Sometimes it seems that the spoils of victory are reserved for the aggressive the shrill, and the bold, while those who are patient and humble are left to the side, often licking their wounds. We see this version of reality played out in business, politics and human relations. However, I contend, based on decades of observation, personal experience, and a careful reading of history, that the rewards in business and life do in fact go to the patient, the thoughtful, the wise, the kind, the empathetic, the selfless, the principled and to those who persevere. This does not mean, and should not be interpreted that anyone should roll over and allow others to take advantage of them, nor does it mean that you should not vigorously compete in markets and prepare yourself for success.
There is the myth and there is the reality of success that are often in conflict. The myth of success in business is that the special individual with a genius for understanding the market and people succeeds on the strength of their unique personal attributes. The reality of success is that it is never the result of the lone entrepreneur doing it on their own. While the individual initiator is critical, success does not occur without the support of others.
Getting others to support you and your dreams is often a matter of supporting other peoples’ dreams. It is interesting how life works because this is often a very indirect circuitous route. Everyone needs help, including those in a position to provide you with help. But you might not be in a position to reciprocate with your benefactor. However, it does not matter, by “paying it forward” and helping someone completely unrelated to the person who can help you, you set in motion a series of forces that yield benefits, sometimes unimaginable. To me this is the power of networking.
My challenge to you, in a totally unscientific experiment, is to ask you to try something that many of you are already doing. The difference this time might be to watch for the impact. I want you to give, to help someone with the gift of your time, your resources or your wisdom. Watch what happens. Shoot me an email if you have an interesting story to tell that brings a smile to your face. Have a great week!
In your service,
Dr. Fred McKinney is the Managing Director of Minority Business Programs. You can find Dr. McKinney's biography on our staff page. Learn more about our MBE program offerings and see our list of programs here.
Sign Up for the MBE e-Newsletter
Click here to sign up and download the MBE programs e-Newsletter written by Dr. Fred McKinney!
Thought Leadership Download
Insight: The Challenge of Change