Why Your Success Is Determined By Helping Others Solve a Problem
June 17, 2020 7:55 AM EST | 7 min read
While there are many different ways that one can work towards becoming successful, ONE theme will remain true throughout nearly every single avenue one chooses, and that is:
Your success is determined by how many people you are able to help solve a problem, or helping others to improve the level/quality of something in their life.
From the very early beginnings of life, through our recent industrial and population booms, this has been a true tenet of life.
From the most successful hunters of the tribe/community in early history, to Andrew Carnegie figuring out how to make a BETTER product in a scalable way to help America, and to Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.
With their technological revolutions, those who have been successful have all helped others solve one or more problems, and often in big ways.
Why is the world set up this way, and how can you scale YOUR idea to do the same?
Let’s jump into this a bit deeper, and see how you too, can achieve success through a focus on serving and helping others.
Helping Others: A Connection We All Share
As Gary Vee says:
“The reason I put my best out there for free, is because most of you won’t take action on it.”
You are unique in your skills and toolset.
NO one else in the world has your unique experiences and views on things.
Just look at how Apple tanked in the time that Steve Jobs had been forced out, and how dominant it was, once again, upon his return.
He understood what people needed, and how to help them – even if they didn’t yet know it!
Only YOU have your special skills and views to share with the world.
When you go out and share it with the intention of helping others improve their lives, the abundance of the universe will begin to flow to you.
Perhaps it is because of the seemingly interwoven concept of life.
That each of our lives, we are all more connected than we realize.
Just think of the “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon”.
Seriously, we are all just a few people away from others.
So when we share a skill or ability that we have to help others improve their life or situation, word gets out.
You quickly become an important part of the community.
Let’s take the farmers reaping and sowing of wheat as an example.
Based on common sense, and what we can actually SEE for ourselves on the wheat stalk, there are numerous seeds on EACH stalk (20-30 seeds per stalk on average, although this number can vary greatly according to this research from Oklahoma State University).
This makes sense, as wheat had become one of the grains human rely upon for sustenance, in a variety of climates around the globe.
(Those with gluten allergies and sensitivities, bear with me here…)
But why has wheat proliferated?
Why have oats proliferated?
Because the YIELD is very high.
One can plant 100 stalks of wheat, and reap 20-30x as much wheat as one had planted.
Thus, making the harvest more plentiful.
Ok, so farming isn’t your thing, let’s try another example: Let’s take a look at sports, specifically Magic Johnson, one of the best players to ever play the game of basketball.
What made Earving “Magic” Johnson so unique as a player, was his realization that by focusing on learning about his teammates – and how he could make them better – he was able not only to win more, but have more fun and help them play better as well.
The problem the world faces now, more so than the 1980’s when Magic began playing, is the “Disease of Me”.
In my years working as a basketball coach, strength and conditioning coach, and business consultant, I’ve seen firsthand how devastating the “Disease of Me” can be to what would otherwise be great teams, and companies.
Especially nowadays, as the proliferation of “1-person startups” and automation are becoming much more widespread, we see this “Me First” mentality.
While many people wish to be millionaires, to become these huge successes, they fail to recognize one of the very basic tenets of HOW one is able to leverage their skills, talents, or ideas in order to become that success.
That is: package your gift in a way that you can help as many people as possible…and afford others the opportunity to bring their unique skills and abilities to help you as well.
Connection with other human beings and showing that we have skills and tools to help them, is an incredibly important part of the road to success – no matter what the field.
One of the greatest parts of being a human being are the incredibly far-reaching connections that we can have with others.
As the “The 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon” shows, our ‘human resources’ reach out much farther than we could imagine – yet so few of us actually take advantage of this!
Here’s an example from the movies (based on a real story): “The Pursuit of Happyness” with Will Smith.
The main character has bought into the bone scanner business in the 70’s.
He has to rely on selling one of these 100 machines to a relatively small group of doctors in the San Francisco region.
When he does sell a machine, he has money for the next six weeks.
But if he doesn’t sell one, he starves.
Realizing that he MUST find another way to support himself and his son (as the bone scanners are hard to sell), he sees working at the investment firm Dean Witter, helping others make more money by investing wisely.
What I love about this story is not just that he changed his mindset in order to help others, but that he HUSTLED to help others.
He was in early, having to figure out how to be the best in his class, while having to leave 3 hours earlier than his classmates, so he could pick up his son.
“I had to do in 6 hours, what they did in 9…In order not to waste time, between calls I didn’t hang up the phone. I realized by not hanging up the phone I gained 8 minutes a day. I also didn’t drink water, so I didn’t waste any time in the bathroom…”
In order for you to have the success that you seek, you must increase the impact and your ability to help others.
When you have focus (the nail), and the ability to help many people (hammer) it’s like driving a nail through wood.
The more people you can immediately help, the softer the wood, and the easier it is to drive the nail.
This has been the idea behind many successful ventures in the history of man – from the Model T, to the smartphone.
These inventions didn’t make the inventors money because they sold them for excessive amounts to just a select few people.
They produced and sold them to help more and more folks improve their quality of life.
It’s one of the rules of the universe: the more abundance/value you provide to more people, even more abundance will be returned to you.
Create Your Success By Helping Someone Today
As Pat Reilly Says in his book “The Winner Within”:
“All of us are team players, whether we know it or not. Our significance arrives through our vital connections to other people, through all the teams in our lives. Family life is a central team experience. Career teams may be a fledgling company or a department in a very large corporation, an industry leader or a struggling contender, a team of scientists or doctors, or the faculty of a school. A neighborhood community action group is a team, and so is a congregation. You can be the one who lifts it, who sets the stage for its greatest accomplishments. That is what will make you great…The complex inner rhythms of teamwork – flows of ambition, power, cooperation, and emotion – are the keys to making dreams come true.”
So what are you waiting for?
Get out there and start helping others.
Serve them to the absolute best of your abilities, as you build your new team to success: Both theirs AND yours!
December 16, 2019 at 10:32 AM
In Dean Witter you had to pitch securities that produced the most profit not what was appropriate for the client. In Amazon they set performance quotas where the bottom half is fired. You are encouraged to report other people. Though it turned out they would both the performer and the reporter as poor culture fits. In sales you are compensated for selling not helping your neighbor close deals
Steve Jobs was brilliant but he also was a sarcastic manipulative bastard who pitted his employees against each other often publically berating his employees.
Sports is indeed a team effort but its highly structured set of rules draw no parallels to real life. That’s why it’s called entertainment.
The word team is meaningless when the conditions dictate that everyone be out for themselves. There are collaborative management models out there but no one uses them because abuse is so much more effective.