Let’s do a little thought experiment.
Imagine your greatest living icon -- the person who’s living your wildest dreams of success and global impact. I’m talking the best of the best here. Now imagine you step into an elevator, and that very person walks in right next to you. It’s just you and them in that elevator -- but only for 20 seconds.
We all know you can’t just gawk in silence. This is your chance. You give them your best elevator pitch for your new product, or ask them for that one favor to transform your future, or beg them for some golden secret to success -- right?
Wrong. At least according to Brendon Burchard, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of "Life’s Golden Ticket," and the upcoming book "High Performance Habits." He also happens to be the most prolific and highest-paid online productivity coach in the world! In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade and haven’t heard of Brendon, he’s the type of guy that works with the likes of Tony Robbins, Oprah, Arianna Huffington, Tim Ferriss. So, he knows a thing or two about ultra-success.
When I interviewed Brendon recently, he laid out a truth-bomb which is still ringing in my ears. We all know the adage “ask and you shall receive.” It’s a universal truth, without a doubt. But in the world of success and high achievement, Brendon believes there’s an even more powerful perspective: Give and you shall receive.
Let’s say you’re back in that elevator with your mega-icon. What do you do? What if you offered a way that you can contribute to them. Now you might already be hearing some chatter in your head. “But Geoff,” that little inner voice is saying, “this is my one shot. If I can’t get anything from them now, I’ve blown it!”
Heads up, folks -- that’s just scarcity talking.
Sure, you could ask them for something. You might even get lucky. The odds are you’re one of the thousand people who try to get something from them every day.
Imagine instead that your intention was to give to that person, to contribute to them and their mission. Suddenly you’re opening up a dialogue about what matters to them and their vision for the world. Rather than begging for crumbs from the royal table, you are creating relationship, and possibility. This is not just an idea that Brendon likes to talk about -- it is a principle that he lives by.
As mentioned, Brendon has worked with ultra-successful figures like Tony Robbins and Oprah. It would be fair to assume that both Tony and Oprah have contributed tremendously to Brendon’s continuously skyrocketing success, but here’s a secret that Brendon revealed to me -- and it might shock you. Brendon has never asked either of them to do a darn thing for him.
Instead, he focuses on being in contribution to their mission, and helping them tackle whatever hurdles they are facing along their pathway to success.
As a result, the day came when they asked him, “Hey. How can I support you in what you are creating?”
That’s how thriving relationships work. Human connection is rooted in gratitude, appreciation, and generosity. Think about the relationships in your life that are thriving and fulfilling. Are they filled more with taking and begging, or giving and gratitude?
The most valuable career relationships work the same way.
You might be hearing another little voice in your head. “But Geoff, “that sounds like a lot of work.” Well newsflash: it is!
As Brendon put it to me -- when you knock on the door of opportunity, work answers the door. When it comes to creating your wildest dreams, you’re going to invest a lot of sweat, time, practice and energy.
And if you’ve really honed in on your life’s passion, then you know that work is just part of the journey.
Which brings us back to the beginning. Who knows if you will walk into an elevator one day and see Elon Musk or Richard Branson to your side. However, should you find yourself in that position what will you say? Will you ask them for something, or will you find a way to come from contribution?I would encourage you to become a person who looks for ways to add value in every interaction you have.