Ninety-nine percent of people I ask the following question answer it incorrectly:
“What business are you in?”
Authors think they’re in the publishing business. Speakers think they’re in the speaking business. Doctors think they’re in the medical business.
And they’re all completely wrong.
Because it’s about people, stupid.
It doesn’t matter what type of job you are doing—white collar, blue collar, or no collar. Degree or no degree. Whatever you are doing—you are in the people business.
If you don’t see that, if you don’t get that, if you don’t agree with that, if your spirit doesn’t jump upon hearing this answer—you will soon be out of business.
The Backwards Method for Mastering the People Business
How does one study and become an expert in people?
This will sound backwards, but you start by studying yourself as a person.
You need to know why you get up, what time you get up, what you do all day, why you do what you do all day, what time you go to bed, what makes you angry, what makes you happy—all these things must be analyzed and mastered and directed. By you!
Here is the 3-step method for accomplishing this:
1. Schedule time to be alone.
Getting in tune with yourself requires total solitude—you must be alone with nothing but your thoughts. The only way to find this time is to schedule it.
Don’t overthink this. It sounds outrageous because it is outside “normal,” but it is actually simple.
Try taking a different route on the way home. Stop somewhere for an hour. Cancel a meeting. Head to the public library. Stay in your office after hours. Go to the local synagogue or church if it’s open—where you can sit in a pew and think and pray. Do something by yourself today.
2. Turn off your phone.
We are so surrounded by so much technology that it’s almost impossible to ever be truly alone. There’s a beep, something updating, a bell going off, an alert of some kind constantly informing you that something is about to happen, or just did happen.
All of these things are breaks in the cycle of your solitude.
Stop it. Turn it off.
3. Do something great for someone else.
In steps one and two, you did something great for yourself. Now you are in the proper mindset to do something great for others. To step out into the world of the people business—your business.
Do something totally unexpected. Do something that is wowing for somebody. This could be anything from sending flowers to writing a thank-you note you haven’t written to your parents yet.
These are little things that are within your power of greatness right now. Until you master that—your territory will not expand.
You may think this sounds silly. You are wrong.
There is nothing more awesome on this planet than you. I would kill to meet you for a few minutes. To talk to you. To hear your story. Your pains and your possibilities. I would love to hear about your parents—the good, the bad, and the not so good. I would love to hear about your siblings. I would love to hear about your dreams—the ones that you’ve never told a soul.
But first, YOU must love to hear those things about yourself. This is not about ego. It is about awareness. It is about creating a starting point of where you are right now. You cannot maximize your ability to help other people until you know where you are.
Would you believe there are dreams you have that you do not even know about? There are dreams so deep inside of you that it’s as if you’ve hidden them under a bushel. For fear that others might laugh, that others may point and wonder, What are you thinking?
You have so much within you that you do not even know about. They are seeds that need to be watered and sprouted. They are talents, they are gifts, they are words of encouragement.
I know your heart just jumped in the wrong way. There’s this fear factor present. But you have to understand this and stop making excuses. Step up to who you are now.
Every single day life is testing us on who we are and who we are becoming. It is critical to look backward and see the accumulation of all the thoughts and actions that have taken you where you are right now.
When you can see these paths in patterns in your own life, you will learn to see them in others’ lives.
And that is how you master the people business. YOUR business.
Question: What do you think is the key to connecting with people? How do you apply it to your business and/or life? Leave a comment and let everyone know!