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News - Final Word
Tuesday, 25 September 2018 13:21
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It is the Bronnie’s 16th birthday! In this birthday month something happened that made me realise yet again what the most important thing in running any sort of business is. People.

You see, what happened is something that happens often. An avid Bronnie reader died. She has been phoning us once a month for 16 years to ask when the next Bronnie is coming out. Then the phone calls stopped. And we heard that she had passed away.

Of course I couldn’t help casting my mind back to all the other people we had lost along the 16 years the magazine has found a home in readers’ hearts. But I’m not going to go all morbid on you, girlfriend. Instead, I’ll try to explain the Aha Erlebnis this dear reader’s death sparked in me: Every single thing in business is about relationships with people.

Harv Eker, the business coach known for his theories on wealth and motivation, says that the business world is far simpler than we make it. It is actually just about solving problems for people. And that counts for any kind of business, from a hardware store to a beauty salon to investment bankers. It counts for everyone, from a drain unblocker to a personal trainer or neuro surgeon.

Whatever your talents are, you can only build a business based on them if you stop focussing on yourself. No, I’m not talking sainthood here, I’m talking problem solving. Harv says that once you stop thinking, “Will they like me? Do I know enough? Will it work? Will I make enough money?” then you can start focusing on solving problems for people.

What motivates us even deeper than pain or pleasure is a sense of fulfilment, of pride that what we do is really making a difference for people. Harv says if you keep wondering, “Why was I put on earth?” then you should ask yourself: “How could I best help people?”

So, look for a problem people have that you can solve. Look for just one problem. Create a way to solve that problem. Solve that problem for one person. Get good at solving the problem, add a few more people, and then create a system (via technology or other people who work for you) which takes you out of having to be there all the time to solve the problem.

“If you want to make money, then help a person. If you want to make a lot of money, then help a lot of people. Don’t complicate it,” Harv says.

However, you need to look at a problem so that you can find a solution. That means being somewhat distant from it. It doesn’t help still being in the problem when looking for its solution.

What does this mean? Care, but don’t get sucked up into the situation? I read about an experiment with dogs that illustrates this perfectly. Emily Sanford, a doctoral candidate in psychology at Johns Hopkins University, writes that they recruited 34 dogs of varying degrees of age, breed and training, and their owners. The dogs were kept in one room while their owners sat in another room that was separated by a transparent Plexiglas door.

Half of the owners were asked to shout the word ‘help’ every 15 seconds in a distressed tone, and make crying noises in between. The other half were asked to say ‘help’ in a normal tone, and hum ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ in between.

Three small magnets secured the Plexiglas, so the dogs could easily open the door to get to their owners. In the owner-in-distress group, the dogs that couldn’t get the door open were the ones that seemed to care too much.

They showed very clear signs of distress, such as panting and pacing, which imply that these dogs were too anxious to know how to help. The dogs that opened the door were calm to start off with and showed lower signs of stress.

The idea is that if you can see that someone else is in distress but it doesn’t overwhelmingly stress you personally, you’re more likely to be able to help.

So, stop the panting and pacing. When you see things that break your heart, girlfriend, things that make you so sad that you just want to collapse in a heap, then please remember . . . you are not seeing all. Yet. You’re still looking in a mirror, dimly.

 

© 2018 Die/The Bronberger