Before I launched Be Bold Be Bald (BBBB) in 2009, I often thought about business as a give-and-take relationship. I give you something of value and you give me something back of equal value (i.e., money, trade, etc.).
But BBBB caused me to think differently. Mourning the death of my friend, Mike, I entered into BBBB with the pure mindset of “how can I help?” I didn’t care about how much time or money it was going to cost me. Nor did I even consider what I would get in return. I simply wanted to help. And, I thought Be Bold Be Bald would be a meaningful way to do so – raise some money and keep Mike’s fight alive.
Now, 7 years and $1 million later, it has become a passion fueled by each and every person who is a part of it. Even though it can be draining in many ways, the reward is worth more than any check from a client.
It’s not about the funds we raise (even though that’s the metric by which we are most often judged). For me, it’s about two simple words: “Thank you.” There is nothing more gratifying than hearing the words “thank you” from someone. And hearing it from a participant, beneficiary or cancer survivor who is ultimately thanking me for giving them the opportunity to help others is about as rewarding as it gets. We are all just paying it forward, without any expectation of getting something back. And, that feels good.
Today, this experience with BBBB drives my approach to all potential new relationships – and I’m certain that Small Army’s success has everything to do with this mindset. I encourage you to consider the same:
1. Start with “how can I help you”
Rather than focus on what you can get out of a potential relationship, focus on what you can give to it. The result is always better for everyone.
2. Work toward “thank you”
Don’t think about the financial reward. Instead think, “will I get a “Thank you” for this? If the answer is yes, you’re headed in the right direction. If not, change course.
3. If you can’t deliver, say no.
Never promise to deliver something that you can’t deliver. It will only end badly. You’ll get a “thank you” for your honesty.
4. If you can help, do so.
You may not be able to deliver exactly what someone may need. But there are often other ways to help. Maybe you provide some advice. Or, refer them to someone else (even if it’s a competitor). That’ll surely get a “thank you.”
5. Believe that what goes around comes around.
When you are good to people, they are good to you. You may not get the project or big account today. But, in some way shape or form, it will come back to you eventually.
So, how can I help you?
PS. In order to hear “thank you,” you also need to say “thank you.” So, while I do my best to thank people individually, here’s a big huge thank you to everyone who supported me and Be Bold Be Bald this year. Whether you participated, made a donation, provided your time/expertise, helped spread the word and/or did anything else to help out – THANK YOU!!!! You are awesome!
You can also watch this video to get a glimpse of Be Bold Be Bald 2015.