Why did you start your business? Were you motivated by the freedom of being your own boss, the drive to create, an ambition to build wealth, a desire to influence others, or because you wanted to help others?

The list of reasons entrepreneurs go into business is endless. Some focus inwardly on themselves, while others focus outwardly.

Whatever your reasons or approach, there is one approach proven to create win-wins every time: serving others.

The adage of “help me, help you” really works. You can’t go wrong when you show up to serve.

When it comes to growing our business, I keep Zig Ziglar’s quote top-of-mind: “If we help enough people get what they want, we will get what we want.”

Sure, it is possible to get ahead by taking advantage of others. But that’s not what I’m recommending at all. Why? Because it is far better to understand what people want and help them get it. Once you’ve gone out of your way to solve someone’s problem, they will help you achieve your goals.

Put another way that might sound familiar: “Give, and it will be given to you.” (See Luke 6:38) When you practice giving freely and generously, you will stand out in a me-focused world. 

Social psychology calls this the reciprocity principle, where most people feel the need to return favors. The easy way to do this is by building trust, showing appreciation, and giving something of value without expecting anything in return. In turn, you’ll strengthen the relationships that matter most while creating a positive image for your business.

However, you approach serving others when you focus on bringing value to every relationship, connection, and opportunity; you will create a win-win that reaps dividends when you least expect it and for years to come.