#21: Getting sh*t done & driving impact through serving others
Getting a cold email to convert to a scheduled meeting without any follow up needed.
Reducing project meeting time from 4 hours a week to 1.
Graining the bulk of my business through referrals and inbound outreach.
These are all things that are happening at this point in my consulting career pretty regularly. While automation and systems (you can read up on my favorite ones here) have been a huge driver, there’s a bigger one: I’m constantly framing my actions by considering how I can add value to whomever I’m interacting with whenever possible.
When I ask for a meeting, I send a Calendly link where anyone can quickly schedule whenever it’s convenient for them. When I run a project, I make sure I’m up front in learning about and always sticking to what the other person or people need so that we don’t have to spend time talking about it again and again and again mid project. When I blog and post on Instagram and work with my clients, I’m putting a very steady, consistent and authentic message of who am and what I have to offer the world out there, which in turn equips everyone to know exactly when I’m the perfect fit to help solve their problems.
When I need something from others - whether it’s from my clients or prospective clients or whomever else - I am always thinking about how to frame and construct the ask so it’s not just easy to them, but actually mutually beneficial. How can I bring joy and fulfillment to them, even if they’re the ones ultimately giving me their time and money?
Brandon, my fiancé, read Adam Grant’s Give and Take a while back. While I haven’t yet read it myself (ssshh), Brandon and I discuss it a lot and I think it really gets at this mentality – which I frankly first thought about deeply when I was reading Delivering Happiness, the story of how Zappos started, a book I highly recommend and have often had my teams read in past jobs.
It’s not about giving to get, it’s about giving to make the pie bigger for all of us.
And while I 100% take that mentality to getting shit done at work whenever another person is involved, I also like to think about how this translates to more broadly driving social impact. How do we make our interactions with communities we hope to help less transactional and more geared toward growing the pie for everyone?
Part of the answer to this is why I don’t love the word “beneficiary” - this implies some weird one way transaction where the communities we’re serving are completely passive. 99% of the time, they’re not. And another part is looking at social impact less through this “look at me, I’m helping others!” framing and more through “I have awesome opportunity to be a teeny tiny part of serving solutions toward these huge ass global problems alongside so many other awesome people.” When we get back to thinking about how we make the most of that opportunity, the mindset of serving others is what’s going to help us get shit done. Whether it’s in scheduling a meeting or approaching a huge new social sector strategic challenge, I encourage you all to join me in thinking through all this from a service based lense next week. You’ll be amazed how much more is able to happen.