Time after time, when I analyze what is helping my business grow, the single most important factor is the one piece of advice I find myself giving new business owners.
It’s really simple, ready?
Care about people.
If you approach your business with this one goal it will change how you work, change how you relate to your clients and permeate into the rest of your life and make you a well-rounded individual.
It’s really easy to do, you’ve just got to start!
Start with a few of your clients- go get cocktails, go out to lunch, ask them about themselves and LISTEN. Cultivate a pattern of staying in touch with them, giving back to them, taking a genuine interest in them.
Caring about people breaks down the walls that we encounter in business.
Think back to the first (or worst) job you ever had- mine was a minimum wage foodservice job. What if, at your first job (most likely in the lowest position of the company) you felt that the boss or the owner of the company truly cared about you?
Imagine how that job would have been different if you felt safe and cared for!
Most of us loathed our first jobs because we felt like we were treated as the least important people in the company. Unfortunately, in business, this feeling of inadequacy stays with us as we advance in our careers.
If I’m being honest, still sometimes now I feel like I don’t matter to some businesses to whom I am just a vendor for.
Caring is more than just showing your clients that you appreciate them, it’s about relating to the people you encounter in business as HUMAN BEINGS. We’re all people who have personalities and interests and want to know we are doing something meaningful.
Taking the time to invest in caring for someone will not only help you achieve professional success, more importantly it will bring you new friends, new community.
Some of my best friends are ones who I knew from business and I started caring about them. We all care for each other and are each other’s biggest advocates.
Whether you are the CEO or an intern, genuinely caring about people will always yield positive results, both professionally and personally.
(For more, read Simon Sinek’s excellent book Leaders Eat Last)