How to Win Friends and Influence People in the 21st Century

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Do you want to win favor?

  • Do not flatter with insincerity.
  • Do not ask for a favor immediately.
  • Do not approach every relationship with a sense of entitlement.

Every day, many busy people have dozens of unread emails, LinkedIn requests, and Facebook messages.

In this era, many employees and entrepreneurs have decided to reach more people through social media.

Liking social updates, posting comments, or sharing articles are fine. Although, it should not be done to yield a favor. Please do not approach business relationships as you do with dating.

If you take a girl out to a dinner and movie, you might feel that she owes you something.

Conversely, if you spend an hour trying to put on a "diva" look, you might feel that he needs to show you his appreciation with his wallet.

Abandon the "What Can You Do For Me?" mentality!

There has to be at least an equal exchange of value.

It does not matter what you deem to be equal. The person who is granting the favor has to find it to be equal. Otherwise, it is not a good use of their time.

I did not build my success on begging or equal exchanges of value. I built my success on delaying gratification, offering immense value, and then accepting offers from people who want to help me.

Did you know some people will go great lengths to give you almost anything? You can only win such favor when you become immensely helpful by delaying your self-interest for a while.

You may wonder how you could help someone who has more connections and resources than yourself.

"What could I really do to help that person?"  

Unfortunately, that is the wrong question. The right question starts by discovering the causes that are important to them.

For example, take a look at their philanthropic efforts or intentions. Perhaps, you may be connected to that cause in some way. If so, now you can be helpful to that person.

Choose to be selfless. Do not ask the person to donate to your charity or buy things from you. Success is not for beggars.

Instead, offer a selfless proposition.

Example:

[Subject Headline ==>  My Altruism Is At Your Disposal]

Hi [THEIR NAME],

I hope your day is exciting as my desire to write you this email. I sincerely appreciate your tireless efforts in [insert their overall mission].

My heart rejoices to see more people dedicating their lives to this cause. I noticed that you want to do more to [insert one of their specific mission objectives here].

I do have some ideas that I could offer with your permission. Conversely, if you are currently working on something important to you, I do not want to derail you from dedicating yourself to that cause. Instead, I want to help you!

I love your vision and would be happy to join you to make a difference. It is the power of working together that can make a stronger impact in the world. Can I help?

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

What did you notice in this email?

  • Did it ask for a favor?
  • Who was the focus of attention in the email?
  • What was the sender's goal?

The email did not ask for a favor. In fact, the recipient was the focus of attention throughout the email. The sender wants to help out in any way possible.

This is the first step to win friends and influence people in the 21st century.

You can choose to invest time in building relationships that will blossom organically. Alternatively, you can choose to go on a cold pitching marathon.

Both ways are effective. However, people are more likely to work with people that they like, know, or trust. This is only possible when you invest the time to build these relationships.

Some people have mastered the art of cold pitching. With any cognitively demanding thing, becoming a master can take about 10,000 hours, according to Robert Greene (Author of Mastery) and Malcolm Gladwell (Author of Outliers).  

Fast Company Magazine discovered a study that showed sending 700 cold emails will only yield 12 replies. Do you still want to go on that cold pitching marathon?

If you ask me, I would focus on serving three to five people with the hopes that two or three of those relationships will blossom organically.

Remember, if you can be immensely helpful by delaying your self-interest for a while, people will go great lengths to do almost anything for you.