Just finished reading a marvelous book, "A Millionaire's Notebook" (http://www.amazon.com), by Steven K. Scott. Scott, the cofounder of ATC, which has produced some of the most successful infomercials in history featuring celebrities such as Cher, Tom Selleck, Jane Fonda, Michael Landon, etc., has written an operating manual to become a millionaire, not just of the pocketbook, but of the mind and spirit as well. Which brings me to this week's topic.
I was reading the book last weekend on my flight to Fargo. Next to me was a young woman of college age. Noticing my fervent highlighting and note taking (I guess college students aren't that interested in what they read) :-), she asked what I was reading. I showed her the title and suggested that perhaps it would be a good book for her to read as well.
She replied, "No, I'm studying to be a social worker; I'm not interested in making a lot of money."
Did her statement just strike you as being less than congruent? It sure struck me that way. Why? Because helping people (ex., being a social worker) and making lots of money need not be mutually exclusive. In fact, just the opposite. In a free-enterprise-based economy, the amount of money you make should be in direct proportion to how many people you serve.
The WWI question of the day then is, how do we persuade someone who doesn't realize this fact - either because of the way they've been raised or through conditioned teaching – to understand a universal truth (money is a result of service to others, not the opposite of such) that will enable them to help themselves and those whose lives they'll eventually touch?
Before I answer that specific question, please allow me to explain something: One might ask, "Bob, why do you feel you even HAVE to teach her this? Why not just be tolerant of her views and allow her to think what she wants?". Well, that's a good point. Another point, however, from Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, I believe is also valid:
"There is tolerance that doesn't care. That just looks the other way and goes about its own business. And there is compassionate tolerance. The kind that recognizes the other person's right to grow, his need to travel along a path and get there on his own."
I at least wanted to do my part in helping her see a vision more rich, both in wealth and personal happiness. After all, are we not here on earth to care, and to help others?
Here's our conversation:
Me: As a future social worker, you really want to help people, don't you?
C.S. (college student): Yes, very much.
Me: Would you say you'd rather help them temporarily, or help them long-term? In other words, to help them eventually be able to help themselves and become self-sufficient both socially and financially, to live a life of joy filled with self-esteem?
C.S.: Yes, that's just what I want to do. But what does making money have to do with that?
(Note from Bob: A key point here is that when in the act of persuasion, you want the other person to answer questions, then come up with their own questions. Then, eventually, to come up with their own answer).
Me: Who can give more charity dollars, a wealthy person or one with little money?
C.S.: A wealthy person, of course.
Me: Who can donate more time, a wealthy person or one with little money?
C.S.: Well, that depends, but yes, usually a wealthy person.
Me: And who can best teach others how to be self-sufficient and financially well-off...a wealthy person or one with little money?
C.S.: Hmm, I think I see what you mean.
Me: What would be the best thing you could do to help others to become self-sufficient and financially well-off?
C.S. Learn how to do that first myself?
Me: My dear, now you're getting the hang of it. :-)Now, will she buy the book? Who knows. Is she totally sold on the principle I attempted to explain? I doubt totally sold, but I do believe a seed has been planted, and that's all we can really do in a brief conversation regarding such an important topic. And, I truly believe that her mind will be just a bit more open to this principle the next time she talks to some other person who can't mind his own business either. :-)
Bob Burg is author of "Winning Without Intimidation" and "Endless Referrals." To receive 20% off on Bob's products visit www.YourSuccessStore.com or call 877-929-0439.