Life is infinitely better together and I think that is something we can all agree on. As true as that is, it still seems that people are living their lives more and more in isolation and behind screens. Let me encourage you to do something a little cray cray… pick up the phone and make a call. I honestly don’t care to whom, just make the call.
Good, now that we have started to loosen up, I want you to do something really crazy. What I need you to do is think about the people you interact with on social media or those you work with, but have only talked with through email. Narrow it down to one person, and give them a call. Don’t have their number? Doesn’t matter. Reach out and ask for it. Don’t make this some weird awkward hopeful date thing. This is a you genuinely caring about another human being that you have done life with kind of a thing.
I have been able to do this a handful of times over the past couple of months and it has been such a great learning opportunity. Here are just a handful of things I have learned:
- Know your personal brand. This gives clarity for the big and small decisions we’ll make.
- Patience, mixed with realistic expectations, is what will help you as you navigate business and the need to not only provide for your family, but also close deals and provide for your customers.
- Vague beginnings lead to chaotic endings.
- Culture is everything. Make sure it is their from the beginning of your business and not something you halfheartedly add at the end.
These four brilliant nuggets of gold are what I have learned from others. Please, do us all a favor and grow your network and community by authentically caring about others and getting to know them. One last word of caution. Don’t go into these conversations trying to dig out some brilliant life lesson. Go into the conversation with some general questions and direction, but let it go where it goes.
Who do you need to call? What did you learn?
A few months back I read Love Does by Bob Goff, and I have never wrestled with a book so much in all my life. It has been months since I have finished it, but it has so permanently shifted my thinking that everything I do seems to pass through a new filter that the book created. The filter that was created is one where I am truly seeing others as worthwhile folks, as a a son or daughter of someone, and that they have value regardless of position, title, or circumstance.
I recently experienced this filter kicking in when I went to the post office. It was early morning and as I parked outside, I noticed there was a man sleeping in the lobby trying to stay warm from the frigid outdoors. When I went inside to drop off my mail, he woke up and started mumbling something and I just walked out, got in my car and left. As I was leaving, I was reminded of the truth that this man is important, regardless of his looks or circumstance. I pulled back into the parking lot, went back inside and started a small conversation. What I did wasn’t anything exceptional. I didn’t give him money or offer to buy a meal, but I asked him his name, wished him luck and I went on my way to work.
This interaction didn’t change his life and he probably forgot about me as soon as I stepped outside the doors. This interaction wasn’t for him though, it was for me. It was so that I could take one small step in this new direction and have this new way of thinking would further take root.
Over this next week, what if we all looked at those around us as someones son or daughter and realized that they have value regardless of position, title, or circumstance? How different would our lives and the world around us look if we used this filter and actually started loving those around us?