I would like to share with you the greatest business secret in the world.
Actually, it is a great secret full stop; not just for business but also for life.
The reason I am offering it to you gratis is because I love you… I am joking, I hardly know you. Let’s just say that I like you. A lot. Alright, ‘like’ is a strong word… I am fond of you…I think you are all OK. Actually (joking aside), the reason for my philanthropic offering will become evident soon enough.
I must warn you before I impart my secret that, like all spiritual imperatives, this one is hidden in such plain sight that it is invisible to the majority of people (who are way too busy looking for secrets in the usual places). And it is so anti-intuitive that many people are either disappointed when they hear it – because they think it is corny – or they are immediately dismissive because it does not meet with the dog-eat-dog philosophy of current climates, or they simply think that it is not a tenable option when ‘realistic solutions’ for ‘real problems’ are called for.
If you know me at all, you will know that my solutions to opportunities are usually always anti-intuitive, rarely do they satisfy the currently-panicking and I am not a man that likes to be realistic; if I was being realistic do you think that this factory worker who left school with no qualifications would ever have gone onto trip the light fantastic and live the life of dreams? I think not.
So I ask you to be of expanded consciousness when I offer you my gift, I ask you to not think with a majority mentality: that will not help, all it will give you is a mass solution, and you’ll end up as the masses end up, like sheep herding through the wide gate of life. The wide gate is crowded. Success demands that we muster the courage enter through the narrow gate. You will find no queues at the narrow gate, and that is how you know you are in the right place.
So here is my secret in a word: Service.
I have been in business of commerce now for twenty years, and I have been in the business of life for fifty, and the greatest secret I have discovered, the most exciting revelation I have had is that service not only offers the ultimate profit, it is also the secret to perpetual motion.
I could tell you that I found this secret in the great books, the bible, the testament, the Bhagavad-Gita Gita, the Guru Guran Sahb, the Upanishads, the Koran, the Toa Te Ching, and I would not be lying.
I could also tell you that the Nazarene preached this gospel and he sent his apostles out into the world to spread the word, as did Mohammad, and Siddhartha and Mother Teresa and Ghandi and….the list is extensive.
As long as man has drawn breath he has preached the spiritual prophesy and fiscal profit of service.
I could tell you all that, and it would be convincing enough for some, it might even confirm what many have always suspected, and it is true that all of these tomes are built on the premise of service, but if my life experience had not taught me the potency of service then I would have no right to offer it to you as a working tool, or to tell you that in business and in life service is potentate. And believe me, my very colourful life, living on dangerous edges and searching in hidden coroners for the alchemical elixir has shown me the absolute power of service. But what is even more delectable is that it is so obvious, it is so easy to access and it is so very available to everyone in every and any situation that most people stumble upon this truth and then (as Churchill said) walk away as though nothing happened. Because the truth is so simple that it is often missed.
I would like to tell you why I find service to be so valuable, and it is not simply because it is nice to serve. It is nice, it feels good, and there is a great satisfaction in serving others in the multitude of ways on offer, minute by minute, day by day. It is valuable, it is precious, and it never ever fails to return a profit because the universe is reciprocal, what you put out, will return. If you put in a little, a little will trickle back to you, and if you put out a lot then abundance will be yours to harvest.
What is also great about service – and service can be anything from a smile to an anonymous donation – is that it creates big thinking.
When you think only of serving yourself, you think local, you think of your mortgage, your car, your family needs, perhaps a holiday. You think about feeding you and yours, so you only throw your net out close to the boat, and hope you catch enough fish for your own hungry mouths. And this is fine in and of its self, there is nothing wrong with it, but if you want to think huge then think about ways of serving hundreds of people, think about ways of serving thousands, actually why not think universally and think about ways of serving hundreds of millions.
Ultimately if you think about serving God (whatever you perception of That is) you will be thinking god like and big ideas will start to form in your head and the most amazing opportunities will present themselves to you.
If you have three people in a boat and you want to catch their dinner every day, how inventive would you need to be? Not very. If however you had to feed ten, or a hundred, or ten thousand mouths then you would have to become very inventive, you would access a bigger boat and you’d need to embrace bigger and better fishing methods. If you sit and think about ways of catching three fish a day, you will find ways of catching three fish a day. Your demand and your supply will be matched and equal. You will not develop ways of catching a million fish, by thinking about catching three. Think about serving yourself and you will probably always think small, think about serving others – the more the better – and you become a big thinker.
So when I meditate and when I pray I do not ask God for ideas that will serve me, I ask Him for ideas that will serve Him, and in doing so I am presented with expansive opportunities, that serve everyone. And because I am a part of ‘everyone’, and I am part of God, it also serves me.
The Buddha said that ‘the ultimate’ to was serve others, he also said that the great thing about serving others is that it automatically serves you, because what you give you receive.
Two thousand years before Christ, Hermes said the same thing, what you give out will return. So if you want massive, then give massive, and if you want to be a massive conduit for service then you need to develop the infrastructure to deliver your massive ideas.
You will not catch a million fish from a dingy.
Service is not about being a great bloke so that you can say to your friends and family and the world at large, ‘I do a lot for charity but I don’t like to talk about it’, it is about pragmatic business, it is about fiscal savvy, it is about helping yourself to abundance by creating abundance for others. So if you want to be large, if you want to be magnificent, if you want to thrive stop thinking about yourself because it is too small. Start thinking about others and you will expand beyond even wild imagination.