About This Episode
There’s a famous quote from Zig Ziglar that goes: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
Being a “Giver”—someone who gives more than they take—is a very commendable character to have. We live in a modern world full of “takers.” And most of these “takers” are the people who seem to be getting it all—fame, money, and “success” as what the majority seems to define it. But Joe Polish, today’s guest for Brilliant Thoughts, a Success magazine podcast, proves that it is possible for us entrepreneurs to be successful, gain profit, and still be a giver to the people we serve.
He wrote the book What’s in it for Them?—a question we are all familiar with, and if you are an entrepreneur, have probably asked yourself more than once—to help the givers in the world protect their boundaries, influence others, and succeed in business.
Joe took the wisdom from those who’ve come before him, such as Dale Carnegie, Gary Chapman, Zig Ziglar, and others, and formed his own principles and values that has helped him through tough times, recovering from addiction and abuse, as well as earn his well-deserved success in business and marketing.
Not only is it possible to earn millions of dollars in our businesses, we can also do it while being able to sleep at night, knowing our success isn’t founded on the backs of people we’ve hurt on our way up, while at the same time, not being used or taken advantage of ourselves.
He reminds us that at the end of the day, business is all about the people and connecting with them. The world is already full of pain—what can we do to reduce or remove their suffering?
Be a good pain detective
“The world has a lot of pain,” Joe says. As entrepreneurs, becoming a good pain detective is a huge advantage to succeeding. People invest in things they either want or need. That is the primary factor in creating demand, and business is all about meeting that demand by supplying goods and services.
How can we become better, more effective, and empathetic pain detectors? Joe offers a similar advice to what Gary Chapman said about how to determine a person’s love language—Listen to what they complain about. The key here, I believe, is in listening, and listening with empathy.
Marketing vs. Selling
One of the things Joe often tells entrepreneurs is, “Think of selling as influence. Think of marketing as storytelling.”
Marketing is all about positioning yourself in front of the right audience, and delivering the right message. It is also about positioning your message through storytelling that is as compelling as it is convincing.
When you’ve positioned your brand and your business right, you are able to sell to them easier—because you can get people in front of you and your team who are already, in Joe’s words, “pre-interested, pre-motivated, pre-qualified, and predisposed” to act. Selling is more of a manual process: it is all about your word choices, your tone, your facial expression, etc. But the storytelling—that’s crucial.
As John says, “The better you can weave a story, the more effective you can be.”
It is also not enough to be compelling and convincing. It is essential to be ethical.
One of his friends, Dan Sullivan, once defined selling as “getting someone intellectually engaged in a future result that is good for them. And getting them to emotionally commit to take action to achieve that result.”
Contrary to what we are trained, as entrepreneurs, to believe, the most important words in that definition are not “commit” or “engage”, but as Joe said, it is “good for them.”
We can always influence people to be engaged and committed to things that aren’t necessarily good for them. But a business with firm principles and ethics will give people not just what they want, but what they need and what will be beneficial to them.
According to Joe, if our business can bring transformation to people’s lives, instead of just a transaction, not only will we be able to earn profits, we will also sleep better at night, contribute some “good” into the world, and overall, get more people to like us. And who wants to be disliked?
How to become “better-boundaried” givers?
Entrepreneurs are prone to workaholism, and that is a form of addiction that has been rewarded by society. It is good to be driven. It is better to be an achiever. But if we are too busy driving fast that we are driving ourselves off of cliffs or into other people, wrecking ourselves, our health, and our relationships in the process, then it is time to hit the brakes.
“The opposite of addiction is connection,” Joe says. “If you are disconnected from yourself, you’re gonna be disconnected with others.”
It is important to look for opportunities and invest in our businesses, but we need to learn how to invest our TAMEE (time, attention, money, effort, and energy) towards the right people and the right situations.
Having the right people is crucial.
“Any problem, challenge, and opportunity—if you can tap into a network of people with skills and capabilities, you can solve them,” Joe says.
Of course, it is also necessary to look at our habits. “You can’t win million-dollar races with hundred-thousand-dollar habits,” he shares. It is also important to participate in the right races.
We are responsible for choosing where we invest our TAMEE. It is important to be connected with ourselves and what matters, so we can invest them wisely to the right people.
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DISCLAIMER: The people interviewed are well-trained experts and highly skilled in their areas of practice. They take many safety precautions prior to attempting the activities described. The activities or research discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.