Why Helping People and Expecting Nothing in Return is the Best Business Model for Life

09/02/2016 05:07 pm ET
Avoid the ankle-biters, while giving to others
Lyn Graft
Avoid the ankle-biters, while giving to others

Living in Los Angeles, you meet a lot of people who want quick deals. They want business right now, in a deal that immediately shows ROI. They want a tangible metric to rationalize why your relationship is important. A deal means validation to them, aside from bringing in revenue. This is shortsighted and an old way of thinking. Relationships last a lifetime, and quick deals end.

Many people don’t get this basic human premise: Helping people and expecting nothing in return is the best business model for life.

Without question, the successes that I’ve had in life come from helping other people reach their goals to succeed. When you help other people, somewhere else in the universe there is someone else waiting to help you. It’s a simple premise. The business world has something called “The System.” You either believe in it, or you don’t.

“The System” is when you provide value, knowledge or an introduction to someone, and BRACE YOURSELF — you accept that you will get NOTHING in return. You’re just doing it, because that’s what good people do.

Surprisingly, I meet people all the time and they can’t fathom that act of “just helping someone.” Some of these people are just “users,” mostly take from people who give to them. And others are not confident enough in their business to realize this is not a ZERO SUM GAME.We can all win.

We are all out there is hustling looking for business and in the culture of the billion dollar acquisitions, we all want the deal. We all live for the deal. But that deal doesn’t need to happen tomorrow. The majority of the jobs I have had, have come from people who I’ve known for years, or introductions from people who I’ve known for a long time.

People need to learn that helping others means: You won’t ask for start-up advisor stock when making introductions, you won’t charge a consulting fee for a free half hour of advice, and you won’t get the credit when you get a job for your friend’s friend.

Accepting “The System,” you have to tell yourself that it’s okay just to help people. Now, say it to yourself “It’s okay just to help people.” In the business world there a plenty of ankle-biters, people who go tit for tat and keep track of favors owed. Stop doing this, people. Don’t quantify your network around value you provide. Just help people, and move onto the next thing. Reminding people you did a favor under-minds your help to begin with.

The business world as features people who are “users” and only call when they need something. And conversely, they won’t call you back when you need help. Again, stop doing this people. The world works in such a way that when we put good into the universe, it helps the universe.

Life is not a zero sum game, and entrepreneurs by nature are helpful people.It’s amazing how one introduction can change everything for your business. All it takes is someone to open one door and from that 10 more doors will open. Just help people for the sake of it, avoid the quick deal, and build longer-term relationships. And don’t hang-out with ankle-biters, it’s not worth it.

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