world’s billionaires are known for how much money they have, but also for how much money they give away.
What is the secret to their success? Generosity.
As Carnegie discovered, the road to success is not on an island. Successful businesses are built through networking. The truly successful business leaders realize that without the help of others, they would not have achieved the levels of success they now enjoy.
As a result, they understand that success is more than a monetary achievement. Venture capitalist David Hornik is an astonishing example of how generosity can give you more than you expected in return. Hornik has broken many of the ‘investor’ rules, sharing his ideas, making connections with other venture capitalists and generally doing exactly opposite of what many in the industry have done. As a result, he has become wildly successful, prospering when many others failed.
Sharing, helping and connecting others is important.
The ‘lone wolf’ entrepreneur who tries to build their company alone will find that the road is hard and lonely. Look for networking opportunities that allow you to make connections with people who will encourage you to succeed. Join your local business association and networking group.
Constantly be on the lookout for people who can mentor you as you grow your business. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to give it.
Success breeds success.
If you are a business owner who wishes to learn the secrets to success, look for individuals, both in and out of your industry, who have taken a similar path to yours. This may be a good place to start as you may feel you benefit from being in a similar situation.
Are you a single mom? Look for a CEO who built her company while raising her children on her own and learn from her story. Are you a leader of a regional division in a large enterprise focused on building the best team in the company? Find the “intrapreneur” who started the same way, and ask for insight into how they overcame obstacles. Use their example as a blueprint to your own success.
‘Give and it shall be given unto you.’ ‘Pay it forward.’ This principle of generosity applies to business. The leader who is generous with their time and talents finds their investment pays off in unexpected ways, and leads to more opportunities. Seek out those who have become a success, and ensure that you are helping those around you as well.
Need to inject a generous and winning mindset into your leaders? Contact the team at My Big Idea™ to learn how getting clear on your goals helps you become a successful professional.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing THE Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.