Do You Really Deserve Other People's Support
Are you getting the referrals, the introductions and the support in business that you feel you ‘deserve’? It is easy to get frustrated when we turn to others for help yet find that they are slow in coming forward with the connections or advice that we need. If we work hard, are good at our job and are always nice to people then surely we deserve the help of those around us when we need it?
I often run an exercise in my referrals strategy workshops where I ask people to think of someone they have referred recently, and why they did so, in order to understand what would motivate other people to refer them. I always add the thought, “If you can’t think of anyone you have referred recently, perhaps that is where you should start.”
All too often we turn to our network to seek out how they can help us before asking ourselves what we have done, or what we can do, to help them. This becomes particularly clear when we have a sudden need for help from our network, such as redundancy or the launch of a new product.
At other times, when we don’t need other people’s help, it’s natural to forget about maintaining the relationships we have around us. Life gets in the way, we get busy and we forget to stay in touch with others.
Ivan Misner, the founder of the referral network BNI, coined the phrase that underpins the organisation’s whole philosophy, ‘Givers Gain®’. The concept of Givers Gain is very straightforward, the more you are willing to give to your network, the more your network will give to you. Those who give the most are in the best position to benefit from referrals coming back to them. It’s a simple concept and a very important one; you have to seek to help others before seeking to help yourself.
Those busy periods, when you don’t need the help of your network, are the ideal time to pick up the phone to other people around you and ask about them. What are their challenges? What introductions or support do they need? How can you help them? The more you can interact with your network focusing on them and not you, the better placed you will be when you need some support yourself.
Last month I spoke at the Fitness Entrepreneurs Bootcamp in Birmingham. The speaker before me, Dax Moy, is one of the world’s leading personal fitness trainers. He also happens to be an enthusiastic etymologist, having a keen interest in the original meaning of everyday words.
In his presentation, Dax talked about the roots of the word ‘Deserve’. He explained how ‘Deserve’ comes from the Latin verb ‘deservire’, meaning ‘to serve well and enthusiastically’. Exploring further I found out that the meaning morphed in later Latin to ‘to earn or be entitled to by serving well’.
Perhaps too many of us have fallen into the trap of believing that we deserve other people’s support and connections, without ever asking ourselves what we have done to earn that help. Do you really ‘deserve’ the referrals, the introductions and the support that you need?