Building a lasting company depends on two things: your ability to give, and your ability to receive.
When I started my first business, I was on a mission to give to others and inspire a sense of happiness through each product sold. I wanted to do everything myself and not put pressure, stress, or expectations on anyone else. In fact, I didn’t even tell anyone I had started a business until I was making six figures a month.
This was because I wanted to be the person supporting others. But over time, it became starkly evident that I wasn’t willing to receive and it was impacting my life. There was an invisible wall building between me and those to whom I was giving. It was a lonely place to be, but also, if I didn’t change it would hurt my business’s potential for growth.
The truth is, the pendulum must swing both ways if you want to become truly successful. If you want loyal customers, you must ask them for support. If you want solid business connections, you must collaborate and share. If you want a committed team, you must allow them to create, explore and provide their input.
You must equally receive as much as you willingly give. Here’s how.
1. Make others feel good.
How do you feel when you help other people? Likely, pretty awesome.
When you refuse to let anyone help you, you are denying them the opportunity to feel good in return. It can be as simple as saying, “thank you” when someone brings you a gift instead of, “you shouldn’t have done that,” or accepting a friendly perk or offer instead of declining. Give others the chance to help you, and they will connect that powerful sensation back to you in the future.
While these are simple examples, this practice is even more impactful on a larger scale. Years ago, I gratefully received unsolicited support from an incredible business mentor. He wanted to give, and I decided I’d be a fool not to work with him. I received an email from him recently thanking me for being so willing to receive his support and I found out he had gone on to offer consultations to other businesses as a result. We talked further and ended up connecting each other to others in our networks. This is the power of giving, and receiving in action. It opens up your network, and your capacity to grow your business as a result.
2. Open up opportunities.
When I ask someone for something and the answer isn’t what I wanted to hear, it teaches me more about myself. When you ask for help or something you want and don’t get the answer you hoped, it will train you to not be afraid of asking. The ‘no’ doesn’t destroy your dreams. It shows you that you’re still standing and can do it again.
By reaching out vulnerably, a unique bond can be formed where trust and empathy are enhanced. These true human emotions are what build lasting business relationships, not product partnerships or marketing collaborations. Your willingness to receive becomes an invitation to business down the road and creates opportunities for you to help later on.
3. Build authentic relationships.
People want to be surrounded by those who inspire them. One of the most inspiring acts is to be authentically yourself, to admit, “I need help”.
At the end of the day, people actually want to connect with you when you can put your guard down and be relatable. In turn, this inspires them to be courageous and ask for help themselves. Create a culture of giving and receiving within your business. If this culture is cared for, it can be never-ending.
If you still grapple with releasing your control over receiving, consider why you’ve struggled with receiving in the past. Is it your ego telling you you don’t need anyone’s help? Is it your self-worth communicating that you don’t deserve what someone is offering you?
Receiving is not a sign of weakness. It is a step of strength that will support the flow of abundance in your life. We all need to give, and that means, at times, you must be the one willing to receive.