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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Are You Helpful? For Your Own Good, You Better Be: How Being Genuinely Helpful to Others Can Make You More Successful.

The Golden Rule.

There are a few items on my bucket list that I am a bit bashful about sharing with the world. I’m sure you can relate.

There are just some things that you don't want to reveal for fear of public ridicule.

The first goal that I was nervous about revealing was that I was working toward becoming a published author. I mentioned it to no one until I needed the help of a few select individuals to finally get it accomplished.

Published author -- She did that!

Solely for the purpose of addressing a revelation that I happened upon this week, and because I simply adore you for reading this, I will reveal another top secret item on my bucket list.

Here goes nothing..

I have a goal of becoming a recurring business strategist/ commentator/ pundit on one of those 24-hour news channels.

Yes, a go-to “expert” on a business topic -- any topic that I'm familiar with really -- marketing, commercial real estate, event management, personal branding, global perspectives on business, anything!

(OK, OK I just want to be on TV, but I really do feel that I have something valuable to contribute and besides, I’mma good talker!)

This week during my daily LinkedIn perusal, I found that one of my “connections” had accomplished my bucket list item.

She had been featured as an “expert” on a business program. (As you probably can tell, I am keeping her name and expertise under wraps as to protect the innocent.)

She had not landed a recurring role, but she was able to make an appearance and provide her business insight alongside the program host.

As it was mentioned publicly on LinkedIn, I decided to private message her a couple (non-invasive) questions about how she was able to coordinate the feature.

I made sure to mention that it was one of my professional goals as well.

Essentially, as LinkedIn encourages, I decided to try to leverage my professional network. I mean, the full intent of the site is to make and foster relationships that will help you reach your future goals.

Good thinking, right? Yeah, I thought so too.

Let’s just say the response I received was a little less than helpful, *insert generic brush off answer here*.

The best part about it is that she is the founder of a company that provides a professional service.

You know, a company designed to be helpful to others.

AND her industry, like most, relies heavily on referrals.

Another reason why being genuinely helpful should be top-of-mind.

I found it odd that someone in an industry that relies on being helpful did not take this opportunity to be particularly helpful to me.

It dawned on me:

"Your professional network is only as valuable to you as it is helpful to you. Consequently, you are only as valuable to your professional network as you are helpful to the individuals that comprise that network." 

One cannot successfully leverage the relationships within a network without being accessible and accommodating to that network.

…without the expectation of immediate reciprocity.

(Consider that self-serving tendencies are transparent and will not foster the relationships needed to take you to the next level professionally or personally.)

True, there is no shame in leveraging relationships. In fact, it really is all about who you know.

...but it is more about who you help and ultimately who can help you.

Make it a habit every day to consciously help someone make steps toward their personal or professional goals and openly honor those who do the same for you.

Do unto others.

Kelliann McDonald is an author, a marketing and public relations strategist and a community advocate. A recognized #BrandMotivator™, McDonald works to generate results that attain and surpass brand and organizational objectives. For more from McDonald, Follow her on Twitter @KelliannMc, Like her on or Follow her on Instagram @kMcDiva for #CasualKel photos.
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