Smart helpeters focus on innovative marketing by helping people who can lead to a higher likelihood of increasing sales for their company.
While helpeting is good for your long-term numbers, it’s vital to remember that the principals behind helpeting dictate focusing on others, not your numbers. We must walk a fine line between being efficient with our investments and making helping all about ourselves. Crossing that line will diminish your results and earn you the distinction of being that guy who only helps when he wants something.
Prevent this by always making time to help those who can’t help you back, who have little to no chance of giving you anything in return. If you only help those who can help you, you’re just helping yourself.
If this is your approach, you’re not helping so much as making cold, calculated investments in order to get something. Your focus is on you. Taken further, this leads to manipulation, demanding repayment, anger when you don’t get something in return for your investment, etc. People will see through you eventually and your results will drop in the end.
It’s true that what goes around comes around and, while there may be disagreement on why, most people can agree that it’s important to help those who can’t help you in return.
One of the complicating issues is the fact that some of the most self-centered, unhelpful, arrogant people in the world are also some of the most successful. How can helpeting be a true principle worth applying if that’s true?
For one thing, you’re not one of those people. If you were, I don’t think you’d be reading this blog. It’s true that some people get ahead in life by sheer force of charisma, connections or intelligence. While I believe these people would do better if they applied the principles of helpeting, too, they don’t have to in order to be successful because the balance of luck is tipped in their favor. Now you may not be able to get the job as CEO of the 49ers because your parents own the team, but you can rise far above your peers and even achieve greater success than those at the top of the top if you apply helpeting.
That’s not a promise, because I can’t guarantee your success. Why? Because everyone has limitations and there are a lot of things that factor into your success besides your innovative marketing.
I do guarantee that you can have more fun and that you can sleep better at night by focusing on helping others rather than tooting your own horn. I’ve experienced it firsthand and seen it at work in successful, happy, fulfilled people around me. These are people who become great by focusing on serving other people. This is greatness that doesn’t come through birth or positional authority, but is achieved by followers giving honor and influence and position to those who are helpful to them. This is democratic greatness. It’s like how we buy the books of the people who help us with their content. We’re giving those people our attention and, in a sense, placing them into a teacher/mentor role over us by listening to what they say. If they cease to be helpful and start trying to sell us their next workshop, we can remove them from their position over us.
You can see this play out with public speaking. If the speaker believes his speech is all about him and forgets that it’s about the people listening, he’ll lose his audience. People go to hear speakers who are helpful. Speakers at a business convention help people improve their business. Comedians help by making people laugh. Authors help by sharing ideas. Motivational speakers inspire. The speaker who focuses entirely on his audience eventually gains from his efforts. The audience he’s helping will want more. They’ll seek out his books because he was helpful. They’ll want to buy his web series or attend his next event without needing a sales pitch.
Just like the speaker, helpeters are starkly aware that helping isn’t about them; it’s about others. They don’t ever lose sight of the need to help people downstream, because it’s impossible to focus only on helping people upstream without make it all about you.
So if you want a maximum return on investment, stop worrying about your investment and keep making space for people who can’t help you. It’s one way to make sure your helping motives are pure.