Perhaps the most gratifying way to hone one’s talent is to use it in support of someone who is diligently working on a dream project. Those who work hard on something new tend to appreciate unexpected help. We learn the most when creating or explaining.
Early in his life as an entrepreneur and serial investor Brad Feld got advice from
more seasoned strangers who became trusted peers. In return, several of his early advisors said, “If I’m helpful to you, you can pay me back by being helpful to another first time entrepreneur after your become successful.”
Mike Masnick of Techdirt takes it further: “go out there proactively and try to help others.” Business plan guru, Tim Berry reflects that proactive attitude beginning with the language one uses, suggesting a “you” rather than a “me” approach.
Each of us can proactively give:
• Honest, concrete feedback – if asked.
• Referrals to other experts, citing the specific way(s) they might be helpful.
• Pithy “big picture” backgrounders or briefings on knowledge areas that can help them “right now.”
• Camaraderie at an unsettling time as that person is going through a voluntary or involuntary work or life change.
As Ray Kroc famously said, “the more I help others, the more I succeed.” What other ways can one support another?