Step Away from the Mirror: 8 Tasks That will Improve You and Your Business

by Ken Mueller on April 30, 2012 · 21 comments

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Today is not about you.

Oh, it could be, but it shouldn’t be.

Do yourself a favor today, and don’t look in the mirror. You see, once you look in the mirror, you generally have one of two reactions: you either like what you see or hate what you see. And that takes you further down a path you don’t need to travel.

Whether you like what you see, or don’t like what you see, both are dangerous.

Dang, I look good.

Wait, where did those wrinkles come from?

Is that a gray hair I see?

Boy, the ladies sure are gonna love me.

I’m too fat, too thin, too old, too this, too that.

We are a self-absorbed, self-obsessed people. It permeates our culture, and therefore permeates our businesses.

The more time we spend looking in the mirror, the less time we spend looking around us and at others. That’s not healthy.

So today, no mirror. In fact, step away from anything that makes you think about yourself, and try to focus on others. When you finish here I want you to go to one of your social accounts, take a few minutes and think about others. Here are a few suggestions:

1) Celebrate – Go to Facebook and look up in the upper right hand corner of your newsfeed where the birthdays are listed. Wish one or all of the people listed a “Happy Birthday”.

2) Comment – Reach out and post something on someone’s Facebook wall or comment on their blog. Nicely. I know I get a smile on my face when I get that email telling me I have a comment, or see someone has written on my wall.

3) Share – Find something you like on Facebook and share it. Retweet something you like on Twitter. Repin something on Pinterest.

4) Respond -  Respond to the @ replies you get on Twitter, the comments on your blog, and the comments on your Facebook page. This lets people know you’re listening and care.

5) Thank – If someone shares your content on any of these platforms, offer them your gratitude. A simple “Thank you” will do.

6) Personalize – when you chat with someone on Twitter or Facebook, use their first name.

7) Recommend – Write a recommendation for someone on LinkedIn or write a review of a local business on Facebook, Yelp, or Google places. Even sharing someone’s business page on Facebook is a recommendation of sorts.

8) Encourage – Send a private message to someone encouraging them, via DM, email, or Facebook message. It’s one thing to do this publicly, but if we do it privately, it’s more about them, and less about us getting attention for being nice.

When you’ve done some of those things, hit the repeat button. Try doing this every day for a week. See if it changes your outlook. It might seem forced at first, but eventually it will become a part of your normal routine. In fact, why not write this on a sticky note or print it out and cut it out and put it by your computer:

  • Celebrate
  • Comment
  • Share
  • Respond
  • Thank
  • Personalize
  • Recommend
  • Encourage

And then, take it offline. As you deal with customers, clients, vendors, and anyone else around you, try to get in the habit of doing these things and putting others first.

It’s the little things like this that bring about change in you, and might just help change and improve the culture in your business.

That’s your homework assignment for the week, folks. Get to it!

What other tips do you have for putting others first, while not focusing so much on yourself?

 Step Away from the Mirror: 8 Tasks That will Improve You and Your Business
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18 comments
lpmorrow
lpmorrow

KEN, I do most of these - but just by chance, and not every day. Thanks so much for this inspiring post, which I'm printing out to use as a checklist.

Shonali
Shonali

Well, I'm currently doing 7 out of 8 (and right now, am doing the 8th as I comment here). Do I get a silver star (not gold, because obviously I haven't commented here in a while, but you know why that is...)

Latest blog post: Learning to Say...

girlseeksplace
girlseeksplace

Great list. The beauty of it is that they are simple things that take just a moment. I would like to add that besides doing one (or more) of these things online today, strive to do one (or more) in real life, away from the computer, the phone, the iPad.

LindaV.LaFianza
LindaV.LaFianza

If that list is too intimidating, boil it down to this: do what Ken Mueller does.

KDillabough
KDillabough

In all honesty, other than #7 which I haven't done as frequently, I do these things regularly. Not a day goes by that I haven't done at least one of these things. Paying it forward, recognizing people for their good works, buoying them up when they're down, appreciating their efforts, calling them by name, "being there" for them...isn't that what life is all about? Great post to remind us that it's the little things that make a big difference in someone's day Ken:) Cheers! Kaarina

KCEdventures
KCEdventures

@ShellyKramer @kmueller62 That's a great RT, especially on a Monday morning -thanks!

Jacqfish
Jacqfish

Ken - wonderful post!  It's those little things that we all overlook when we get caught in the muck of the work - thanks for the reminder & enjoy the day!  Jacquie

kmueller62
kmueller62

@bowden2bowden thanks for sharing, Randy!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @KDillabough You do a great job of this, Kaarina. And I think number 7 is the one I'm weakest on as well, at least on Linked In. This list is as much for me as it is for others. I need these reminders regularly.

kmueller62
kmueller62

@KCEdventures @ShellyKramer thanks!

KenMueller
KenMueller moderator

 @Jacqfish Thanks, Jacquie! We often overlook those simple little things and get caught up in our business. And that's easy to do when we're trying to make ends meet. 

KDillabough
KDillabough

 @KenMueller Thanks Ken: that means a lot to me...more than you know. I've been working to do more sharing of others' posts both on LinkedIn and google+, but you've given me a solid reminder to stick with it and get at it. Cheers! Kaarina

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  1. [...] in on a day to day basis. It’s what we see, what we do. And when asked to tell our story, we look in the mirror, and just spit it out. But according to Dan Portnoy, that’s not the story we should be [...]

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