Serving Others is Good for Business
As I have been doing for a while now, I was speaking at a local Rotary Club on the subject of The Power of Serving Others when I met Aaron. One of the Rotary members introduced him to the club by sharing about his moving company’s relocation of a family into a new place gratis. When he shared his story briefly with the group, he said he insisted that his company include helping some who need help as a normal part of their business.
I was locked in on Aaron from that moment on. After the meeting, he came up to speak to me (and purchase a copy of Compassionaries [rule #1 of book marketing: NEVER let an opportunity to market your book pass you by!]). I asked for his business card and said: “I’ll be calling you. I definitely want to talk.”
In a week, we sat down at a popular local restaurant and had a 2-hour conversation about the benefits of serving others to a business. When doing research for Compassionaries, I read about business leaders who have discovered that serving others is good for business, but this was the first time I had the chance to talk face-to-face with one. I was juiced!
How they do it
So, Aaron is a former English teacher turned entrepreneur. About 18 months ago, he launched a junk removal/moving business. (I am not giving the company name for reasons that will be clear below.) It has grown steadily from Aaron as the only employee to five full-time and six part-time employees.
The company looked for some way to serve the community with its services and learned that a community-wide project—Keep Knoxville Beautiful—was losing its support from a local garbage service to pick up litter gathered around the community. He offered to do it as a service to the community.
Eventually, he learned that local organizations working with homeless families occasionally need help moving one of their families into permanent housing. Aaron’s company offered to help. The organizations pay a little for the service, but it doesn’t cover Aaron’s costs. No matter. He would do it without any compensation because he sees it as serving people who most need his help.
Why they do it
Aaron is giving away his services. He pays his employees and covers other costs associated with his work without being paid when he serves others in need. Why? Isn’t it bad for business? Not at all. Aaron says it’s good for business. He believes this even though he does not post his gratis serving on social media as it seems disingenuous.
Maybe Aaron is an entrepreneur who is convinced that serving is the best way to do business. When doing research for Compassionaries, I ran across an article in Entrepreneur Magazine that gives the reasons why this “strategy” works.
- They know the best way to leave a legacy is through service.
- They know focusing on serving others is actually more profitable than focusing solely on profit.
- They change by helping people, so they desire to help others more.
- They’re aware that if you live for the applause, you’ll die from lack of it.
- They know it’s the most fulfilling way to run a business and to live. *
Truthfully, Aaron has never read the article in Entrepreneur Magazine, but you couldn’t prove it by the way he runs his business. Furthermore, he is convinced that serving others is good for business. He says the most consistent feedback he gets from his customers is how helpful and genuinely interested in helping others his employees are. He is convinced that having them serve people in need as part of their job is helping his employees develop empathy and a serving mindset, which manifest themselves when they are engaged in a “paying” job.
The bonus benefit
Every businessman or woman wants to have employees who want to work for them. They want their employees to be happy and satisfied. Aaron has found that involving his employees in serving people in need has stimulated their thinking about other ways they can help people. Often when they move a formerly homeless family into a new place, his employees see the opportunity to help them by offering pieces of furniture from their warehouse that has been discarded by other families.
Aaron’s employees are satisfied. They look forward to work. It has become more than a paycheck. Since their work provides opportunities to serve others, their experience with work is healthier and happier. Yes, they are paid to help people who need their services, BUT the personal joy they feel in doing it is a palpable bonus.
What do you think?
Do you know a businessman or woman who has included serving others in their business plan? What has been their experience? Have you had the opportunity as an employee to serve others beyond the usual “customer service?” Let me know what you think about all this.
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