As an entrepreneur, your ability to inspire people -- be they your employees, customers or others with whom you interact -- is critical to your business's success. And at the end of the day, all that inspiration makes everyone feel good. Just ask the driving force behind the Inspiration Campaign, Robert Bengtson.
Bengtson, whose campaign erects billboards with inspiring messages, says he sees inspiration as an opening of doors, a means of seeking inspired action. There are lots of different actions an individual can be inspired to do, and ultimately, those actions equate to a better attitude toward life, which itself impacts your work as well as how you interact with others.
So, if you are looking to inspire others, these four tips from Bengtson are a great place to start.
1) Allow your employee or colleague to be his/her own self.
According to Bengtson: “At the most basic level, you have the question of whether or not what you're offering supports that person being who [he or she] came here to be. To me, that's the most fundamental question, which also takes into account the understanding that we're all unique beings here on unique journeys.”
It’s natural to expect your team to give clients the best possible outcomes and service no matter what your size. And it’s easy to get boxed into thinking that your way is the best way to accomplish this. But it's better to let go of the rope some and let everyone’s personality and approach come forward. It’s a more authentic experience for everyone and will often lead to great results.
Collaborate, but don’t quash someone’s personality and approach in the process.
2) Create meaningful connections.
Meaningful connections mean everything. When your intention is to support a person, customer or client in an authentic way, you create valuable ties with customers, clients and guests. It's real and it's honest, and it shows. And let’s face it, when you’re putting a shine on, people can see right through you most of the time.
Look at connections from the employee's point of view: If you work for someone you like and respect, you’ll naturally create a connection, even if you’re very different. Don’t settle for less in your business; after all, it’s where you spend most of your time each day.
3) Be valued for your value: a win-win-win.
The vision is win-win-win -- triple play! Don’t think just of yourself or the bottom line. As you set out each day to accomplish something, think of everyone impacted by the task, no matter how large or small. This action will inspire you personally. A win for you is a win for your team, and of course a win for your customer. In business, if you close a deal you worked hard to get, that success will impact all involved. Everything is connected, and ultimately an attitude of “we” will bring the unit together -- you’ll be surprised how it motivates others to do the same.
4) Be of service.
What we do and why we do it are rooted in something greater than ourselves. So, celebrate how what you offer is of service in this way. Whether you're offering shoes for customers' feet, advice for their investments or landscaping for their backyards, make it your intention to serve their highest good in whatever way your team, product or service is able.
Finally, make it your business to explore putting this mission up front, at the bow of your business boat, to help navigate it to a fuller meaning of prosperity. And remember that everything we do matters, even if with some of those actions, it's not apparent how they're serving the greater good. Try to act on the goal of giving your time to something greater each week. Pull it into your business, if you can. If not, use your spare time to feed your soul and feed the world. An action or gesture that may seem like a little to you could go a long way with others.