One day last month, our family car wouldn’t start. We tried jumping it, no luck. Tried replacing the battery and the starter. Still no luck. Off it went to the repair shop. Being down a car meant my kids and I would have to walk to the bus stop in the mornings, about 1/3 of a mile from our house. Overall, we’ve enjoyed the walk and the extra time to chat in the mornings. However, early spring weather has not always on our side. When it rained, we still walked. One neighbor offered to pick us up when it rained. The next time rain was forecasted, I contacted her the day before. She never replied. We got wet. Typically, there are 8 other cars sitting at the bus stop. The drivers have watched us for weeks (yes, the car has been in the shop for almost a month now – ugh) and no one offered to help in the bad weather, not even once. The next time heavy rain was forecasted, I sought out another neighbor, new to the development. I found her on Facebook and sent her a message. We got chatting back and forth, then exchanged cell numbers. The next day, she took us to the bus stop even though her own child wasn’t going to school that day. She helped out, even at her own inconvenience, but only when asked.
Where am I going with this? Can you see yourself as one of the characters in this story?
Do you watch someone would could use help and just remain in the comfort of your cubicle, doing your own thing? Maybe you see a client or account that could use a little extra attention, but you dismiss it, figuring everything you already do is enough. Perhaps you’ve been so focused on yourself, your responsibilities, your whatever, that you haven’t even noticed that you could help someone or something, by just giving a few moments of your time. Think about how quickly someone could’ve rolled down their window and gotten my cell number. Less than a minute, right? Then, to text me to say “I’m getting you this morning” and swing by to pick us up on the way to the bus stop? Less than another minute. If you don’t think you have time, the next time you do go out of your way, set a timer to see how long it actually took. I bet it took a lot less time than you thought it would.
Have you offered to help someone and then never followed through? You still see the need, but ignore it like it never happened? Stop for a moment and think through your personal and professional contacts, your to-do lists, etc. Have you neglected someone or something that you committed to? If something comes to mind, take a few minutes to make it right – today. All it takes is a simple email or text acknowledging that you forgot or time got away from you, that you’re sorry, and explain what you are going to do to follow through. Just make sure you really do what you committed to and don’t put it off any longer.
Do you only help a coworker when asked? Do you only give a client an extra report when asked? Do you only dig a little deeper into your PPC accounts when your boss notices something is “off?” Think about the world of difference you could make every day in the relationships with your coworkers and clients, or in your marketing profession, if you sought out simple opportunities to do a little bit more for them? Think about how far your little bit of extra work could go. Not sure what you should do? One day a week, schedule a 15-minute meeting for yourself, giving yourself the time to simply think through the ways you can make an impact. I’m sure you’ll think of quite a few things.
The “One in Need”
Have you recently wondered, “Why doesn’t anyone help me? Don’t they see I need help?” Ladies, this isn’t meant to be about your husband/significant other and housework. But, like most men, people will help if you simply ask nicely. You might have to go out of your way. You might have to get over some awkwardness. Don’t be afraid or intimidated. Stop making excuses and just ask for what you need. Chances are, you’ll get the help you need while building a relationship at the same time. I’ve now texted several times with my neighbor about other things since she last took us to the bus stop. A friendship is slowly forming.
As for me? I got the call yesterday that our car was ready to be picked up. And, the neighbor who didn’t initially respond knocked on my door early this morning to see if we needed a ride. It was nice to be thought of.
I think we’ll keep walking to the bus stop. I’ll keep waving “hi” to every driver I can while I’m there. Maybe my smile and simple wave will make their day brighter? I can’t change my neighbors, but I can control how I respond to them. Just like I can’t change the busyness of work life, but I determine my outlook. I’m committing to keeping my eyes open for in my PPC accounts: not just going through my daily tasks, but looking for things that can be improved. When I find myself caught up at work, I’ll ask my coworkers if there is anything I could help them with. And I’ll make sure to help them if they ask. I’m thinking about what I can do to serve my clients better and go that extra mile.
How about you? How will you go the extra mile today? Comment below to let us know and share your ideas.