Recently I had an interesting conversation with my friend Lisa Alexander, Owner and CEO of Prettywork Creative, LLC. Lisa had posted a quote from Michael Hyatt, a social media and leadership guru. The quote was:
“The more successful you are, the less accessible you must become. I wish it were different, but this is just one of the harsh realities of leadership.”
A few people agreed with Hyatt’s sentiment. When you get successful everyone wants a piece of you. People just want to grab your coattails and live vicariously through the success you earned through lots of hard work. I can see where they are coming from to a point. A few years ago I experienced a touch of success when I first got a blog published on the very popular ProBlogger website. A person who never had called me on the phone asked if they could “catch up.” It turned into a coaching session on how they could get their own blog site to be more popular. I thought that was…interesting. I imagined that a person with regular and much more significant success probably experienced things like that a lot. Instead of people really caring about you on a personal level, people mask their real intentions behind quasi-friendly communication. Certainly that could be a drag.
I look at things a little bit differently, however.
Unless you are 100% positive that your success is due to your efforts alone, chances are good that people helped you along the way. It can often be difficult to repay those who helped you along the way. Your sense of gratitude always makes it seem like your efforts to pay back the person who helped you are falling short. One of the best ways to pay it back to those who helped you is to pay it forward to those who come to you. Helping other people succeed just as you were helped is a great way to show your mentors that you are striving to emulate them.
Even more to the point, perhaps, is that I view success as a privilege for which we have to perpetually pay. How you define success is of course up to you. I think it’s amazing that people “follow” me on Twitter. I find it amazing that people read our blog here and visit our Facebook page. I remember how hard it was to get started in the ever-changing waters of the online world, so I am happy to try to help others. Do people sometimes come out of the blue and ask me to promote their post? Sure. Does that get annoying? Sometimes. But is that enough to make me want to fence myself off and become inaccessible? Heck no.
While this philosophy holds true for me for any facet of life, it resonates particularly in regards to the online world. Can your blog posts gain popularity if nobody reads and shares them? Can your Twitter following grow if no one replies or shares your tweets? It’s virtually impossible, in my opinion, to create a successful online presence without plenty of assistance from others. Why not pay it forward and help others find success?
It seems like a no-brainer to me. What say you?
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/86530412@N02/8226451812 via Creative Commons
When Success Finds You, Pay It Forward