Shine A Light: 5 Simple Ways To Serve Others

I conducted an exercise with a client the other day. In my attempts to get her blogging more often, I was getting the “I don’t know what to write about” excuse.

So, I said, “we aren’t doing anything else until you write down FIVE ideas.” I shut up, and I just sat there. There was a moment of uncomfortable silence, but ultimately, she banged out five ideas (which lead to more ideas) in just a matter of several minutes…

You see, all it takes is to consciously think for just a few moments… Is blogging really that simple? Are most people just not even devoting a few minutes to think?

Well, shifting topics…I am always talking about the importance of serving others, or as I usually say, “serve first, sell second.” When I mention this topic to people, I often get a similar response, “I just don’t know what I can do to help people.”

I suspect they just aren’t thinking hard enough here either…

I suspect a good portion of the time, that phrase masks their deeper concern, which is time must be spent selling their products or services, and that if they don’t invest that time, their competitor will – and win the business.

But I believe, sincerely, that operating from a service mentality will pay dividends, to you, your brand, and your business. Here are just FIVE ideas to consider daily:

1. Devote 10 minutes to coming up with FIVE ideas to help out your friends, customers, and prospects.
2. On Twitter, don’t do ANYTHING else until you Retweet the good works of at least FIVE others.
3. Grow bigger ears, and listen to the social web (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) for people describing their problems and issues – and offer solutions.
4. Identify an online forum or two in your space, and be an active participant. Answer questions dutifully.
5. Heck, launch an e-book project where you can feature/promote/spotlight a BUNCH of your friends!

The key to success here? Consciously devoting some time – WITHOUT DISTRACTIONS – to conceiving ways to be helpful – and be of service – to others. Just set aside a few minutes a day to this effort. I think you’ll come to understand that these few minutes invested will pay off significant dividends… There are no more important ways to distinguish yourself, or be more memorable, than this idea…

What do you think? Any other ideas?

[please consider voting for our SXSW panel - Shine A Light On Others And Build Your Brand:]

[cartoon by @gapingvoid]

  • Anonymous

    I love this line – conceiving ways to be helpful. I think that’s where people get stuck – they are not proactive and expect everything to be easy. Those who take the time to BE helpful and seek out ways to be valuable are the ones who…. shine. :)

  • Todd Schnick

    yes ma’am – you have to invest the time. cool thing is, it is a great way to go to market. it is rewarding, and it works…

    thanks for stopping by!

  • Stephanie True Moss

    Today’s Intrepid video hit home! I hate that adversity visited you this week, but I totally understand. From experience I speak, it is these bumps that make the fabric of life all the more interesting. Something that you wold not have volunteered for, but may have everlasting impact. Hurricane Andrew was supposed to go a different way, but instead destroyed our home, neighborhood, community and spread friends across the country as a result. It hurt, lots, but we are stronger for the experience and have friends everywhere! Big hiccup along life’s merry way. Life’s tapestry is richer and more interesting with the bumps. Lot’s to write about in life, serving others expands your view and gives you opportunities to see what may never have been obvious before!

  • Todd Schnick

    wow, stephanie, thanks so kindly for your thoughtful comment. really means a lot… and yes…only after experiencing the deepest valleys can you truly value the mountaintop…. or something like that! thanks again!