Neighbor and Friend
I enjoy calling people ‘friend' even though we've never met.
Sound confusing? Let me explain.
You won't spend a long time in the working world before your professional experience reveals that some people have greater personal value to you than others.
That isn't to say that all people aren't valuable. Every person we ever come in contact with has the ability to teach us something, or impart some of their value to us.
However, value attached to a personal motive is purely subjective.
The skills of the master mechanic are far more valuable to the apprentice than they are to the customer. The customer reaps only a portion of that value whereas the apprentice can leverage that value toward personal growth and gain.
Who Are Those People?
When you think about the people that mean the most to you, they've usually added value or contributed to the overall experience of life.
Family and friends typically top our list as being the most significant people because those relationships are far more intimate. We tend to treat those that mean the most to us even better than we treat ourselves.
People who contribute to your financial success or your professional experience are easy to call friends. They have a measurable personal value to you.
Answering a Need
I've spent the greater part of my life working with and solving problems for people all over the world and treating each one as though they were a close friend.
Some of them I've met, others have sent personal notes but most of them probably never thought any more about our relationship other than, "He's just doing his job."
The attitude that people are just part of your job rather than friends affects both your professional experience and the personal value attached to yourself.
Finding thankful people in life is a rewarding experience but that is never the motivation behind providing solutions. The person who makes being helpful their primary focus gains an inner sense of accomplishment and the attitude that the people they're helping are friends characterizes all of their professional experiences.
Why Do I Do What I Do?
Knowing that I can help an aspiring entrepreneur figure out how to develop an online presence, or a business owner fix a website to increase revenue isn't ‘why' I do it.
I do it because it fits my skill set, personality and character; it's as natural to me as breathing.
In my mind I'm not helping a business owner over a hurdle. I'm drawing a friend closer to something intangible, or unintelligible. I'm giving them something they want or need and to the best of my ability I'm doing so in an enjoyable way.
Not What I Do but Who I Am...
The worker usually leaves their job behind at the end of the day. Business owners often set boundaries so that their work life doesn't interfere with their personal life.
When you reach the point where what you do to support yourself or your family finds expression in other areas of life not associated with earning money... you no longer feel as though the greater part of who you are needs to be compartmentalized.
This isn't a matter of repeating the exact functions of what you do for business, but in sharing insight, encouragement, knowledge and perspective. Although your time and talent is worth a great deal, the inner reward attached to giving yourself away becomes priceless.