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There’s a two-word phrase I’ve been using a lot in recent years. The words have a pretty profound meaning behind them — and they have everything to do with achieving creative success and fulfillment.
But I’ve discovered a surprising thing about them: These words are often misunderstood by many people, especially writers and authors.
Here they are: “serve others”
Make no mistake. There’s no better way to create your own prosperity than to engage yourself in something you are passionate about — and that serves others in the process.
Sounds simple enough. But the disconnect comes when people think about “service” in one of two ways:
1) They think that being of service to others only takes place when you are raising money for charity or working in a soup kitchen. Wrong. Doing charity work is certainly admirable and is one great example of serving. But it’s only one aspect of a much larger picture.
2) Another misguided notion is that “serving others” means you are subservient — meaning you have to be submissive, compliant and obedient to authority. Nope. Actually, quite the opposite is true. Being of service to others is often one of the most self-empowering things you can do.
The kind of service I talk about takes place when you focus on the benefit that your words, ideas and talents deliver to people who are attracted to them. It takes center stage when you are driven more by the need to make people feel educated, entertained or enlightened than you are to gain fame and fortune.
Having this attitude turns marketing into a completely new endeavor
It’s not just about you and your needs. It becomes more about your audience and how you can spread your vital message to more and more people.
Dexter Bryant Jr. gets this. Here’s part of an email he sent me not long ago:
I couldn’t agree with you more, Bob!
The first time I read a Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerrilla Marketing book (about 10 months ago) my eyes were opened to new possibilities. My research since then, including reading your excellent Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook, teaches me time and time again the value of engaging oneself with one’s passions while also serving others.
It is the best life mantra I could ever want. I can’t think of a better way to live a happy and fulfilling life than this. The gratification received from serving others is an unbelievable feeling in and of itself, but to be able to do that while pursuing your passions is amazing.
The connection between these two things for me is the ingredient to happiness in life. I have always been the type of person who was unwilling to accept an average 9-to-5 life doing work I wasn’t interested in.
Discovering guerrilla marketing has truly changed my life. I never have to worry about a 9-to-5 or about retirement because I’ll never tire of helping others and engaging my deepest passions.
A big thanks to Dexter for reminding us all of the keys to success and fulfillment.
So where is your focus these days?
Is it only on announcing that your book is for sale, or on asking readers to give your book a five-star review? There’s nothing wrong with doing either of those things … as long as you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture …
And make serving others in your own unique way the focus of your life!
The image above is a card designed by Ali Edwards.