Sophia Amoruso, the CEO of Nasty Gal, started her multimillion-dollar fashion company out of her apartment by reselling clothes on eBay. This was a task that she could have done on her own by photographing the clothes on mannequins, but she chose to bring in real models instead. Her friends were beginning their modeling careers, so she exchanged posing for photos in her clothing for free food. Those photographs also helped give her friends modeling experience and a portfolio of work. As a model, it’s a big deal to get photographed in clothing, so it helped their careers. Helping others doesn’t always have to be one-sided.
In Amoruso’s case, both she and her friends were got out of the deal. She got professional-looking photos with models, and her friends gained modeling experience. Ask yourself what you could offer to people as a way to gain experience in exchange for cheap work from someone else. This is also why companies hire interns, who work for free in exchange for gaining experience and references. But don’t take advantage of someone’s willingness to work for free. Act as a team, and treat them with respect.
Karma is the belief that all of your actions have consequences, whether they are good or bad. For example, if you spend your life doing terrible things to people, it will eventually come back to bite you. Maybe your particular religion doesn’t believe in Karma. But it really does help to have this mindset, because it keeps you on track when it comes to treating others well.
When you help others, you are building up good Karma. Even if it takes a very long time for your good deeds to pay off, it eventually will in the long run. When you begin to look for signs in the Universe, you can make connections and discover how your ability to help others eventually paid off for you in the long run, and how greed, lies, and deception have negative consequences.
Many jobs and graduate school programs ask you for both personal and professional references. These are used to give a new employer an idea of what kind of person you are. People who are lazy and selfish typically don’t have many good references, and will therefore be stuck working in the same position for years at a time.
Helping others makes you a good employee. This could come in the form of giving great customer service, meeting your deadlines, staying overtime, or helping out coworkers. Managers, professors, and business owners recognize this, and many of them will make sure they put in a good word for you. In many cases, it’s the least they can do to return the favor.
Far too many people make a promise to introduce you to someone, but never follow through. Instead of talking big talk, you should walk the walk. The more people you work on introducing to one another, the stronger your professional network becomes. No matter who you are, you could benefit from this. Some business experts believe you should be doing several introductions per week.
However, make sure that when you advocate someone to a friend they actually deserve an introduction. Your reputation is on the line whenever you give a professional recommendation. If things go wrong, your colleagues may not trust your opinion anymore. So be sure that you actually know someone well enough before doing them a favor by putting them in touch with your contacts.
In most articles giving advice about success, they always say how important it is to find a mentor. The only trouble is finding someone who’s willing to give you free advice. Not everyone is willing to be a mentor, because they know that their advice is valuable. They might want a fee for their time and information. However, there are plenty of people out there who can attest the mentor-mentee relationship is rewarding.
Once you’ve achieved a certain level of success, you might feel tempted to share your knowledge with someone younger. This is especially true for people who feel inclined to teach, and somehow be responsible for the success of someone else. The mentee can also be of value to the mentor because they can share fresh insight into what the younger generation cares about. This insight could keep your company fresh instead of letting it grow stale and outdated.
Last and certainly not least is that helping others makes you feel good about yourself and will make you a happier person. Think about the times when you gave someone an amazing gift, and how their face lit up. It feels amazing to help other people, because it makes you feel like a good person. When you only think about yourself, it can be isolating. Even if you get the things you want, it’s lonely not to have anyone to share with.
We all need a bit of a self-esteem boost every once in a while. When you make it a regular habit to help others, you’ll feel good about yourself and maybe even discover a feeling of self-love. When you’re filled with generosity and love towards others, it’s far easier to enjoy life and excel. So next time you have an opportunity to help someone, please do. You might find your life changes for the better.