If you are not familiar with Jerry Seinfeld, he is well known American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and director who gained fame through his 90’s sitcom Seinfeld. He is claimed to be one of the best comedians of all time and also has a lot of wisdom to share through his experiences.
In an interview a few years back with CBS, Jerry made a comment that can be beneficial to us all in both our career and our personal lives. He stated, “if you’re doing it for them, you’ll be fine. If you’re doing it for you, that could be problematic at a certain point–because they’ll know it. They’ll feel it. And they won’t like it.”
Jerry’s advice can be summed up as this:
It’s not about you, it’s about them.
Let’s face it, it’s difficult to like or enjoy the presence of someone who is self-absorbed. We all have met someone like that and probably picked up on it straight away. We all have also been a customer at a poorly run shop or restaurant and know it leaves us sour to never return. We all have been on websites that leave us confused moving on to the next best option. The root cause of these negative experiences usually stem from a person or team that are not focused on others. In business, the others can be clients, customers, or even teammates which are the ones contributing to the success of the organisation.
Whether you are a comedian, an interior decorator, or a waitress, the whole purpose of work is to provide value to others. When you focus on others and their desires, you organically give more value, which in turn results in them valuing you. ‘Giving’ should always be top of mind, because when you focus on ‘getting’ people will see and feel that you are only in it for yourself, and in result be left with negative feelings pushing them away.
With this simple advice from Jerry, you’re guaranteed to be more valued, appreciated, respected, and trusted in your relationships leading to more success. Focusing on others will also improve skills such as; writing, presenting, managing, selling, and leading. Having your customer at the centre of your decision always wins. Remember, it’s about them!