In entrepreneurship, the first steps which include setting shop, are always the hardest. Like a great many entrepreneurs who start small, I also started small and made my way up. One thing I learnt during this process is that when you help others, you’re actually helping yourself.
Helping others has more benefits than just networking in the industry. I will not talk about the satisfaction that comes with helping others, or Mother Teresa’s passion for humanity, as these sound too obvious, but I will tell you about the real benefits of helping others.
- There’s always something to learn from other people.
- Helping others can also help you – for example, if you help a failing business, you can learn where they have been going wrong, and improve your own business practices as a result.
- Networking is an undeniable gain. Not only does helping others mean that you are meeting new people, but you can also benefit from shared contacts and resources.
- For entrepreneurs, helping others can be a life hack. It is a kind of give-and-take business in which the person you help usually ends up owing you a favor. Always remember – Quid pro quo!
- People acknowledge your good work. In business terms, it is good publicity which boosts your brand image, which is crucial for the success of any business.
- Helping others is entrepreneurial socialization, which helps combat stress and isolation that can often accompany tight work schedules.
Why helping others can become a Challenge?
I know that time is your real asset, and even when you are sleeping or resting, you are preparing your body for the next day. You are busy all the time, and every waking second is spent dealing with one crisis after the other – such is the life of an entrepreneur. We all have faced those ‘you-don’t-give-me-time’ accusations in our lives from family to friends and even employees.
Loneliness is an entrepreneur’s biggest fear. Lewis Schiff’s research, published in The Middle Class Millionaire, reveals that many millionaires or new business owners choose to maximize their working hours by ignoring friends and family. I believe that networking is an entrepreneur’s best asset, and helping others is the right way to expand your network.
Another challenge that restricts your capacity to help others is the fear of being ‘yessed’. Tony Soprano from HBO’s The Sopranos has played such an entrepreneur. I will be honest; I have had this feeling many times. For example, the fear that people will laugh at my jokes just because I am ahead of them is a personal nightmare. It is a kind of terror that entrepreneurs slay with more and more work, and as a consequence, become lonely.
Helping others revolves around the idea of working together. Lending a helping hand to others also lets you expand your opportunities and build a community based on loyalty and friendship.