A couple of nights ago I was finishing up teaching a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu class to a group of young fathers. The windows were completely covered in condensation from the intense two-hour training session. It makes me so proud to see individuals grow and learn each class. One by one they quickly cleared out of the studio to head home for the evening.
Teaching martial arts is a hobby for me, I do it out of my love to help others grow personally. I also find it therapeutic. It was never a dream of mine to be an owner of a martial arts academy. My dream lies in making a greater impact in the world, spreading an authentic message of developing human excellence both on a personal and organizational level.
As I got ready to lock up the doors at the academy I noticed one of my students Chris sitting on the bench. He seemed like he wanted to talk to me alone. As I sat down across from him he asked me professor what do I need to do to get a black belt, is there a set of techniques that I should know?
I said to him, Chris when I look at promoting students to the next level there is a bunch of criteria not just the physical aspect. For me, one of the most important criteria is your character and how you treat others. I added, I watch students every day to see if they help others excel. The majority of the student’s attempt to impress me by showcasing their physical dominance. Little do they know that aspect plays only a small part of the advancement process.
When a higher belt does not help the belts below them solve their issues to reach their goal it tells me a lot about how that person conducts business outside of the class. This display of selfishness in my eyes will raise questions in my mind on whether this individual is worthy of wearing a black belt many years down the road.
In our personal and professional lives, I truly believe that by helping others achieve their goals, they will more likely help you get to yours. If anything it feels good in my opinion to see others succeed knowing, you had a profound impact on their life and success. I called this selfless leadership.
A leader who truly cares about others progress in an organization will have created a culture of loyalty and excellence. Employees will go the extra mile for you to do the best work they can because they know you have taken the time out of your busy schedule to make sure their needs are taken care of. A leader who fails to help others succeed will find themselves with an unmotivated group of employees, constantly watching the clock till it’s time to go home.
This concept of selfless leadership can also be applied in a business owner and client relationship. In my opinion, a client of mine is a client for life. In fact, I still have clients who I haven’t done business with for over a decade email me to tell me how much I’ve changed their life.
My answer is always, thank you for your gratitude and if you need anything please contact me. And I’m not talking about another business transaction. If they need a resource, a connection with someone, or anything I can think of that can help them grow their business or career to please email me anytime.
So what is the point of all this Raz you may be asking? I was inspired to write this blog post today due to a few events in my life that came up this week. For example, this week I attended a big event where the headlined speaker pulled a no-show which I don’t buy. As one of my mentors once shared with me he has been so sick at some events he literally ran to the restroom to throw up after a speech. That is a true professional who understands that if it wasn’t for the people sitting in those seats right now he wouldn’t be up there living his dream but instead washing dishes or doing a job he/she does not enjoy.
There was a friend of mine in the United States who paid a lot of money for a course from a so-called expert or guru. He had an opportunity to meet the expert when she flew into town for an event. The initial excitement quickly faded to disappointment as the expert left him feeling unwelcomed during their meeting. Is this they way you treat people who helped you grow your success?
Over the years the internet has helped a lot of people become hugely successful financially, many of these are so-called experts / gurus who have made an extremely great living doing what they are passionate about. They talk about how happy they are to serve others and make a difference. They put on slick videos offering a dream of duplicating their success, convincing you that if you go with their service or product they will make all your problems go away.
They will flash a bright smile on stage or during the webinars telling you how honored they are to have the opportunity to transform your business or life. That is all great until you drop $3,000 to $30,000 of your hard earned money on their course.
When you do that you are their best friend in the world, they will answer your emails in a moment’s notice making you feel like you’re a Hollywood superstar…. that is until you finish the program and they go on to the next set of new customers.
Now your emails get ignored. You wonder why a simple request to help grow success is no longer important to warrant a reply of yes or no from them. To me this is sickening. Many of these prospects who become clients of these experts do it because they want to create a better life for themselves. I’ve known cases where people don’t have the money for these courses go into debt in hopes a program or service will finally get them out of their dilemma.
Now I’m not saying every service should guarantee success as it all depends on the work an individual put in, but don’t take people’s money and kick them to the curb after their service is completed.
One of my mentors Ford Saeks told me a year ago that there are expert parasites on the internet who just take your money. I see this problem more and more since I’ve gotten online which is not that long ago.
I had taken a course for $2,500 back in 2012. At the time the program was fairly new and not a lot of people were certified in this course. The program has since grown and of course the creators became quite wealthy because of it. Of course when I “graduated” from this program we had a big kumbya, telling us about how we are now family.
Fast forward to 2015, I was looking for some university research studies for my forth coming book “Living A Life of Greatness.” I emailed one of the creators of the course I took in 2012 asking if he could recommend some resources to look at since he was an expert in the field. What did I get from him? Nothing, not a single response.
Was I disappointed? Of course, because it was my hard earned money and others who helped them at the beginning grow their business. It allowed them to build a life of extravagance, buy their fancy house, shoes, and cars. And now that they have grown their profits significantly they cannot respond to a simple email to people who helped them? It’s a disgrace when this happens.
It sickens my stomach, I think of the little people who poured their money from their struggling relationship, business or career, sold on hope to be regulated to irrelevant status once the money stops filling these people’s pockets with gold.
I can honestly say I’ve never forgotten all clients who’ve supported me when I started my business in 2005. There is not a day that goes by where I don’t forget who helped buy my house in a desired area, who put the gas in my car each day, who paid for my vacations, and most importantly who allowed me to live my dream as an entrepreneur. The least I can do is answer their emails, assist them years after our business relationship has ceased.
Fortunately, not all experts / gurus who offer these services to better the lives of people or businesses operate in this manner. Although from my experience there are very few out there operating as selfless leaders with integrity. One who is different is a mentor of mine Colin Sprake who helps small businesses grow. I was a client of Colin’s a couple of years ago. I credit him for making me what I am today and opening my eyes to think about making a greater impact with my services.
I haven’t taken a course with Colin for years now but he never ceases to amaze me with his authenticity and integrity. I’ve put him to the test on a couple of occasions by sending him messages, texts, and emails. He always responds almost immediately. Funny thing was he was at a hockey game one time and still answered my questions for assistance. That is the true meaning of never forgetting about the people who helped grow his business. A truly amazing individual. When I started with him there was 30 people in the room for his seminar. There are now 3oo plus at his Make Your Mark seminars which continue to grow each month. Every expert or guru should learn a lesson from this man.
Colin never expected anything from me. Like I said I haven’t taken a course from his in years, but based on my experience with him, I continue to refer clients to him all the time and will do so for the foreseeable future. One of those clients was a friend of mine who enrolled in one of his programs for $10,000. Not a bad deal for Colin, all this just because he never forgot those who’ve helped him.
Funny thing is as I started thinking about writing this blog post earlier this week, I ran into Colin at a conference. He greeted me with the usual radiant smile, and big heart to heart hug. Just pure class. The world of experts need more selfless leaders like Colin Sprake.
Remember my core principles on being a great black belt, help others succeed and they will go beyond the call of duty to help you succeed. Be a selfless leader.
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