Hey everyone I have a couple of tips for you today – and I want to start with my best last-minute business gift ever. I want you to get up out of your office and walk into someone else’s office and ask this question – “What can I do for you to help you succeed today?” Ask them that question and I think you’ll be so surprised by the answer. It’s the best gift you could ever give and it’s my bonus business tip for the day.
Now let me get on to my other last-minute shopping tips.
Do you remember last week when I said I didn’t get all of my Christmas shopping done? Well I hadn’t, but I got a lot more done this past weekend with my daughter – just buying stuff for people. I woke up this morning and thought, “There is something missing from our tree,” and I had this crazy idea and I wanted to share it with you.
It comes with a story.
About 15 years ago when I was first building Mitchell I was on this business trip with one of our clients. I was on a plane back with someone who was on the trip with us. This guy – his name was Jim – was super nice and asking lots of questions about the company that I was building (at that time we were still pretty small). He seemed really interested, and I came to learn that he was very entrepreneurial himself and had helped start several businesses.
As the plane was getting ready to land, he leaned over to me and asked “Elise, what can I do for you?” I was stunned by the question, and of course I said, “Oh no there’s nothing you can do for me.” Because who takes people up on that kind of question?! I didn’t even know what to say.
Then I thought to myself, “Am I crazy? This very successful business person asked me what he can do for me.” So I thought of something and I leaned over and said, “If you’re serious about helping me there is something you can do. Would you be willing to introduce me to a particular person who is very influential in our business community?” I’d always wanted to meet Cameron Smith who had – and still has – a very successful business here in Northwest Arkansas. And this person said, “Absolutely! I work with Cameron. Consider it done.”
Sure enough, before my head hit the pillow that night, there was an email in my inbox from Jim introducing me to Cameron. Needless to say, in the next few weeks I jumped right on it and made plans to meet Cameron. When we met, I think we must have sat for two hours at lunch, just connecting and getting to know each other. He said, “I feel like I’ve met my sister from another mother!” We both just laughed because we were thinking how could we not have met each other until this point in time. Cameron’s been one of my best friends in the business ever since then and you’ve probably had a similar experience when you met somebody who really changed your life in a lot of ways. And to think how simple it was for Jim to do this for me.
So my lesson from that is this: Give the gift of yourself for Christmas and here’s how. You see this card on my tree (and I’m not an artist at all) that I’m giving to my husband Raye, my kids and other members of my family. It’s a piece of paper that says, “Good for one thing I can do for you.” I can’t draw but I think you get the idea. That you would do something for someone else that is meaningful to them – this is powerful and it’s probably the best gift you can give to somebody else.
So I want you to do this. Make the cards, put them on the tree and put people’s names on them. And I tell you this is going to be really amazing on Christmas Day! I want you to come back and tell me – what did people take you up on? Perhaps they want you to help them clean out a closet that they haven’t gotten around to cleaning. If you do that, of course, you get the benefit of spending time with them cleaning it out. It might be that they want to just spend an afternoon going to the movies with you or they’d like a piece of advice that you can share with them.
I want to know what people give you because there’s probably so many incredible things that will come from it!
So put those envelopes on the tree and give the gift of yourself. It’s the best thing you can do for others. My good friend Amy Jo Martin is doing that right now (you need to follow her if you’re not). She has this terrific podcast called “Why Not Now?” and she’s on Facebook right now saying, “Hey guys! What can I do to help you?” So it’s this same idea of kindness and just doing kind and generous things for other people, which is really just giving the gift of yourself.
And one last thing!
Thank you for making “Leading Through the Turn” the #1 trending book on Amazon in workplace culture. We really appreciate that, and it’s not too late to give the book to someone for the holidays. You can still order the book on Amazon Prime and get it just in time for Christmas.
Have a great last couple of days before the holidays. I look forward to seeing you next week!