Michele Attias Life Coach

Pursue Service And Avoid Expectation

When reflecting on the impact we have on another person, I think back to a year ago when a tiny mosquito bit the side of my right leg, painfully rendering it to triple its normal size.

The ripple effects of this on my life were felt intensely. It involved cancelling travel plans and re-arranging my life with military precision.

If the insignificant mosquito measuring a few millimetres was capable of changing my life, imagine the impact you could have.

This is crucial to remember when approaching a service mindset, which renders most people into blubbering wrecks.

So what does service really mean?

Being of service to someone means we have chosen to engage by giving unconditionally without expectation. We let go of needing to derive happiness from the persons reaction to our service, because we are already good to go, the mere act of being in service already makes us happy.

This doesn’t mean we become martyrs to the cause or make undue sacrifices that have an emotional, physical, spiritual or financial cost.

Most of us started our careers wanting to make a difference and seeking to be of service to others. As time goes by, we begin to question and measure our worth, perhaps even comparing what we do with others in our field, and meanwhile, the service we want to give to others is sailing further away into the sunset.

It’s as if we have been given a magic wand capable of touching someone’s life and transforming it immeasurably.

So we focus on the wand.

Is it the right colour and style? It might need a polish, it isn’t as big or glitzy as other wands, perhaps it should look different.

This renders us paralysed by the prospect of reaching out and by the time the comparison and self-worth game has ended, it is just too late to serve someone who might have been in need at that moment. There are hesitations and mountains of thinking about whom we need to be before serving.

Human to human, soul to soul.

Even when each barrier is broken this can often feel heavy with expectation. If we serve someone and there’s a positive response, it’s a success story, if there’s no response it’s marked by failure, we then dare not venture out into this platform again.

There is a tension between service and expectation.

What if we could reach out and serve, by letting go of the result?

I believe we need to approach this with humility and a fearless heart. It’s so rare these days to find true service arriving through a written note, a personal e-mail or receiving a book through the post. When someone does this, you never forget them. Ever.

It’s challenging to serve someone if you’re holding onto expectations. The way to do this is by letting go of impressing and simply expressing through an authentic desire to help.

The only question we need to ask is, ‘How can I help or serve this person?’.

Imagine, in addition to sending out the e-mail marketing or newsletters to your hundreds of subscribers each week, focusing on serving just a handful of your customers deeply with a personal e-mail or handwritten note.

Offering something unique or even (dare I say it) a phone call with either you or your team to personalise the connection further.

No one wants to be treated like a number within a marketing system, people want to be noticed, acknowledged and understood.

Serve rather than bombard with e-mails.

The only thing that matters is to keep the other person in mind. You don’t matter, actually you do, but not when it comes to pursuing service. It means taking yourself out of the equation and giving without fear.

Dale Carnegie put it beautifully when he said;

Do things for others and you’ll find your self-consciousness evaporating like morning dew.

I remember almost twenty years ago as a single parent with two very young children, I wondered at the time how I would continue to work, grow as a professional, run a home and bring up my children successfully and psychologically sane.

I was no Mary Poppins so I decided that if it was all going to function, I needed to find a system that made no one feel demoralised or ignored within a family. Including myself as a parent. Something not so easy to achieve when you’re bringing up children on your own.

So I created a system called ‘The special day’.

This allowed each of us to have our own special day of the week (mine was Mondays). Even my cleaner was given a special day which she found amusing, but she also mattered and I never wanted anyone to feel as if I was taking them for granted.

When the special day arrived, the person who’s day it was, would be treated in a special way the entire day, most importantly, everyone loved it and felt excited as the days approached. There was no need for attention seeking behaviours (me included), childhood tantrums or hissy fits, everyone felt special. To this day, my grown up daughters still recall this with fondness.

What if you could serve your clients in the same way?

Choosing a client or prospect you would like to reach out to each day or even once a week — just one client, network connection or prospect? Treating them to a phone call, an article you’ve read that might amuse them or an audio that could really help them with something they’re dealing with.

If you’ve connected with them before, you will know what’s important to them and what they value. Send that person something which shows they matter to you.

Note that this makes the client feel noticed, acknowledged and special.

More importantly, you would be doing something different that sets you apart.

You’re not contacting them alongside thousands of other people, sending a link to your online programme, latest e-book, e-mail newsletter containing (none interesting) content with catchy subject headings, which they open then swiftly delete. You’re connecting to create a personal relationship which grows and more importantly makes them feel as if you care.

They are no longer a number in your list, but have been promoted to the status of human being.

A few months ago, I was coaching an Operations Director who was attending a business event and wanted to engage a number of companies whilst he was there. He shared that he had always been highly unsuccessful when approaching companies at events.

I encouraged him to do something different.

I asked him to think of only three companies he wanted to approach and focus only on serving them. He was to research everything he needed to know about the companies and their team by spending a few hours during the week nurturing these contacts so he knew them intimately before he had even engaged them in conversation.

I then requested he write down ten questions he would ask each of the companies when he met them at the event.

This was a totally different system for him.

His method had always been, turn up, and hope for the best. It was always a disaster, and meant he didn’t even stay, leaving demoralised each time.

To my delight, over the next few weeks, he diligently spent time slowing the process right down and really preparing ahead. He began to enjoy this new process and the change he was experiencing within himself. He even felt more committed to being at the event.

He focused on how he could best serve these companies with his level of expertise.

The day of the event arrived and I was curious to know how it had gone, he contacted me in the middle of the afternoon. He was more excited than I had ever heard him before.

Not only had the companies he spent weeks nurturing engaged with him in a way he had never experienced before, but there was now a queue of people waiting to also speak to him.

More importantly, he shared that the whole process had given him a sense of purpose.

He wasn’t focused on selling, he was focused on serving.

He removed his ego out of the equation, stopped impressing and simply focused on helping. He had always arrived heavy with expectation and wanting to get something out of a business event, but in this state, he wanted to give something back.

Huge difference.

No wonder he attracted people around him like bees to a honeypot.

A big part of the process of service without expectation was letting go of the fear of ‘Who am I to serve?’ and replace it with ‘How could I best be of service?’.

If you suspend fear and let go of the outcome, you begin to give without holding back.

It’s not easy and requires diligent practice, but the benefits are tenfold.

The person you serve might or might not become your client, but I can assure you they will recommend you to others. Because unfortunately in these days of automated systems, so few people are actually reaching out in this way.

We have been taught not to give too much until we know exactly what we will get back. It’s as if we’re selling our soul simply by reaching out and finding out how we can help someone.

This doesn’t involve cold calling or behaving in a needy or creepy way.

Play with reaching out to someone and then let go of the outcome. Observe what this feels like. Giving without expectation is doing so without knowing what you will get back.

It will change you because a fearless giving is freeing in ways that can’t be imagined unless experienced.

Those you reach out to, owe you nothing. If you invest in the relationship by serving, then you do so with goodwill. Giving a focused hour each day or week on this is not a huge investment of time. It certainly beats spending that same hour hounding prospects on other social media platforms with carefully choreographed Instagram photos of your life or holding yet another Facebook live.

Like planting seeds into the garden soil and watering them each day, the service we give become the roots which extend and sprout bearing incredibly juicy fruits. It requires trust in yourself, to not hold back and pursue a service of fearless giving.

Business Marketing
Self Development