Sunday, February 12, 2006
Information sharing: Help others succeed
They say knowledge is power. The problem for most business people is in gaining that knowledge. Often, ideas and techniques for success are jealously guarded by the holder. Instead of sharing with others, the knowledge is hoarded like gold. It's time for that miserly process to change.
Information and education, in the form of coaching and mentoring, is important to a business person's success. As holders of business knowledge and ideas ranging from sales and marketing, to media and public relations, to website design and SEO, and much more besides, it's up to us to share the wealth. We hold the keys to other people's success. They also very often hold the keys to ours.
I've said many times before that my purpose in blogging has been to share information with others to guide their success in business and in life. I have not altered that goal. It's time that everyone considered helping others as part of their overall business objectives as well.
Of course, there are many who will say that giving away business secrets is the equivalent of handing the keys to your vault to strangers. In effect, they say, a sharing person is creating his or her own competitors. If that is true, then I support that concept as well. Competition is good for everyone. It keeps us sharp, learning new ways of doing things, and helps our own businesses to grow as well. Instead of harming your own business by spawning imitators and competitors, you are helping your own business success. In that sense, competition turns into co-operation and working together for the good of the economy and yourself.
When you help someone succeed, you create a mentor and student relationship. Often the student will go on to purchase some of your more advanced services and products. They will also become brand evangelists for you and your company. Instead of taking business away, they multiply the market by expanding the pie. Your coached students will find their businesses growing, and refer some other potential customers and clients to your company. There may even be joint business ventures shared between the former mentor and student. Now there is a win win situation.
I fully understand and realize that a few bad apples will take all of the knowledge they can get and use it to their own ends. They are also very likely doomed to failure in the longer term. While they might enjoy some short term financial benefits, over the longer haul, they will alienate their own customer, supplier, and informational bases. The dishonest individual often fails in the end, and generates much bad will and feelings along the way. Once the word gets out, and it will, the knowledge thief will find that potential knowledge sources will have vanished into thin air. It's a karmic case of what goes around comes around.
Building your business for the future requires assistance from others. It's that simple. Not everyone knows everything about every conceivable business topic. Some people are stronger at sales and marketing ideas, while others possess stronger financial and accounting skills. Sharing and pooling knowledge and resources helps everyone to benefit.
While you are mentoring another business person, you are also learning new ideas and techniques as well. As they question your concepts and proven methods of business, you are forced to explain and often rething your standard operating procedures. As a result of this inner inspection, new and better ideas very often emerge. The new systems can then be applied to your own company, resulting in a vastly improved bottom line.
At the same time, the student can become the coach. The newer business owner may possess fresh new ideas and creative approaches to problem solving. Their eyes examine older problems with fresh eyes. As a result, issues long thought to lack any practical solution are fixed and replaced with more profitable procedures. Knowledge and ideas can and do flow both ways.
If you are seeking some win win situations, attempting to develop some new business alliances, or simply want to help other business people succeed, consider offering your information freely. It only takes one thank you to make the entire exercise worthwhile.
Become a free knowledge and idea source, and help others succeed. Do some information sharing today.
Your own business and your life will benefit as well.
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