An excerpt from Rabbi Daniel Lapin Blog, Thought Tools Originally Posted on July 29, 2015 by Susan Lapin
This fellow I know runs a struggling consulting business. The advice he delivers is of high quality–I know because I have consulted with him once or twice. Yet he struggles. He agonizes about his lack of success. He is proud of his professional competence but is baffled by his competitors who vastly outperform him financially, though his skills and experience are superior to theirs.
Obviously there could be many reasons to account for his lackluster growth. Maybe he makes mistakes in his marketing or perhaps he should adjust his pricing but these are relatively easy to fix. This fellow has worked on that yet he continues to fail. And I know why. But he’s never asked me so I’ve never told him. Unsolicited advice is seldom welcome.
I know what his problem is because he unknowingly reveals it to me. In casual conversation he has often said things like this: “You know that builder friend of yours, do you think you could get him to do me a favor?” Or this: “At that birthday party I attended last night I met a lawyer with whom I hit it off; I think his wide range of contacts could help me.” Even this: “Remember you suggested I look up Mr. Jones while I was in Chicago? I did and I can’t see what good he could do me.”
Not once has he ever said to me, “If you ever encounter a struggling entrepreneur whom you think I could help, call me and I’ll help him pro bono.” Or, “I looked up Jones as you suggested and I’d really like to help him. Do you have any idea of what the best way would be to do so?” In other words, this fellow sees the world only in terms of how it could benefit him. He sees his connection with the world as a great big pipe with a one-way valve ensuring that goodness and abundance only flow inbound.
At first glance, this would appear to be sound business strategy. Focus on getting rather than giving and evaluate people only in terms of what they can do for you. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Our behavior shapes our personalities and, with the passage of time, it also sculpts our faces. Sure enough, to my eyes, this fellow has, in the last few years, acquired an unappealing self-centeredness. He seems even less interested in me, my family, and my life than he used to be.
God designed His world to incentivize us to be obsessively preoccupied with the needs and desires of His other children. He does so by bestowing upon us the enormous blessing of financial abundance in proportion to how many of His other children we please and how significantly we please them. Most of us prefer being pleased by people who at least appear to be as interested in our needs as they are in their own. When I encounter a sales professional who radiates only self-interest I take my business elsewhere.
One way to make our personalities and faces radiate a pleasing effect is to engage in regular acts of giving. Each evening as we privately perform our daily self-evaluation, we ought to make certain that we devoted ourselves just as much to giving as we did to getting. That includes not only time, energy and resources but also love, recognition, and attention.
There is more to his story, but he ends this one with the following statement:
The regular practice of giving stimulates awareness of and connectedness with others. If the fellow I know would learn this truth, immediate and tangible benefits would flow to him as they would to all who follow God’s plan for human economic interaction.
If you want to learn more about the Rabbi’s pearls of wisdom go to his blog at http://www.rabbidaniellapin.com/blog/category/thought-tools/.
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Isis B. Palicio, LUTCF, MBA
Pedro A. Palicio, MBA, Ph.D.
Infinite Banking Concepts® Authorized Practitioner