The 21 Principles of Profitable People
If you choose to become wealthy – inevitably – you will have to engage with people. Why – because you buy from people. You sell to people. You can work with or for people; and people can work for you, with you, or against you. No matter where you work – or what you do – your ability to make more money will always be linked to your ability to work better with people. People can help you make more money (or help you lose money fast) – but only if you know how to work with them. If you treat them poorly, inevitably, you will lose money. If you treat them well, inevitably, you will earn more money. This article is not how to make more money, but rather how to work better with people – so you can make more money. These principles apply whether you are old or young, rich or poor, an employer or an employee. They will always work because they are either values, or actions, and therefore part of the Secrets to Wealth. So here are the 21 principles of profitable people – learn them, adopt them and practice them – they work!
1. Listen more. People often have fascinating ideas or solutions in their minds. Listen to as many people as you can and always allow them as much possible time to talk. If you are ever uncertain what to do – just listen more.
2. Talk less. This goes right in with tip number one. The only way you can listen more is if you talk less. Easy to do – and it must be done. In her book “Time to Think” and “More Time to think”, author Nancy Cline shows how you should actually give people more time to think. They likely already have the answer they seek. They just don’t have the silence to get it out. People are often too impatient to wait more than 3 seconds, and default back to talking. Talk much, much less – and give others much, much more time to think, and then to respond. You will truly be amazed at how much people actually already know – but, you have to give them (a lot) of time to think.
3. Be clear. If you are uncertain, just say: “I am not sure about this.” Alternatively, you can just listen more – or talk less. When you are giving instructions, clarity is essential. “George, can you go to Mary on the second floor and ask her to send me last month’s budget report. Please ask her if it would be possible to send her final version before the end of business today as I need to send the budget to my supervisor for approval tomorrow.” This instruction is clear who must do what by when and why – and is polite. Avoid using general terms like “them, they, stuff, it” etc. Imagine: “Guys, can you go to that girl and ask her for that thing she did last month. Tell her I need it pronto!” This statement would cause confusion, would break trust, cause unnecessary communication and work, and would likely not get the result intended. Ask a friend if what you are asking is usually clear. If it is not, ask them to tell you so, and then practice to get your message out clear – and not loud. Remember: “Loud and clear” is not clear, it is usually just loud – and stated wrong.
If you are receiving instructions from someone and they are not clear, just ask them if you can repeat what you heard. If what you heard is indeed correct – then you are clear. If you are still not clear on what they meant – don’t be afraid to ask them to just tell you again.
4. Ask questions. “How are you?” “What are you doing?” “Do you have any idea how to solve…?” Questions are one of the most powerful ways to build relationships with people. The more you ask questions – the more you learn. (And if you learn more, inevitably you will earn more.) If you want to ask even more powerful questions, start asking questions to yourself. When you ask questions to yourself, you empower your mind to query the way it operates and to challenge its current “truth”. When you constantly ask the right questions you will become more aware of yourself and those people you interact with.
5. Be interested. One of the most powerful lessons I ever learnt was this one: Is it better to be interesting (to other people) or interested (in other people). If you are interesting, you are talking. If you are interested – you are listening or asking questions. Guess which one is better to build amazing relationships!
6. Breathe. This one always sounds funny, but is actually extremely powerful. Sometimes – plain and simple – people can piss you off. The trick is to not respond with words. Instead, inhale deeply, become aware that you are taking a deep breath, and then slowly exhale (or let your breath out). When you do this you are actually interrupting the way your mind works and forcing it to focus on a more essential component of its survival – air. It gives your body fresh energy and gives your mind just enough time to – pause – so it doesn’t respond instantaneously with the horrible response of: “I’ll tell you exactly how I feel!” You can quickly try this one right now: Inhale deeply. Become aware that you are doing this. Exhale. Can you feel the difference it makes? If you cannot, repeat this exercise. The next time someone really makes you angry – remember this exercise. Breathe. It will make a difference.
7. Keep your emotions neutral – no matter what. “If your emotions go up, your intelligence goes down” – Dolf du Roos. Dolf is one of the advisers for Robert Kiyosaki – the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Although he is primarily a financial adviser, he cannot stress enough the ability to control your emotions – such as anger, frustration, etc. In essence he said that the angrier you get, the stupider you get. You say and do dumb things – and these don’t gel well with people – or money. If you feel your emotions going up – breathe. If it is still up, breathe again and repeat. If it is still up, either listen more, talk less, or briefly excuse yourself and walk away.
8. Keep your agreements. If you would like to see your personal or professional relationships fall apart quickly – just stop keeping your agreements. Don’t do what you said you would. Don’t show up when you said you would. Don’t call when you said you would… Within days, weeks or months your relationships will fall apart. When relationships fall apart, it costs money. More calls, more time, more effort, more loss of productivity, more cost to repair. The opposite is way more powerful and a super simple secret to wealth – keep your agreements. When you committed to do something, do it. When you said you would be somewhere, be there. If you said you would call – call. If you made a promise to someone – keep it. When you are known as someone who honours their agreements, you become known as reliable. People know they can depend on you and always on your word. Your word is not seen as mere “words”, but rather as solid, reliable and dependable agreements.
9. Respect other people’s time. If you committed (agreed) to a specific time – be on time or better yet – early. People have lives and commitments. They have things to do in addition to meeting or entertaining you. When you approach other people, be aware of the time they have for you. If they appear stressed or their mind seems elsewhere while you are with them – ask: “Would there be a better time when we can meet?” Or, “is this a convenient time to meet with you, or would you prefer we meet another time?” Whether you are a person or a business, once you learn that other people’s time is also precious, you will approach and interact with them with more respect.
10. Be punctual. (On Time) It’s 8:17am. You find yourself thinking: John said he would be here at 8:00am. Where is he? Is he okay? I wonder if something happened to him? I haven’t heard from him or his secretary. At 8:19am John rocks up with a “good morning” as if nothing has happened. What do you think of the Johns in your life? Do you respect them? Maybe, but more likely – maybe not. When you are late once and took the time to let people know with enough notice, they will forgive you. If you are late without letting people know you will be late, you break both the previous rules because you didn’t keep your agreement, and you didn’t respect their time. If you are consistently late, people will simply see you as unreliable. People who are not reliable don’t grow financially. People who are unreliable don’t improve relationships. If you want to become wealthy, or, if you just want to improve your relationships, you have to be punctual. By the way, the same principle applies to paying your bills. Pay late – get poorer because you will be charged interest or a penalty fee. Pay on time and you will either save money, get a better credit score or even a better rate. Keep this rule – never be late!
11. Find a compliment. Not everyone enjoys a good complement – but most people do. You can complement them on their hair, their shoes or their outfit. You can complement them on their use of language or their skills. If they really are great people you can complement them on their behavior or their work. If you know them well you can complement them on their family or kids behavior. For example: “Hey John. I was noticing at your house how well-mannered your children are. How did you get them to behave so well?”
When you pay a complement to someone, you are conveying that you “see “them. It is a form of recognition and a basic human need. When you add a question to the complement as in the example above, it almost always changes the conversation and the mood. And very importantly, it gets them to talk. Which means you can listen – and learn more about them. If you need to practice this principle – commit to give one person a complement for each day for the next month.
12. The 3C’s rule: Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. Rather complement, contribute or create. To criticize is easy, but it doesn’t help. To condemn is an easy way to get people to not like you. To complain just gets old quickly. Those 3 C’s just don’t work – so don’t do them. The opposite works much better. Find a way to complement someone – see the principle above. When you contribute – whether it by giving an idea or a service – people notice you. People who get noticed get promoted. The ultimate way to create wealth is to create things: Ideas, businesses, processes, savings or efficiencies. Brian Tracy says find a way to make things better, faster or cheaper. You can also create better relationships by just listening, or asking questions. Whichever you choose – creating something, anything – is always better than nothing.
13. Give more than you ask. Always. I love it when people ask: “How can I get a promotion?” I always ask how much more they are putting in. Are you saving your boss some serious money? Are you saving him/her a lot of time? Have you increased their customer satisfaction significantly, and have a stream of customer testimonials to support that? When you ask before you have given – good luck! When you have consistently given more than you ask – eventually you will receive.
14. Find ways to solve problems for them. Solving problems is one of the best ways to become financially free. Again, find a way to make things better, faster or cheaper. Find a way to solve a problem you have. Find out if others have this same problem – if they do, and especially if many people have this same problem – find a way to solve this easily. Alan Carr’s Easy way to stop smoking is one such example. He found a way to help people, and then made it easy. He makes a lot of money – because he solves problems. People who can solve problems will always out-earn those who give, or worse – are problems.
15. Find out how they give, and then give in that way. Some think that they “give” a lot and the others just don’t see that. If you want to create better relationships with people, you have to find out how they give. In his book – The Five love languages, author Gary Chapman shows how people basically give in five ways: They either spend time with people, they give gifts, they touch, they perform acts of service or they give words of affirmation. (Like “Well done.”) The reason people don’t see “what you give” is because they mainly “see” in their own love language. In other words, if you give them a complement, but they give others (physical) gifts, they won’t “hear” your complement. They will however be ecstatic if you instead gave them a gift. Learn the five love languages, observe how others “give” – and then give in that way. You will make phenomenal progress with your relationships.
16. Give them a vision. People like to know they are working for something bigger – a cause. They want to make an impact. They want to matter. They want to know that their work is actually making a difference to someone, somewhere. When you share the bigger picture with them, they will become involved. Involved people always make a difference.
17. Explain the reason. “Do this thing” don’t really inspire people. “Do this thing because” gives them a reason. Our minds naturally crave a reason to do anything: To survive. To Thrive. Because it will help you to… Because the deadline is in a week. Because this will really help John when he goes to present to that new customer. When you explain the reason you are asking something from someone, you are eliminating the natural “why” which their minds will already have asked. Once you give them a reason, they will take action sooner.
18. “Help them with their lives, and they will help you with their job” – Jim Rohn. This comes back to just being interested. How are you? How is it going? Is there any particular thing that you struggle with? Is there anything I can do to assist you? When you help people with their lives, they become closer to you. When they “connect” with you, their performance will naturally go up. When their performance goes up – so do your profitability.
19. Smile – even when things are tough. A smile is the natural ice breaker. It is the hello in the quiet hallway. It is the sunshine of the soul. It is the unspoken connection of the eyes. Smile – it always helps.
20. Never assume – always ask. Assumptions – or taking things as you think you understand them – usually costs you time and effort. Never assume. If someone gave you an instruction, ask if you can repeat it back to them. Ask them if you heard them correctly. Ask them if your understanding of what they said is accurate. There is no harm in asking. There is a lot of harm in assuming. Ask, and you will grow fantastic personal and professional relationships.
21. Be happy – the best gift you can give someone is a happy you. Find out more about yourself. Ask yourself more questions – and better questions. The better you know yourself, the happier you will be. People are naturally attracted and drawn toward happy people. Happy people are productive people. Happy people make the world a better place – so be one of those people!
No matter where you work – or what you do – your ability to make more money will always be linked to your ability to work better with people. These 21 principles of profitable people will help you to create better relationships. The advantages of better relationships are just too many to mention – but the bottom line? It will help you to create financial freedom – and become a profitable person in a much shorter time.