Back then, working in teams was a wonderful way to waste time and effort arguing with people about how things should be.
Even when I had the chance of working with my friends it would end up being a battle over who was right and often the friendship suffered a little bit. Perhaps, because it was a battle of egos, because as graphic designers in training, we all wanted to get our idea out there.
This made me really resent the idea of working with a team (unless it was Kym).
Then, when I was working at the bank, I saw exactly the same thing, but now I couldn’t escape the fact that I would had to work with my coworkers. A new problem appeared, even if we had a wonderful idea or were able to work together, the people on top of us will take credit for the idea or simply impose their own version of the world.
As I tried to work in this environment I noticed it was a huge battle of egos. Everyone wanted to be right, nobody wanted to do what we had to in order to work towards the same objective.
It’s like living hell, and I was part of it. I was part of the problem.
Maybe you have felt it too, the frustration of meetings that just doesn’t work. The apathy of your team members and that dreaded feeling of just giving up and just react to things as they happen.
This only created one simple question (and a big quest to find the answer): Why can’t we work towards a common goal?
We want to be “right” instead of doing what it’s right for the cause
As usual, when a doubt pops into my mind, I usually spend a long time talking to Kym.
Something truly curious happened, she had the same problem. During her time working and now at school, she found out that people don’t care about the reason why they do the work as long as they got what they wanted: a paycheck or a passing grade.
This started to bug me more and more.
Why in the world people would do it for such a low value thing?
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying you should just let your grades be terrible or that you should do stuff for free. Money and grades are part of a system, and we’re part of that system.
But the real thing is that money doesn’t tell you who you are, neither does good grades.
So how comes that people work so hard for this things that are meaningless?
Then it hit me like a stone, the answer was right there in front of my eyes.
I was talking with an old business partner and the answer was right there, we were focusing on how to make more money, not on how to benefit more people.
We’re missing the most important point!
When I finally understood this, I tried hard to make my business partner understand where should we focus. That didn’t work, maybe I wasn’t able to structure the idea in the right way, it happens when I get excited about something.
I want to share this idea with you, because this is what I follow as a business model now and it works. Keep it in mind and we’ll come around to it. It’s just a simple question:
How can I help you?
But there is one obstacle for this to work for you. Allow me to save you a lot of time.
Ego, the need of recognition and superiority
Let’s understand your Ego as that tiny part of yourself that wants to be recognized and loves to call attention and be right. It may be big or small, but it’s there.
This is a tricky matter and I’ll try my best to help you understand it.
Trying to do something amazing or big is awesome in itself, the problem comes from the motivation that makes you do such a thing.
If you’re doing just because this will make people recognize you as their superior, you’re doing it wrong!
Trying to be superior to others is the worst way go about life. Tweet This.
Why? I’ll take the words I heard int he movie Bunraku:
Someone once told me, there is always someone more powerful than you. —Nicola the Woodcutter
Someone out there, knows a little bit more than you do or maybe he’s working harder than you’re. Once you find that person, he’ll just kick your ass and you’ll feel frustrated.
See the problem? When you want to feel superior to others it’ll be easier to bring you down. It’s simply a rat race where you’ll get sooner or later trampled. This my friend is something I want you to avoid.
Instead, let’s look at the other side of the coin: What would happen if you focus on helping others?
Working for the greater good
If you focus on helping others achieve bigger success with your current skills, you’ll find that an insane amount of doors open right in front of you. It all starts with one simple question: How can I help you?
When I arrived to this conclusion, I went from trying to make money to trying to find the right people help. It took me some time, but now this is the whole foundation to my own business.
And the fun thing is that I solved my earlier problem at the same time. You see, I started to find people I wanted to work with. Some I admire and have been able to learn a lot from them, this is worth more than the money I get.
It’s not for the fame or glory, it was for something more important and simple: To do good.
This can work for you too. In business, life, romance and everything else.
It’s not that you become a selfless person who will only work for others without feeling good. No, we’re talking about freedom.
You become a great human being, because now you aid people with your skills. You start doing the things you love to make others stand on their own feet and grow into the world.
It’s a Win-Win-Win situation.
You win because you do the things you love. The person who use your skills wins because you help them improve their life. The world wins because you’re creating real value just asking one simple question: How can I help you?
I have a great example to share with you, my own little (HUGE) experiment.
My own experiment, The Enso Journey Warrior Dojo
When I first started this blog, what I wanted was a lot of subscribers and a huge readership. Yes, I was focusing on what I wanted. And for some months, we remained small.
Then Kym and I made the shift, we started focusing on ways to help YOU.
We started giving tips on how to solve your problems and even more, we started to focus on creating real quality value for you at the price of nothing at all (ok, maybe just your mail).
I couldn’t believe what would happen then, we threw away or small email list, with just a handful of subscribers, and in less than a month we had more people reading our course. We had people thanking us for what we shared with them. We were gathering warriors!
Now we enjoy something far more beautiful than a big number of subscribers. Now we enjoy sharing exchanging ideas and helping others. What’s the result, we’re changing the world of the people who subscribe to our course.
The Warrior Dojo, changed from just the name for our mailing list to something bigger something that stands for a greater purpose than just having subscribers. It now stands as a small place where we want to change the world by changing ourselves.
We want a better world and that’s why we talk about confidence and values, because if we can become real warriors, we’ll be able to improve the world we live in, and help others stand on their own.
We’ll stop having the victim feeling that plagues so many great minds and instead we’ll have warriors who want to help others.
A challenge for you
You know how much I love to challenge you to do stuff, and how I love to challenge myself too. It’s all for the sake of learning and growing together.
I once heard and amazing african proverb, perhaps you have heard it too:
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
The Warrior Dojo stands for us to reach the goal of a better world, I can’t do it alone, neither can you. But together we can create a beautiful world where we’re all responsible for creating real value for it, that’s why we have our rules.
You have the skills this world needs, and I have a different set of skills. If the two of us work together for this higher purpose, we can create a success that it’s far bigger than what we both could dream.
Now imagine what would happen if we add more people to this dream.
What would happen if all the warriors in the Dojo start working together to build a world full of love, the the question becomes more powerful: How we, The Enso Warriors, can help you?
When two people work together they multiply their efforts and results. When a group of people work together, their efforts go well beyond the dreams of one individual.
So here is my challenge: What can you do today to help others and make this a better world?
And if you want to join our quest, the doors of our Warrior Dojo are always open for new recruits, people who want to change the world by changing their lives. Are you ready?
Photo by Seba Della & Sole Bossio