Seek Inspiration to Inspire Others

by Bill Gough, Insurance Hall of Fame

As a young entrepreneur in my 20s, I didn’t give back much. I didn’t look for ways to help the people around me. I was so focused on figuring out how to make my own success that I often forgot about how I could help others. I was stretched thin, and I was only worried about trying to navigate a confusing, ever-changing industry.

Throughout the years, I’ve been fortunate to have people and inspirations over time, that changed the way I valued money, as well as how I spent my time.

Now, I prioritize helping others because I realize I didn’t get here all by myself.

My success can be credited to the people who’ve been alongside me on my journey. They’ve not only inspired me to give my best performance, but they’ve also inspired me to pay my good fortune forward.

I’m lucky to speak in front of large groups and surround myself with some amazing leaders. When I say “amazing leaders,” I’m not just talking about billionaires with lots of money. I’m referring to you, the business owners, who have not only achieved financial success, but have also surrounded themselves with great people and earned others’ respect.

Here are a few things that contribute to developing that type of giving mentality:

  1. Look for inspiration in everyday life. Go outside. Look around. Walk. Notice. Noticing new details is a continuing cycle. The more we pay attention to the things around us, the more we discover and want to pay attention.
  2. Read up about a giving mentality. Acknowledge and embrace imperfections. Hiding from your weaknesses means you’ll never overcome them. There are several books you could start with: The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, and Mindset by Carol S. Dweck.
  3. Surround yourself with like-minded people. As I look at the leaders I respect the most, I realize that their perspective has a lot to do with looking in the same direction as the people closest to them. Like Jim Rohn, I’ve said many times that you become just like the five people you spend the most time with. Developing a giving mentality as a leader won’t just boost your generosity. It can also affect how you treat the people around you, both inside and outside your company.

There’s nothing better than to hear someone sing a leader’s praises, applauding how much an executive cares about the people around him or her. It takes consistent inspiration, education, and effort — but it’s also how you become a true leader.