You’ve probably heard about the golden rule of life; “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Well, here’s the thing, the golden rule of business is no different;
do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
It never ceases to amaze me every time I see many entrepreneurs going about their business as if it were separate or different from life.
Not only is this mindset towards business wrong, it is a losing strategy.
You see, there’s no way you are going to succeed in business if you keep ignoring the fact that business is not different from life, but rather an extension of life.
I cannot over emphasize this enough.
Many businesses fail because they ignore this universal truth. What they have failed to realize is that the same principles that govern life are the same principles that govern business.
The fact is, you cannot separate life from business or business from life. To succeed therefore, your task as an entrepreneur is to create a balance between the two.
This unusual article is about helping you achieve this balance. Read on …
The Golden Rule of Business: It’s never about you!
The secret to creating this balance lies in understanding that success both in life and in business is all about people. People are at the crux of all that we do here on earth. Everything we do, we do because of people.
The products/services you create and hope to sell is not meant for you, but for other people. I have never met a business owner who is in business just to create products/services useful for only him/herself.
The reason people patronize a particular business is because that business is offering something that is both unique and useful to them.
A business that cares about the well being of others ultimately becomes the most profitable. The moment you start putting your needs above that of others, your business begins a downward spin.
The golden path to profitability is putting people first!
Profitability is a function of meeting other people’s needs just as you would have wanted yours to be met.
This fact alone clearly indicates that business as an institution exist for the advancement of life here on earth.
You are in the happiness business
Your customers are people.
Your suppliers are people.
Your employees are people.
Your shareholders are people.
The government is people.
The society is people.
All that you need to succeed in business revolves around people, isn’t it obvious why there’s only one golden rule of business?
When people are the focus, happiness becomes the goal.
At the core of everything people do is the desire to derive some form of happiness.
Products/services are purchased because of their inherent capacity to make people happy.
Workers come to work because of the inherent capacity of the work to produce certain rewards; financial, mental or psychological that makes them happy.
In essence, your success in business and in life is tied to how you treat people.
The question then is this;
“How would you like to be treated if you were an intending customer of your business?”
“What kind of treatment would you desire if you were an employee working in your business?”
Always asking and answering these questions is all that the golden rule of business represents. The moment you start putting yourself in other people’s shoe, the golden rule is at work in your life and in your business.
Every other rule or principle of life and business derives their meaning from it.
Applying the Golden Rule of Business
Business must be undertaken not only as a commercial activity, but much more. It must be seen also as a spiritual, emotional, psychological and relational activity.
Business as it turns out is much more than just the bottom line –profit. To really succeed, you’ve got to look past the obvious –money, to the not so obvious –people.
You have to constantly remind yourself that everything you do in this life leaves an impact on others. This could either be positive or negative, the choice is yours to make.
Don’t see people as a means unto an end; rather see them as the end in themselves. Everything you do is because of them, helping them invariably means helping yourself.
In my company and the others I co-founded, we have a simple rule for dealing with people and that is;
Consider first what’s in it for the other person”
It’s an outside–in kind of thinking and it is a simple way of living and doing business by the golden rule.
Over to you
How has following the golden rule helped you to build a better business?
Do you think life and business are different sides of the same coin or totally different from one another?
How have you been putting others first in your business and life?
Your message is very consistent with what I read this past weekend in Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson. As you may recall he reinforces the importance of people to any business – in terms of employees and customers. Great advice – you really can’t go wrong with applying the golden rule. Thanks for recommending the book – it has been an awesome read so far!
Branson is a huge believer of the people factor. One of his winning principles is letting people loose to do their own thing. This principle is one of the things that allows him so much free time to pursue adventure.
Glad you are having a great read!
first i would like to commend you on a well written article. i agree with you that business is about people but with regards to the golden rule i think it is in need for some modification. by this i mean, in business we have to recorgnize that people are inherently different and as such what i want or how i want to be treated may not necessarily be how someone else might want to be treated and so assuming people want to be treated the way you want to be treated may be a faulty assumption. with this in mind i would like to modify the golden rule as follows: “TREAT PEOPLE THE WAY THEY WANT TO BE TREATED NOT THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED OR THE WAY YOU FEEL THEY WANT TO BE TREATED. GRANTED THEY MIGHT WANT TO BE TREATED THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED BUT ASSUMING SO MAY BE THE END OF YOU” Basically market research and knowing your customer is key.
I am glad you brought up this modification, funny enough as I was writing this I gave this modification a thought too.
I think in a way, the basic idea behind the golden principle is to be fair in all our dealings with people, making sure we give them the best they deserve.
As you rightly pointed out, the best they deserve in most cases may be different from what we have in mind, and this is where listening to their needs come up. In the end, your modification;
““TREAT PEOPLE THE WAY THEY WANT TO BE TREATED NOT THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED OR THE WAY YOU FEEL THEY WANT TO BE TREATED. GRANTED THEY MIGHT WANT TO BE TREATED THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED BUT ASSUMING SO MAY BE THE END OF YOU” Basically market research and knowing your customer is key.”
is very very accurate.
Thanks for the contribution.
Hey tito. Thumbs up.You just shared with the world the secret to life. That secret is also the basis for solving the puzzle you gave me. I call it the “serve” Mentality/Principle and its based on success through service. I kind of agree with Dr Ebi Ofrey. Im sure you do too. More power to your elbow and thanks so much
This is a good way to put it, truly it’s all about service.
Great to hear that you are coming up with answers to the puzzle ..keep them coming! 🙂
“Business as it turns out is much more than just the bottom line –profit. To really succeed, you’ve got to look past the obvious –money, to the not so obvious –people.” That’s just the fact!
It’s always good to put people into consideration, but most entrepreneurs don’t put this aspect into consideration. Thanks so much for sharing bro. Keep up the good work 🙂
Good to see you here bro, how have you been?
The people factor are essential to every business’ success!
Thank you for stopping by.
I feel it’s much the same. Whether it’s business or family or friends – it’s the same. The truly successful in business understand that it’s the people that matter and count. Why? Because each person or consumer holds within voting power. Each product they purchase is technically a “vote” for that company – and allows the company greater success, better products, and a better “campaign” for making money.
Thank you Christian for the contribution here. People indeed matter in every aspect of life, they are at the centre of achieving success!
I love this Tito because I think it all comes down to what mattes most – THE PEOPLE. I’ve been with a number of organizations who talk this same type of talk – but they flat out don’t practice it. When you take care of people they care care of you back. What I mean by this is that companies that do the best job of practicing this, are the most productive. Look at Zappos, Google and others that fall within Forbes top 500 places to work.
Great promotion man. This is a message that the world needs to hear. Thanks for being the conduit!
Thanks for stopping by as always JK,
I think like most things in life, there is a big gap between saying and doing, so I can relate with those who speak about people but don’t pay attention to people. In the end, there is just so little they can achieve as everything revolves around people.
I have seen a lot of businesses fail because they focus too much on what they could gain. They fail to apply marketing research, and learn what the market’s needs and wants. Business is all about providing quality service and products. People need to feel their money’s worth, and feel good not regretting that they came to us. People will gladly accept the price we would give especially if they know they are going to be satisfied.
Thank you for stopping by here and sharing your thoughts about this post with the community. I think you are right about people accepting the price we offer once we’ve been able to guaranteed their satisfaction.