- A beef farmer growing money as fat as the flesh can be pumped full of hormones as opposed to naturally raising and cultivating a proper animal.
- A real estate agent selling lots and not homes.
- An artist viewing their canvas as a product and not art.
- A doctor spending thirty seconds with the ailment he is treating, quickly diagnosing, ripping off a prescription, and moving along to his next sickness.
- A server who brings my food to the table expecting a better tip rather than perfecting the craft of waiting tables for their guests.
- Jail guards or police officers profiling, shooting, abusing, or neglecting criminals as opposed to protecting people.
- Businesses viewing people as a paying client and not person in need of a service.
- A military that operates under the assumption that we’re always combatting an enemy rather than serving our country by working peacefully with other people.
How we view our products/talents, and how we feel about the people we are serving and providing for will ultimately determine the legacy of our operation, business, work, and craft. I reckon that our income, life goals, measures of success, home-work time management, family life, and general happiness will all dramatically improve with the following proposition.
Develop, offer, and sell a tool that genuinely and profoundly helps the person that you want to serve.
If I go into the week hoping to make $1000, there’s a good chance that I will not. However, if I go into the week knowing that I will serve 100+ people, the money will follow. If that’s the case then we can easily make the assumption that a dollar bill is representative of a Certificate of Service. Therefore, I’m morally obligated to be wealthy, to acquire many Certificates of Service by serving others.
Ganesh Rai, my sirdar (trek leader) in Nepal, and his crew of sherpas gave incredible service. I asked him about his business practices and philosophy, “If I have a friend, money will come. Give amazing quality and you will stay competitive and make friends for the long run.”
The Logical Repercussions
The logical end to this approach is that we view each person that I have the privilege to kneel in front of to wash their feet. Our talents will manifest themselves in the terms of service; the beneficiary of our service becomes our clientele – in this case ‘clientele’ takes on a new and elevated meaning from the ‘client’ of the first paragraph.
In turn, your j-o-b becomes work that matters. Your work will take on a new, fresh, life-giving meaning; your life will regain purpose. Mondays will no longer be a drag. Waking up in the morning will be easier. You will no longer be a TGIF employee. Hell, you won’t be an “employee”; instead you’ll be an indispensable linchpin. People around you will look like opportunities to serve. If you’re serving, you’ll be willing to pay to work instead of working to get paid. There are countless articles that demonstrate the motivational power of service over money. Treat your work as an opportunity to serve and see what happens.
Imagine a customer service department that operated under this model. I wouldn’t mind calling Comcast if they took on this philosophy. Also, the art of referrals would make a comeback. If I’m served well, you can bet the farm that I’ll tell everybody about your business/service. If we relied only on word of mouth referrals and there was never another commercial, advertisement, or marketing campaign again, what businesses would survive and thrive? Only the ones that serve.
Making a living is a byproduct of service. Even if this philosophy is flawed, how would you rather approach life?