The title might seem a little confusing. The concept of being willing to receive is confusing, at best.
All this month, we have talked about the Go-Giver Laws of Stratospheric Success.1 All of the Go Giver laws are within our control. The “Law of Receptivity” is no different. Staying open to opportunities might seem easy on the surface, but it might be the most difficult.
When I was a child, my parents bought it the Volkswagen Beetle fad of the early ’70s. The little cars were fun to drive and got great gas mileage. I loved the rumble seat in the back of the car where my brother and I rode to kindergarten and grade school. The trunk was in the front of the car while the engine was in the back. So the rumble seat truly rumbled!
The McGlothlin family Volkswagen was a bright orange Beetle. You could see us coming for miles. When dad brought “Herbie” home from the dealership, we thought we had the only orange VW in Indianapolis. But, as we drove around the highway and even around our smaller community in central Indiana, we noticed a lot of orange VW Beetles. I’m sure you can say the same thing for your car. You never really noticed another until you bought one. Then, all of a sudden, they’re everywhere.
Being open to receiving is similar. You’re always looking out for others, solving their dilemmas, and adding value to the relationship. Adding value will always be followed by someone giving to you. You don’t recognize it until after it is happening, just like you don’t see the orange Beetle until you’ve bought it.
The natural flow of business is an exchange of value. This is usually done in dollars for service or a product. But, receiving is much more than that. Receiving can be a simple “thank you” for doing something special. It can be a mutually beneficial business relationship. It can come in many shapes and sizes, but you’ll know it when you receive it. And, you must be willing to receive it in order to continue giving properly. In “The Go-Giver,” breathing is used as an analogy for giving and receiving. You must exhale in order to inhale and vice versa.
It’s important to always remember that receiving isn’t a scoreboard – nothing about the Laws of Stratospheric Success is a scoreboard. You can never count your chips by how much time, energy and value you have provided. You can’t think that you are “owed” something in return. Instead, it will flow naturally, maybe even you least expect it.
Be open to success. Don’t expect it. Earn it. But always be open to it.
Mike McGlothlin is a tireless advocate for the retirement planning industry. As executive vice president of retirement at Ash Brokerage, he heads a team providing income planning solutions focused on longevity and efficiency. He’s also a thought leader who provides guidance and assistance for advisors and broker-dealers navigating marketplace and regulatory changes. You can find a collection of his blog posts in his book, “Above the Clouds … Winning Strategies from 30,000 Feet.”
1Bob Burg and John David Mann, “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea”: https://thegogiver.com/
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