Karma. What goes around comes around. Treat people the way you would like to be treated – whichever label or definition you want to attach to it, helping other people is a fundamental component of becoming successful.
The idea of paying it forward is to reciprocate a good deed by paying it on to someone other than the original benefactor.
From my own experience as an entrepreneur, I've been very fortunate to receive a tremendous amount of support and mentoring from more experienced individuals and I simply wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for these people. Their help has exceeded beyond merely assisting with functional business problems; they have helped me to build the confidence and skills I need to succeed, and they continue to believe in me and Get Invited.
What do they ask in return? Nothing, other than seeing me and my company succeed.
They give up their time to help because they care passionately about helping others succeed. They are successful people that have no hangups or issues with helping others, they actually want to see other people become more successful than themselves.
These people are rare, especially in Northern Ireland where we have a very closed culture that doesn’t embrace collaboration as well as it does in other places in the world and as much as it pains me to say it; there is a lot of negativity and people are more inclined to hinder you and tear you down than support and help you.
This needs to change and the best way to initiate this change is to give back and help others in the community. I believe this is absolutely critical, especially in such a small place that is trying so hard to compete on the global stage, we all have to work together and help each other to succeed.
While there is little I can offer my more experienced mentors at this point in my journey, that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t help others. I choose to pay it forward and help other people who are starting on their journey or who are in the early stages and have experienced the same problems as me. I don’t need to have 5 successful companies under my belt before I can start offering help and advice, I just make sure to never advise beyond what I have achieved myself. Advice should always be built on a foundation of first-hand experience.
How can you pay it forward?
No matter what your level of experience or where you are in life, you can always help other people on their journey.
Meet people for coffee, tell them your story and answer questions. Help them with specific problems that you have solved yourself. You would be amazed at some of the skills and knowledge you possess, that you deem insignificant but other people find incredibly valuable and helpful.
Build a network of people who want to help, make introductions for people to others that can help them. Even if you're pointing someone in the direction of a paid service, you're still helping both parties.
Set up a blog and share information. Talk about your experiences, what mistakes you have made and what you have learnt. Share tips to save people time or headaches. You can also answer questions on Twitter or sites like Quora
Give up a few hours now and again and volunteer for organisations that are dedicated to entrepreneurship, personal growth or any cause you care about.
I'm a young, first time entrepreneur who can't exactly dish out advice to seasoned business professionals, but I can still use my age to my advantage and work with young people who can relate to me. I regularly volunteer with Young Enterprise, which is a wonderful organisation delivering entrepreneurial training to high school students and also Generation Innovation and Watify. It's easy to get involved with organisations like this who are always looking for people to volunteer and help out.
Speak at Events
There are lots of events aimed at inspiring people and helping them start or grow a business, offer to speak at them and tell your story. Talk about your achievements to inspire people and reveal the things that have went wrong to help people avoid making the same mistakes. Offer to speak at your local college, university or high school and inspire the next generation.
If you’ve started a business, then mentor someone else who’s just about to start for the first time. You don’t need to know how to build a billion dollar company and IPO to help people get started. Mentoring can come from all levels of experience within the ego-system.
Inspire People by Doing
Make yourself stand out by getting off your ass and doing something. Start something, build something. People will quickly take notice and you will inspire them through your actions. Be positive, have a vision, see the potential in everyone, encourage them and support them.
Most importantly, don’t ask or expect anything in return from the person you are helping. It will come back to you from another source, tenfold.
How can I help you? Send me an email.