As a startup, we have no end of tasks in the queue. In no particular order: listening to customers, listening to prospects, coding, testing, marketing, testing, re-coding, testing, testing the tests, re-recoding, talking to customers, generating prospects, singing (not really), blogging (sort of really), and many, many more.
So what took the time this morning? Cleaning up the wiring in the check stand for a very small business since this person was concerned about getting everything plugged back in the right way. This business isn’t even a SMBple customer. What a waste of time, right? Not. A. Chance.
Did we make any money off that time? No. Will we? Probably not. That’s not the only measure of worthwhile use of time, however. We believe that doing good for someone (a prospect, a random person) can and should be done sometimes just because. Just because you’re there at that point in time. Just because you happen to be the person with the appropriate knowledge. Just because what you do outside the office should reflect what you do inside the office (or really, to be happy and successful, reverse that — make sure that what you do in the office reflects what you do outside of it).
There Are Worse Fates Than Overdoing Kindness
Sure, it’s sometimes easy to overdo it, to spend so much time giving that no time is left to create your own success. While it’s a real consideration, think about what many of the tasks in your queue are all about. Marketing is education; teaching your target market about how your product or service improves their lives and why you’re the best source for that improvement. What better way to show that than to actually improve something?
The time could be spent coaching, moving a box, or making a referral. The time could be spent building a cabinet, painting a wall, or carrying a trash bag. However you choose to help, it will likely be seen, not just by that prospect but others. You get the satisfaction of helping and they get a higher level of trust to either work directly with you or to more confidently transfer that trust to someone they know through word-of-mouth.
Expect to Help
Bake some time into your schedule (or at least be a bit flexible when the opportunity arises) to help someone else. A business that may be a prospect. An unrelated corporate neighbor who might need a hand. Whoever you stumble across, look at their situation, and say, “I can help.” You don’t have to believe in karma to realize that “giving good” sets you up as a more prominent target for “receiving good”, perhaps immediately, perhaps after you establish a reputation for being not just an expert, but an accessible expert, perhaps never (though that’s unlikely). Whatever the timeline, “do” first, do “good”, and do it well.