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To Help or Not To Help: That IS the question

Today, I wrote this response to a recent article on Medium: Yes! Setting boundaries is very importantimportant

This got me thinking about how most of my opportunities started by helping someone else.

For instance, yesterday, near the end of a codementor session, my mentee said: "I know your time is valuable, but..."

The story of Beauty and the Beast comes to mind here. Btw, anyone seen the remake? I wish all remakes honored the original with the same passion. What a cast! But, really, there is a huge lesson in there:

The Road to True Wealth is Littered with Obfuscated Golden Opportunities

"OK, but, where is this invisible Gold you speak and how do I sniff it out, my sweet Norah?"
"Why, it is right under your nose, my good friend!"

Here is the secret: Go-to the places where people are looking for your help.

Seems too simple, right? Well, it really is! In marketing terms: find out where your target market hangs out.

Here is an example: let's say that you are a Green Technology blogger. Your clients are manufacturers and organizations in that space. So, you might consider attending a seminar on a new green initiative. After the presentation, stick around, chat with the people, show interest in their work, ask about their challenges, maybe offer a suggestion.... Why? Well, because you ARE interested, right? And at some point, you are likely to be asked: "So, what do YOU do?" And there you go, foot in door accomplished!

Now, here is the most important part, segue into you story... You might start with: "I help people like yourself by providing [your service/product]".

Next thing you know, you have an email or business card in your hand and a first consultation scheduled!

Volunteerism comes in many forms, but probably the most valuable to me is when I can remove someone's barriers. Whether the barrier is technology, network reach, funding, or something else, it seems like what people often need the most is someone to listen and help to frame questions that serve their goals.

When was the last time you offered your expertise to someone for free? I would love to hear your story.

Feel free to leave a comment, invite me to a Google Hangout using my email: smedlin@tekAura.com or Message me on Facebook

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ABOUT ME

I was hippie-born, raised on Science and Invention on a nuclear mesa, SCAdian before I knew the Society, Technomancer before I played the game, creative genius breaking the shackles of Corporate America.

Owner of tekAura, an Information Technology & Design Consultancy involved in projects concerning Human Dynamics & Sustainability in relation to Computing and Technology, Collective creativity & Hackerspaces, SaaS & Cloud Computing, Home & Manufacturing Automation.

Artfully applies Sustainability, Disaster Recovery, Open Source and Agile Industry Best Practices to boost innovation and facilitate Organic Collaboration and Continuous Process Improvement.

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