Entrepreneurs hustle. That’s our mindset: See opportunities that others don’t, do what others won’t, and keep pushing until prudence says quit. The entrepreneurial spirit is about connecting dots that don’t yet exist. It’s about having the intuition and gut feeling to know that they might or will exist and what to do with them before others see the same opportunities. That’s how to continuously cultivate innovation and initiative and then use that foundation to grow and prosper.
Entrepreneurs must trust themselves enough to be fearless. We need to think big, make a difference and have an impact in everything we do and how we do it for the betterment of a healthier whole. That’s how we build continuous momentum and are able to sustain success and eventual significance that stands the test of time.
From scraping by to above and beyond.
These are things entrepreneurs know and live every day and we discuss them often. What is not discussed enough is the entrepreneur’s ability to over-deliver value. Oftentimes, early stage entrepreneurs are in survival mode and/or too transactional in their approach. They are looking to generate cash, close a new deal or seek additional funding. With that mindset, entrepreneurs often fail to focus enough on adding value to employees, vendors, clients, strategic partners, community leaders and others.
Wise, more established entrepreneurs know that over-delivering value -- which simply means going above and beyond for the people we serve to deliver more satisfaction for our service and thus exceed expectations -- is crucial to a firm's survival, growth and future. It represents the core of a business's foundation. And without a solid foundation, a business is always vulnerable to a person or company that does over-deliver.
To ensure you don’t ever forget the importance of over-delivering value, here are three ways it will give you and your company a distinct competitive advantage:
1. Creates abundance
Success comes most to those who are surrounded by people who want their success to continue. When you over-deliver value, people may be skeptical at first, thinking that you are expecting something in return, but when you are consistent and genuine with your intentions, they begin to trust and appreciate that you are just thinking of them. You never know the value of the value you are delivering. But I’ve learned that if you are consistently delivering greater value to people, your value becomes more and more aligned with the immediate needs of the people and companies you are serving -- and abundance in the relationship is created. This is what over-delivering value is all about.
Related: Tony Robbins' Secret to Abundance
2. Earns respect
Entrepreneurs that take the time to over-deliver value are the ones that earn respect. Typically early-stage entrepreneurs tend to find ways to be the recipient of someone else’s value in a search for momentum. You never know which transactional seed is going to grow, but when adding value to others, this type of seed is never forgotten.
For example, every quarter, I deliver a white paper to clients with the intention to challenge their thinking. My goal is for them to know that regardless of whether I am conducting business with them or not, I am thinking of them and thus strengthening our long-term relationship. And since my white papers focus on predicting future leadership trends and business strategies, when a related topic arises in one of their strategy meetings, they don’t hesitate to call me to discuss an opportunity for us to engage.
3. Enables distinction
Entrepreneurs who add value to others create and sustain a distinction in the minds and hearts of those they are serving. After all, most people are simply doing what they’re told to do inside the box they are given. Entrepreneurs can’t afford to do that.
We are the originators, the innovators and the opportunity seekers. We live our lives constantly in search of ways to add value to make things better. We disrupt the status quo. We are not in the business of fixing the old ways of doing things. We create new ways of doing things. If entrepreneurs are technically the experts at adding value through our products, services and brands, why can’t we add value through the people we depend upon most for our success?
Over-delivering value is the key not only to being a successful entrepreneur but also to the entrepreneurial mindset we must continually cultivate in ourselves and others. No one is successful alone. We must see the value in over-delivering value by being other-directed and connecting dots of opportunity with focus and purpose to become smarter and wiser, while making ourselves invaluable to the people and businesses we serve.