Giving and Getting

I was re-reading Flight Plan, by Brian Tracy, last night. It’s a book about goal-setting (and sticking to those goals). This is, after all, the traditional season of goals – 2010 planning around the Christmas tree and all that.

But goal setting isn’t what this message is about.

Near the start of this book is a reference to the great business guru Peter Drucker. He said that most of the misunderstandings in business and finance could be eliminated if we just replaced the word “success” with the word “contribution.”

Brian Tracy then says: “When you look around, you will find that the wealthiest people are those who are making the greatest contributions to the greatest number of people. They are producing products and services that large numbers of people are willing and eagerly buying to improve the quality of their own lives.”

Wise words indeed.

I’m trying to take this approach with my newsletters and my businesses.

After all, rule number one for newsletters is: write for your readers. That means you include articles in your newsletter that help your readers do their job better and make their lives easier.

Then, if you include calls to action and offers, you’ll find that business will come to you.

You’ve contributed…so you get.

You’ve provided value up front….so you attract money back.

For some people, this means an abrupt 180 turn. Their newsletters had been all about them.

“I’m great, choose me.”

They had been all about getting.

Getting business – no matter what.

But when you make this flip, not only does your newsletter become more effective… but it also becomes so much more fun.

Instead of thinking of yourself – what you can get out of the newsletter – you start thinking of your clients – how you can help them.

That simple act makes you feel good.

And then the business comes.

I hope you find (as I did) that this is a valuable message as we near Christmas, the season of giving.

I wish you a happy holiday season – and many chances to contribute in 2010.