I love to help. I realized in the past couple of years that being a helper is a large part of my identity. I feel lucky that I have found a profession that is centered around helping people. Seeing people light up and gain confidence makes my day.
I encourage you to look for opportunities to help people. Being a helper will change your life.
Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yoursLes Brown
Help Other Creators
Don’t see people in your industry as competition. Instead, recognize the more you connect with and help other creators, the quicker you grow your network. Meeting people in your industry will have a positive impact on your career.
Here’s a few easy ways to help your favorite creators.
- Write a review on their podcast or Amazon book page.
- Write a testimonial for their website or sales page.
- Reply to their newsletters or comment on their social media posts. Creators like to know people are enjoying their content. And the mysterious algorithms reward posts with more comments.
- Tell a friend about an amazing book you are reading, the podcast you just heard, or the newsletter you never miss. Word of mouth is invaluable. It is still the best way for creators to grow their brand and gain customers.
- If you come across something that you think someone in your network would find helpful, send it to them in an e-mail.
The man who owns my gym is writing a book. Recently, I read a wonderful book called On Good Authority by Anna David about how nonfiction authors can build their brand while they’re writing and then how to launch their book. I dropped him a quick e-mail about this book, and he was thrilled.
When you are helpful in small ways like this, people remember you. And when you have a new project, they will be eager to support you.
Be a Helper and Connector in Your Industry
Be known as someone who is always happy to share a resource like a book or refer someone for a job. This reputation grows your network and makes you more visible. Ultimately it makes you more top of mind. Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Lunch Alone is a primer on becoming a connector through thoughtful networking.
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.Charles Dickens
Helping People Feels Good
When you help someone, you get a flood of dopamine that makes you feel good. A common piece of advice is when you’re having a hard day, sad, and struggling, help someone else. For a moment your mind is off your troubles. It makes you feel better. And again you’re growing a relationship and nurturing your network.
Know When to Ask For Help
Oddly even if you are a helper, most people have trouble asking for help. We think we can do it all. And this can lead to burnout. Here are some easy ways to ask for help.
- Email or call someone with a specific question.
- Ask someone for a referral, review, or testimonial.
- Ask someone for feedback.
Be open to accepting help when it’s offered. I’ve noticed that my go to position when someone offers to help me is to feel bad that I’m putting them out. And so, I often don’t take them up on it. This week I made a commitment to myself to shift that behavior, recognizing when people offer to help, they mean it. I said yes to an offer to drive me to the airport!
When someone helps you, be grateful in the moment. And send a thank you note a few days later. I am a big proponent of thank you notes because people don’t write them anymore. If it’s someone close to you, a handwritten note or a card makes the thank you extra special. If it’s more of a business acquaintance, an e-mail will do. And to nurture that relationship follow up with them to let them know how their help has impacted you. If you followed their advice and tell them, they are more likely to help you again. If you’ve had great things happen, they would love to hear it. I love hearing good news! It is another dopamine hit.
The one caveat to being a helper is to have boundaries. Don’t do a bunch of free work. Keep an eye out for energy vampires who want to take advantage of your good nature. And always value your expertise and the work that you do.
Here’s how I strike a balance. The other day I met a neighbor while I was walking my dog and it turned out she was prepping for a job interview. I gave her a couple of ideas and suggested some resources on my website. That’s what Josh Spector calls micro coaching. Because I like talking to people, I usually do at least two or three of these a day. However, I do not spend my entire day coaching people for free. Another cool timesaving trick is to write out email templates to your most frequently asked questions or write a blog post on your website, Medium, or Linked In that you can refer people to.
Do not let fear of users keep you from moving through life as a helper. There are so many benefits from your mental health, to growing your network and your career by being a helpful and enthusiastic person.
Who can you help today?
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