Every single one of us would love to be an inspiration to others, but few of us really have the knack for it. I, in fact, am the least inspirational person know. Some people have a fire inside of them and they just can’t help but let it out during multiple parts of each and every day! Me – I don’t have a fire. I have a little wax candle from the dollar store that only lights occasionally with multiple efforts from a very powerful fire source. Why is it that I can’t jump up on stage and give a speech that everyone will remember? Why is it that my words come out dull and boring when all I want to do is inspire?
As I have pondered these questions, I have discovered two things: (1) I was trying to inspire others about a topic that didn’t inspire me, and (2) I didn’t understand how people are inspired.
What Inspires You?
A few years ago, I was involved in a ‘pyramid scheme’ as many of you would call it. Those of us in the business call it a ‘network marketing’ business or a ‘multi-level marketing’ business. I got involved because I had never failed at anything before in my life. Success just seemed to swarm around me all my life so I figured that this would be no different. Boy was I wrong. Trying to inspire others within a network marketing business was tough, especially when I could have cared less about the product that we were involved with. I tried to act enthused and excited, but people could see right through my fake excitement, and therefore were not at all excited or motivated themselves.
Since I only have a dollar store candle inside of me (instead of a constant bonfire like some), I really need to be excited about what I’m doing in order to transfer that feeling. And, lucky for me, I finally found it. I’m excited about business finance! I know I know, it seems weird, but I absolutely love the strategy in business and I love to see businesses succeed based on my direction. When I talk to others about business ventures I have started, my eyes just light up and they begin to feel what I feel. Suddenly, that tiny candle turns into a spewing volcano! With this newfound passion, I am able to not only inspire others to listen, but inspire them to take action in their own lives.
So what inspires you? Once you find out what inspires you, your fire will begin to burn too, and then you’ll have half of the equation down pat. Now, onto the next part!
How to Transfer the Feeling
I’m currently taking classes for my MBA and the topic that interests me the most is leadership (mainly because I know I’m terrible at it). In one of our sessions, we watched a video from a TED conference titled, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by Simon Sinek. It is probably the most powerful video I have ever seen and the concept is so simple.
I think you would agree with me that Apple is a superpower right now, or at least they have been in the past 5+ years. But, how did they do it? What did they do that was so different from everyone else? Sure, they had some innovative products, but their approach was totally different from their competitors, which is why they had such tremendous success. Let me explain…
What, How, Why
Simon, in his presentation, helped me realize that the “what”, “how”, and “why” are all very important to an organization. Every single company knows what they do. For Dell computers, they make computers – it’s pretty obvious. Some companies know how they do it. In other words, some companies know exactly what their plans are for the future and have a exact understanding of their current market as well. And, of course they know how they actually produce the product. But, very few companies actually know why they do what they do.
By “why”, I don’t mean that they do it to make a profit. That’s just a result of why. So why does Dell make computers? I wonder if they would be able to give you an answer other than, “to increase our shareholder value”? But, Apple is totally different in how they respond to this question of “why?” They won’t say “To make money”. They’ll tell you this. “In everything we do, we challenge the status quo. We believe in doing things differently. We do this by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?” They start with the why and then tell you the what later. That’s why they are so inspiring!
So what can you learn from this? Why am I telling you about how companies promote themselves and their product? Because this is exactly how you can inspire others! Don’t tell them about who you are and what your skills are and that’s why they should follow you. That is not inspiring at all! Lead them with your “why”. If you are passionate about rescuing dogs from shelters, you would express yourself like this, “Every day, dogs are neglected and sometimes beaten by their owners. They want to do nothing more than to serve their masters, but they are punished for doing absolutely nothing wrong! They then end up in these shelters, locked up with hardly any room to move. I can’t help myself. I just need to help them.” That person that you’re talking with will most likely jump up and ask you where the shelter is because she want to give one of those dogs a good home! And you know what? You didn’t even ask her to. You just transferred the fire in your heart by telling her why you believe what you believe!
So How Does This Create Wealth?
As you might have already guessed, this method of learning your passion and transferring your feelings is very powerful, both in a personal setting and in a business setting. If you are in a leadership role (whether you own your own business or are in a management role at work), once you learn your ‘why’ and feel comfortable telling others your passion, they will automatically want to jump on board with you and make your goals happen! With this method, wealth (if you don’t mind the extra cash anyway) will ultimately come your way.
What are you passionate about? What is your ‘why’ in life?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.