Have you ever noticed what a cat does? It’s pretty simple: sleep, eat, play, and meow. It’s just those 4 basic things (and I know I’ve left out the non-basic things such as tearing up furniture, missing the litter box, death screams when going to the vet, etc.).
While I know a cat is not a human being, they do contribute to our lives. (I have 6 of them. I should know!) If they didn’t give us what we needed, we wouldn’t have them.
Like most domesticated animals, they have a 1-way relationship: their only goal is to give to their caregiver(s). That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Yet look at how much value these animals give back. They are there when you need a hug. They are there when you need to feel needed. They are there when you need someone to play with. They know when we’re working too hard (as shown in the picture on the right). They are there when we need peace and quiet. What we need, they offer. In reality, a cat know’s it business.
To Give and Receive in Business
As with a relationship with a cat, there are just the two sides: give/receive. Yet, is that the way your business is as well? You give “something” so you can receive “something.” Perhaps you give someone golf lessons and you receive their thanks for helping them to enjoy a sport they love. Maybe you give them advice and you receive the reward of knowing you have helped someone through a problem. Or maybe you give them a service for which you receive money. It’s the last one that bothers me.
What Do You Give?
Think about this: How often – as entrepreneurs – are we asked, “What do you sell/offer?” Yet what if the client (or prospective client’s) question was, “What can you give to my business?” The one thing I have always made sure that Affordable Words has given is advice – FREE OF CHARGE. Clients don’t know what they need (well, most clients); thus, they look to you to help give them the write result. In return, I end up with a client who has received what I have to give.
Forget About Receiving
I recently read a book (hunting through office trying to find the name) that talks about the “spirit” of business. Prior to the introduction of computers to the modern world, business owners focused on giving to their clients/customers. Of course, they would receive money in return. Yet, these business owners knew that 100% of their business was to give to their customers as that’s what would keep them coming back. Even today, businesses trust in the customer to come back – by stocking their stores with inventory. They give us – as shoppers – the freedom to buy what we want, when we want, and how we want. They are stacking their business revenue on the fact that they are giving us what we need.
Change Your Approach
I love a good challenge, which is why I love doing research. I must get from point A to point B and find my way through everything in between. As I work my way through the research maze looking for the cheese, I have to continually change my approach. Perhaps at this corner, I need to move in the direction of giving advice. At the next corner, I have to give samples of my work. It is this change that keeps my business interesting, exciting, and worthwhile.
Why not change your approach with the next prospective client you have and do this: focus only on what you can GIVE, and ignore what you may RECEIVE. In fact, imagine you are a volunteer who expects nothing in return. How do you change your approach? What do you say differently? What do you do differently? How do you feel as to what you receive back when doing this? Become the cat in your business who only knows how to give what someone needs.
How can I help you be successful today?