I love rewards. From the fortune inside the cookie after a Chinese meal, to the discounts I get when shopping at Costco. But these rewards are small potatoes to the rewards that life offers us.
I’ve been podcasting for almost two years as I write this. I’m rewarded every week as I chat with successful entrepreneurs. The reward is as simple as making a new friend to learning one of their incredible business tips.
One recent podcast interviewee told me about her philosophy that everything she’s experiences in her life is a gift. The good, and the bad. She has a physical condition that makes her life challenging. But, she told me, it gave her the opportunity to really focus on building her business when she quit her job, because she not only wanted to succeed, she needed to. It gave her clarity and a reason to not get distracted by the “SQUIRRELS” in her life. We all have shiny objects that distract us.
So, what are the rewards that “blow your skirt up”? Do you use your skills, education, and experience in a volunteer situation? Or are your rewards more basic, such as money? Nothing wrong with that. We all need to live. But a satisfying business life isn’t all that satisfying if you’re only reward is money.
I’m a mentor (aka Big Sister) with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. I get massive rewards every time that I hang out with my Little. As I plan our various activities, it’s a challenge to think of new things to do. I try not to repeat things, at least not often, to help keep it fresh. There are only so many times you can go to a movie, even if the movie changes. It’s not the best mentoring activity to help mold a young mind.
Are you a mentor to someone? You may very well be and not even realize it. Do you share your skills with a junior coworker or read to senior citizens in a care facility? Do you volunteer at your child’s school? Or do you register people to vote? All of these activities have their own rewards. Otherwise no one would do them. We probably get more rewards in life by doing things for free than for any monetary compensation.
The podcast guest I mentioned earlier is a business coach. I’ve interviewed quite a few business coaches. In fact, I had never heard of a business coach before I started podcasting. I was familiar with various organizations that teach/train people how to be successful as entrepreneurs, but had never met one business coach.
My guest, the business coach, has her own business coach. She’s smart enough to realize that if she wants to be the best coach for her clients, she needs to get help herself. She gets an enormous amount of satisfaction, and yes monetary reward, by coaching her clients. She also received an enormous reward, non-monetarily, when she was working on building her business. Call it self-satisfaction. Attaining a goal. Completing a task. There’s massive reward in that.
Having a life or business coach gives you a one-on-one accountability partner. Mastermind groups give you accountability as well, but from the group. Accountability is a great motivator for completing tasks you’ve agreed to. It’s easier to stay on a diet when you have someone looking over your shoulder as you step on the scale. And the reward comes when you lose that poundage.
I’m not saying anything profound here. I’m stating the obvious, although it might not be obvious to everyone. There’s a financial term – upside/downside ratio. It’s used to determine the momentum of the market at any point in time.
I think of the upside/downside ratio as an opportunity cost. What are you willing to give up to get what you want? Are you willing to give up your evenings to learn how to become a business coach? Are you willing to edit your podcast and create the episode web page on Sunday evening instead of reading or watching TV to guarantee it’s ready to be published Tuesday morning? Are you willing to give away some advice or tips for free when you could be getting paid for it?
That’s one way the really good marketers use to grow their email lists. They give away content in the form of eBooks, or infographics, or how-to videos in exchange for an email address. Some even give away an hour consultation call to find potential clients in exchange for a little free mentoring. The really good ones know if their services aren’t the right fit for the potential client, they won’t pursue it any further.
In the end, both parties are rewarded. It could be a new coach/client relationship, or on the other end of the scale, a new friendship. Both parties are rewarded, and maybe a little money is made.
Think about how you can gain some personal satisfaction by sharing some of your knowledge or experience with someone who could really use it. And don’t anticipate what you’ll be getting in return. If you do it right, the reward will be obvious.