How Leverage Can Change Your Life
I’m going to focus the next couple of posts on a subject that many of us overlook in our daily lives. Or at least we don’t appreciate the power that this one word holds.
So what word am I referring to?
Leverage is a way to create exponential results from ordinary activities or resources. This is equally true in business as well as our personal lives.
I got this insight after reading the book ‘Abundance’ by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. It’s a great read and really challenges you to stop thinking in a ‘linear’ way and start thinking ‘exponentially’ and embrace the power of networks. I highly recommend you get yourself a copy.
I’m also focusing on this subject as I’m going to an event where Jay Abraham is presenting over 3 days. His focus is going to be on ‘Leverage Marketing’. As I’ve been a big fan of Jay’s insights and teachings for a while, I wanted to see whether my own ideas are in line with his.
I’ve no idea if it will be on the same topic, or even in the same ball park. It’s a pretty big ask of myself, but that’s how I’ll grow!
Ok, enough about me. Let’s dive in.
Power of Leverage
Whether you’re just getting started in business, have been established for years or even looking to start something personal, then there are a few things you are going to need to do if you want to make progress quickly and power up the impact of your marketing.
Leverage is just one way to go about this. Using leverage is a process of creating more value, abundance and return from resources freely available to everyone, in a totally unique way.
It’s a beautiful thing
The beauty of leverage is that once you start to use it, the effects and impact compounds meaning you’re able to improve things for not just yourself, for others as well.
I love a quote. You may have noticed. After a quick search I found the below from Zig Ziglar that I think sums this up quite nicely:
“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
I’ll attempt to reformat the message here to fit our subject a little closer:
“Creating leverage by working with other people will get you the fastest results.”
Ok, so I’m no sage or philosopher, but I hope it does translate well.
What’s it like in the real world?
Let’s apply this to someone who is new in business. Let’s pretend that is you for now.
- You don’t have a track record.
- You don’t have a customer base.
- You don’t have much start-up capital, (and that seems to go far quicker than you ever thought!).
- And you’re not always sure of the answer to questions you never thought to ask.
So how can you overcome these problems?
Find someone who already has those resources you need and find out what THEY need help with.
They’re people too, just like you
Just because they are established doesn’t mean they don’t have challenges.
Often they will have more than you by the nature of how much they have going on, and trying to keep up the high levels of expectations they’ve built. Oh, and don’t forget they also want to grow and progress.
A word of caution here from the start. This is not something that can be done from a place of total self-interest or with any expectations or strings attached.
Of course you would like something, that’s why you’re doing this in the first place. But go in with the attitude of ‘I’ve helped you, now you help me’ will be a bigger turn off than bad body odour on a first date.
If you’re simply out for your own gain, it will be obvious.
Remember, a relationship is always two ways, and if you give enough up front, the universal law of ‘Reciprocity’ will kick in at some point. Maybe not with everyone, but do it enough times, with enough good people, and you’ll be amazed at how helpful people want to be.
I give you lemons, you give me lemonade
So what do others need help with?
Is it time, expertise, an alternative point of view or ideas? Notice none of those mentioned money. You’re trying to figure out what this person will VALUE. Not everything of value comes with a monetary price.
Everyone will have a different idea of what they value. I’m going to use another quote I’ve used before from To Kill a Mockingbird to help illustrate this.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
I love this line by Atticus Finch. I never really took it to heart when I was 15 reading it in English, but the fact I remember it to this day shows it had an impact I never realised.
The wisdom in this line can be rephrased for our purposes here as:
Really think about what they want and figure out how you can help them get it.
Similar to Zig’s quote above and further emphasises the importance of the message.
A little tip
Just because you can’t help personally with a particular challenge, you can be the person that INTRODUCES them to the solution. You’re then the expert by association and someone who is a connector. That in itself is valuable.
That’s not to say money can’t get you in the door. Sometimes the phrase ‘you have to pay to play’ has real relevance. It proves you’re serious and willing to shoulder some risk.
How to build a leveraged relationship
The first thing you will need to do is get their attention. Of course you could try a cold email or call them up. However you’re in danger this way of getting buried in their inbox or catching them at a bad time. They won’t thank you for it.
So an alternative method would be to find out where they hang out! Do they have a Twitter account? A website? A Facebook page? What about a blog?
Start by sharing some of their stuff. Comment on their posts or retweet things they put up. Show up and be useful. A genuine compliment never hurts either by the way, all of us are a sucker for flattery. You’re just trying to get noticed here.
Remember, this will not work with everyone. Like building your business, it can feel like an uphill battle. Every time you think you’re getting somewhere, you hit a block. Perseverance and patience is crucial. You are attempting to build a relationship, so don’t expect a ‘proposal of marriage’ back after a single retweet or comment!
Once you’ve got their attention, start to ‘massage their ego’ a little. This will sound a little counter intuitive, but consider asking THEM for some help or advice. And always try to do this in a public forum wherever possible.
Why does this work? You’re giving them the chance to show off how valuable they are, what they know and add credibility to themselves and their message in the process.
When you do ask them for this help/advice, make sure that you make it as easy as possible to answer. Don’t ask something that requires detailed analysis or a version of War and Peace to answer.
A simple ‘What do you think of X?’ or ‘What would you say is the best thing to help with Y?’ is often more than enough. Just make sure that whatever you’re asking them is a good fit for their business or audience, so that providing the answer acts as a form of promotion for them in the process, so is worth their while.
The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated
If you do this right and they engage, you now have a connection. Make sure you express your gratitude for their help, mention you’d love to repay their kindness if there was anything you could help with. Simply by doing this you’re placing an anchor in their mind that you owe them one and that you’re willing to repay your debt.
Now and again they may flat out ask you for something. Great! You’re now in their circle. Carry on being useful, asking questions and offering more.
Majority of the time though they won’t. Not a problem, it just means you need to do a little more thinking.
Go back to what you need help with. How can you ask in a way that benefits them as well in the process?
As touched on above, a ‘benefit’ is subjective and doesn’t always relate to money. Don’t think that a financial gain is the only way to help someone, there are often equally as important things you could help with.
Don’t be hasty!
Ideally you want to make it so that they don’t have to do much on the first ask. Write a blog post for them geared towards their audience and ask them to post it for example. If you have really done your thinking and research, you could even offer a complete solution to a problem you know they have.
I work to the idea that the more important the leverage factor you hope to gain, the more effort you need to put in. Don’t make them think. Don’t just give them an idea you want them to implement. Do the work first. Present the whole package in a way that will help them to get a result.
And don’t be afraid to be creative or do something a little left field. We are so conditioned to doing things the ‘right way’ that most things become grey. Be that colour, make them smile!
So that’s the end of part 1. You can read part 2 by clicking here.
Let me know your thoughts on the importance of leverage in business and in life below. How have you applied the concept?