Who have you helped today?

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I'm bored, so I thought I'd put a few rambling thoughts together. I was driving home today listening to "The Self-publishing Podcast" on my phone today, which is an entertaining podcast focused on helping self-published authors succeed.

In the episode I was listening to, they had the inimitable Tim Grahl, who wrote the book "Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book ".

One very important thing that Tim talks about is developing connections. See, there are two types of marketing: the sleazy kind and the genuine kind.

The sleazy kind is like the used car salesman on the lot. They don't have your best interests at heart. They have THEIR BEST interests at heart. And EVERYONE KNOWS IT. They're not your friend. They're only pretending to be your friend so they can sell you something.

GOOD MARKETING, on the other hand, focuses on creating long lasting connections with people and looking for ways to make their lives better.

In many ways, developing an audience on Wattpad can be likened to this. I know it sounds very weird, but when you go in and comment on other people's stories, well, you've got to be genuine. Because everyone's guard is up. 

Let's face it, we've all been burned to some degree by that poor schmuck who's walked up to us and said, "Have I got the best thing for you to read!"

And we all go, "But wait, I have the best thing for everyone to read!"

And don't we all?

Let's face it, everyone feels the same way. So everyone does the same things.

But what if we didn't do the same things?

Gary Vaynerchuck, who is a genius at Social Media Marketing wrote his second book called, "The Thank You Economy" and built it around a single, all-important concept: You have to care about people.

Why?

Because for people to care about you, you have to care about them first.

Gary believes that caring scales.

What the heck does that mean?

It means that no good deed goes unrewarded. And that what goes around, comes around. It means that when you do a good deed for someone, that good deed spreads, by several orders of magnitude. Do enough good things for other people and pretty soon you've got a movement that spans millions. Just look look at Gandhi. Or Martin Luther King. Or Mother Teresa. You can impact the lives of millions and it all starts with a single act of kindness toward another person.

I'm not saying we all need to be saints, but just start with one. Stephen Covey says: the key to the many is the one. So true.

And when you do a good deed for someone without expecting anything else in return, that one good deed will go far beyond anything you ever expected.

What I mean is this: Too many of us are focused on building an audience for ourselves, and I admit, I've fallen into that trap far too many times. I can't help it. I'm a Type-A personality. Achieve or Die. But sometimes, achievement isn't all there is.

Before anyone ever came to know who I was on Wattpad, I was just a guy. And I was a guy who knew that if I could just help enough people, enough of them would help me along the way. And that was a breakthrough. I can't count how many people have helped me along the journey. I only know that there are many here on Wattpad, and that I hope I've acknowledged enough off them in my profile. I owe each and everyone one of those people a debt of gratitude. For acknowledging me when no one knew me. For doing a kind deed for me. And I will never forget those people.

Every single one of us has been helped by someone. And when someone helps us, we never forget it.

Why then, is it such an alien concept to help others?

Strange? You bet it is. 

When I first started Cracking the Wattpad Code, I worried about revealing my secrets to everyone. But then I thought, "Why Not?" If it worked for me, maybe it will help someone else?

And it did. And now I genuinely derive pleasure from seeing others benefit from what I know. Not because I want payment from you. Not because I want you to follow me. I'm doing it just because. It's my way of showing my respect and gratitude to the people who helped me when I was new here.

I get a lot of PMs on a daily basis now. I always try to help when I can. Even when I think it's something silly like helping someone with a technical issue on Wattpad. Or some teenager with a bullying issue. Or a self advertiser that won't quit. Not really sure why.

What I find the hardest to help are the people who approach me and say, "can you do this for me?" or "what can you do for me?" because of the focus.

It's ME, ME, ME, and ME.

But I've got news for you. It's NOT ABOUT YOU.

The reason you aren't successful is because you're making it ABOUT YOU.

You're the used car salesman. Therefore, NO ONE TRUSTS YOU.

So change your paradigm. Make it about others. Give of yourself. And of what you know.

So I ask again:

WHO HAVE YOU HELPED TODAY?

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