For the past several months, I have been meeting with potential team members for my startup company and almost without fail, at some point during the meeting, ninety percent of the interviewees would frame an inquiry that had subtle undertones of, “what’s in it for me?” There were those who were more direct and would asked to sign contracts before even listening to what I had to offer.
Whenever the conversation got to that place of “what’s in it for me,” I could not help but to feel a sense of pity for that person. I mean, to live such a shallow existence—for the prevailing theme of one’s life to be centered on what someone else could do for him or her is literally terrifying. As soon as someone asked me (directly or implied) what was in it for him or her, I immediately tuned that person out and knew that s/he was not the right fit for my company.
I take this approach because if you were to analyze the shadow self of the person who is asking “what’s in it for me,” you would learn that behind that face is an insecure individual—someone with a sense of entitlement—someone who thinks the world owes him or her something. These are the types of people who will contaminate a company’s organizational culture—ruining morale, motivation, creativity and innovation.
Many well-meaning people find goal achievement to be an illusive target and impossible task because their pursuit is predicated on what’s in it for them. They place themselves at the center of everything, always with their hands out—always taking while adding very little value.
All human beings are all naturally egocentric and self-centered. Even so, as we mature into adulthood, there has to be a shift from “what’s in it for me” to “how can I add value to other people’s lives.” If you study the lives of successful people, those in the top 1%, you would see a familiar pattern and that is how their lives are centered on giving.
The truth is, you will only have more as you give more. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is to look for ways to add value to others. I have found that I don’t even have to leave my house to add value. I can do so from the click of a mouse in the comfort of my home office. You would be surprised as to the effect a kind word, compliment or encouragement can have on someone’s life.
If you want to win in life, then you must be intentional about deploying value on a regular basis. Did you know that free is the new gateway to getting paid? If you do not believe, give it a shot. Start adding value to people’s lives without asking for anything in return and you will experience new levels of winning and success. Be the hand that is always ready to give than it is to receive.
Upcoming post: “Leaving A Lasting Legacy For My Family”