“When you perform random acts of kindness, some magic appears. Some people call it social capital, if I were Austin Powers I’d call it mojo. It’s that magic substance that makes things happen.” Ole Kassow, Cycling Without Age
Kindness and business. Two words you don’t often hear together.
We’re told that business leaders need to be ruthless, hard-nosed and aggressive if they want to be truly successful.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world so get out there and start hustling. Head to conferences and exhibitions with a stack of business cards and start selling.KILL THE COMPETITION. Whatever it takes to boost your market share.
But we’ve been told a lie.
You see more studies have shown that it pays to be kind in business. So thankfully you can stop networking and throw away those business cards. The planet will thank you.
Kindworking is about being compassionate, building relationships and helping others, but crucially without expecting anything in return.
Ultimately it’s about giving a shit.
And trusting that if you do, that goodwill will pay in the long run. This is the Karma economy in action. And it’s how we’ve built The Happy Startup School community from no-one to 100,000 in 3 years.
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Whilst it’s important to help others, it’s also important to help yourself.
In his book Give and Take, Wharton Management Professor Adam Grant shows more often than not nice guys tend to finish first. But they also finish last. The key is striking a balance between kindness and selfishness.
There’s one group of givers, who are purely selfless, who constantly put other people’s interests ahead of their own. But, there’s this other group of givers that I call “otherish.” They are concerned about benefitting others, but they also keep their own interests in the rearview mirror. They will look for ways to help others that are either low cost to themselves or even high benefit to themselves, i.e., “win-win,” as opposed to win-lose. Here’s the irony. The selfless givers might be more altruistic, in principle, because they are constantly elevating other people’s interests ahead of their own. But my data, and research by lots of others, show that they’re actually less generous because they run out of energy, they run out of time and they lose their resources, because they basically don’t take enough care of themselves. The “otherish” givers are able to sustain their giving by looking for ways that giving can hurt them less or benefit them more.
So in the words of Kees Klomp ‘stop doing business and start being human’.
And the best bit? The happiest people in the world are the kindest.
Some great kindness initiatives
- Suspended Coffees – pay it forward coffee shops
- Cycling Without Age – a movement of cyclists helping the elderly
- The Kindness Offensive — a team spreading random acts of kindness
- Helpful Peeps – a Bristol-based community of givers
- Karma Kitchen – pay it forward restaurants
- Museum of Happiness – a pop-up museum spreading happiness
- Oma’s Pop-up – cooking with grannies in the Netherlands
Know of any other kindness initiatives? Share these in the comments below.
At The Happy Startup School we’re building a community of kind-hearted souls that want to make a difference in the world.