Inspire, then Build

Aug 7, 2013Consistency, Habits, Inspiration


It’s become a cliché. So, please don’t discount something so true and so real, something that’s so fundamental, so core and basic to our need for connecting with others.

In spite of our “knowing”, we almost always overlook this timeless principle. Just flat out ignore it. It’s almost as if we can’t help it. So, we violate and abuse it again and again.

People don’t care how much we know, until… 

People don’t give a rip about what we can rattle off about nutrition and the studies and fruits and vegetables, a plant-based diet, until…

People don’t care how much we speak the truth, how right we are, until they feel safe, heard and connected to us.

People don’t care much about much of anything, until they know that we care.

In our kind of business (it’s the only one I’ve ever known), the most successful people are those who know how to connect with others—make them feel invited, not pushed. Safe, not cornered.

Here’s our homework: Get very good at and comfortable with basic conversation. Lead the conversation as a learner. Lean into the conversation as a listener. On tiptoe, eager to hear the other person. In that zone we connect with our stories, the sharing of our own journeys—with honesty, with humility and, if it’s in us, with some self-deprecating humor.

Every time we offer our stories, every time we connect in this way—setting aside any agenda for a quick close—something magical occurs. Slow down, pause, give attention and we will probably “see” it right before our very eyes.

It’s called hope. It’s not too late. I can start my family on the path to better health. I can re-invent myself and launch a whole new career. Just what I needed to hear 20-plus years ago. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not a train.

That’s what a good story offers. That’s what your friend or uncle or customer or “prospect” will feel in his bones. Not a bunch of hype, but down-home, authentic hope. We will know when we have offered hope, and not just another deal. We will actually feel successful—regardless of the outcome.

When we connect in this way, we will inspire. Not everyone, but some. And that’s enough.

If we inspire a few, we can build a business that will last.

It all starts with a conversation. A connection we make with another human being. With our stories. With our hearts. Let’s not make it more complicated than this.