Recently we hosted an interview with a successful business owner. His words reminded me of Zig Ziglar when he said, “If you just help enough other people get everything they want in life, you will get everything you want in life.” Although this particular gentleman that we interviewed has a strong passion be successful, he has an even stronger passion to help others be successful. His desire to help people is often frustrating for him because people are so resilient to help: “Especially,” he claimed, “when it comes to money.” So for a moment our roles reversed as he asked us, “How do you do it? How do you get people to listen and change their behaviors? How do you help people?”
This discussion triggered us to write on a matter we have intended to for a long time. When we meet with an individual or family for the first time they are not only evaluating us, we are evaluating them. We know there must be a good fit on both ends for a long-term, successful relationship. We took a deeper look at some of our enduring hand in glove relationships and identified Seven Key Qualities.
- They Have Important Values and Live by Them
They believe the Golden Rule is Key to survival. Honesty, integrity and commitment are not only beliefs, but a way of life. They do what has to be done when it has to be done. Even when no one is looking and the wrong may be to their advantage, they do their best to do what is right. They know “Nice guys may appear to finish last, but usually they are running in a different race.”—Ken Blanchard and Norman Peale
- They Know the Best Things in Life Have Nothing to do With Money
“There’s nothing wrong with possessing money or nice things. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with living modestly.”—John MaxwellThey know their true wealth does not have a dollar sign. Instead it has a name, a heart, a purpose, a meaning and a life after death. They agree with John D. Rockefeller when he stated, “God gave me my money. I believe the power to make money is a gift from God . . . to be developed & used to the best of our ability for the good of mankind. Having been endowed with the gift I possess, I believe it is my duty to make money & still more money & to use the money I make for the good of my fellow man according to the dictates of my conscience.”
- They Believe in Planning and Discipline
We call this intentional living or “Living Life on Purpose.” They sow seeds in the spring; hence, they don’t need to beg for them in the fall. They excel in life because they choose to apply a long-term perspective with a plan to achieve their life goals. Arthur Gordon, author of A Touch of Wonder, said, “Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them day after day.” They don’t allow the things they can’t control to get in their way. They stick to their disciplines.
- They Know What They Do Best
They also know when they need to delegate. “When it comes to money—hasn’t everyone tried to ‘do it yourself’? I tried and I was mediocre, but I was stressed and so was my wife. It was impossible to keep up with it and I knew just enough to be dangerous. I was great at making money and now I am great at being a Pop Pop.”—Investment Company Wholesaler
- They Understand the Value of a Dollar
One of the most successful men we have met asserted, “The smartest thing I ever did was risk everything I had when I was young. My wife and I lived broke as long as we could and worked hard. This is something we did for years. Today, I don’t worry about anything. I have a great life! I just don’t take the risks I once did. I don’t want to lose what we worked so hard to gain.”They have paid the price to earn their money and have paid the price to save their money.
- They Consider Value and Quality as a Priority
They believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well. They see eye to eye with John Ruskin when he said, “There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.”They hire and respect specialists that are able to tailor to their unique situation rather than the general public.
- They Keep an Open Mind
John Maxwell talked of his ongoing conversations with successful people even after his own success, “Whenever I spend time with great people, I expect to learn great things from them.” While they still hold onto deep values, they are open to new ideas. Our world is rapidly changing every day, which means we need to see these changes. A great advisor and a great plan won’t be beneficial unless they are willing to accept creativity and new ideas.
When the gentleman that we interviewed asked, “How do you help people?” The answer was not what he wanted to hear, but it was simple. “We can only help people that want to be helped.” These Seven Key Qualities are the backbone for every enduring relationship we have. Whether it is a business owner, retired professional or a woman standing on her own, these are qualities to stand by.