Almost nothing inspires more than helping others so much that they pay you for it

February 25, 2016 by Joshua
in Education, Entrepreneurship

I’m getting good at leading students to inspiration. I can’t wait to release my online entrepreneurship course (contact me if you’re interested in taking it), which is where I’m seeing all the inspiration.

I’m not talking about short-term feelings of inspiration. If you want to build muscle, quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger from his Pumping Iron days may make you feel inspired, but you’ll still have to keep motivating yourself to go to the gym.

Teaching entrepreneurship has shown me that when someone identifies a problem, the people feeling it, and a way to solve it, and they engage themselves in implementing the solution, they get more than temporary feelings of inspiration. They get enduring passion, like they can make a meaningful difference in others’ lives and they want to work at it until they do.

The same people who, in the beginning of the class, said they could never come up with an idea or were too scared to present to others, feel enthusiastic about developing, implementing, and presenting their solutions.

There is a big difference between someone feeling inspired to help themselves and feeling inspired to help others. The former needs constant replenishment. The latter sustains you indefinitely.

It takes effort to get to that stage, but once there, you want to stay there. One of my main focuses as a teacher has been to perfect the technique of leading students through that process. I think I can safely say I’m good at it now. That’s why I can’t wait to finish editing the online course to release it.

Years ago I might have called the last phrase in this post’s title, “so much that they pay you for it,” crass. Not anymore. Now I consider someone paying for a solution a sign that you are meeting their values. When their solution is vague, before they’ve worked out the details of how they’ll serve their customers to the point of getting paid, they don’t yet show inspiration. Also, many people try to solve their imagined idea of someone else’s problem, not realizing they misunderstand the person they think they are serving.

Only the person with the problem knows their problem perfectly. Their paying you is one of the most effective signs you’re addressing their problem accurately.

Read my weekly newsletter

On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my weekly newsletter