Seth has an excellent post about how to win by caring.
“Care more than you need to, more often than expected, more completely than the other guy”.
Thing is, before you can care more, you need a business that gets you customers about whom to care. And in those early days when you’re struggling to get off the ground, it’s really, really hard to care more about others than yourself.
Maslow explains why, right here.
Caring about others is great when you’re up at the top of the pyramid, looking for esteem and self-actualisation.
But when you’re struggling with the basic needs of security – did I earn enough to buy food this week? – it’s damnably tough to focus your energy on anything other than yourself and your short-term needs.
In my experience, there’s a tipping point here.
It comes right around the point where you’re making enough money to be secure – at least for a while. At that point, you’re able to make an active choice to focus more on others than yourself. Your perspective flips, from needing to make rent to wanting to help others.
Instead of charging $1 for an ebook, you give it away. You host free webinars for anyone who wants to show up. You improve your ‘good enough’ website.
Now that money isn’t quite such a push, you can be more generous.
Why is this a tipping point?
Because, as you give these things away and focus more on others than on yourself, your progress accelerates. By caring more, you build a better reputation. In time, that becomes a better income, which in turn gives you more security and more freedom to care. It’s a virtuous circle.
The key, then, is to reach that tipping point and to recognise it when you arrive.
And the great irony that underpins all of this? The best way to ensure you reach that tipping point is to care more. Even in the early days, even when you’re struggling to survive and can’t see beyond the next meal.
Like I said above, it’s damnably tough. Worth it, though.