HUGE premise, right?
Not so huge solution. Let me tell you how.
Snow White and the 7 Dwarves
I became a published audiobook reader when I was 4 years old. Okay, we only made one recording and I was the only one who owned it, but nevertheless, I recorded and published it. So nyah!
The book de choix? Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
Here’s the backstory: My parents bought and read me a ton of books. Yet, like most kids out there, I only gravitated to a few. But the one that I absolutely demanded be read to me every night was Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I’m pretty sure it drove my dad craycray, because one day he came home with a “My Cabbage Patch Doll” tape recorder and a blank tape. My mom sat down with me and we recorded the entire book that afternoon. I don’t think his plan really worked because I don’t remember listening to myself and still asking him to read the story for me.
Three times a night.
For the next couple of years.
Anyway, sorry about the digression. I want to get to the crux of why I love (yup, still do) that story. It’s not about the princess being saved by the prince. It has everything to do with magic. It’s the story of a poor, lost girl, pursued by a murderous witch, and finds a miraculous way to save herself through her friendships. Okay, okay, I get that it sounds sappy. But here’s why it applies to everyone
The Secret to Winning People Over
Snow White desperately needed help. Even though she had a kingdom at her fingertips, she was lost in the wild woods, penniless and friendless. In the Disney version, when she ventures upon an empty cottage and notices its messiness, she immediately puts herself to task cleaning the home. She doesn’t know who lives there and doesn’t wonder if they can help her. She just starts getting shit done in order to help them. And in the process, makes a ton of new friends via the local wildlife. Like begets like, and all that jazz.
When the dwarves get home, after a bit of pondering, they allow her to stay. Mind you, these are seven old men set in their ways. They could get killed by the evil queen for harboring Snow. Yet they help her anyway, because she did something wonderful for them first.
How to Apply the Snow White Principle to Yourself:
Sometimes when we desperately want or need something from someone, we demand things from them. To us, it can be a life or death situation.
“I need to grow my business and make more money to keep a roof over my head!”
“I need my husband to help out more at home!”
“I need Stacy to start reciprocating this friendship–she never calls me!”
Granted, all these situations, and others like them, are important. We need money to survive, we need our spouses to help us out and we need friends. So we reach out to other business owners, clients and friends to help us grow our business. We demand and fight with our spouse and children to clean the house. And we start ignoring our friends because they ignored us first.
And communication breaks down!
The Big Mistake
The HUGE mistake here is putting your needs before others. Yes, even if your needs seem like “life and death.” Snow White was in a life and death situation, yet she put the dwarves’ needs (clean home, cook, take care, nuture them) above her own.
(I get that it’s a fairy tale, but fairy tales have fabulous lessons for us)
If we focus on our own needs first, we get the opposite of what we want–NO friendships, angry relationships and bad business ju-ju.
I’m going to ask you to do something that can be difficult.
Instead of asking others what they can do for you, do something for them! Don’t even ask them. Just jump into it.
Let me tell you what happened to me last week.
I posted a request on my personal facebook page asking friends if they knew anyone who could be my virtual assistant. I got a ton of responses, ranging from, “What do you need?” to “How much do you charge?”
Fantastic questions, all of them!
The one email that stood out beyond anyone else’s was a friend who offered her services for free. She was just starting her own virtual business company and wanted me to test her services. She wanted to start the relationship on the right note, however. Instead of charging me, and us losing our friendship because (1) I was not happy with her work or (2) She wasn’t happy with me, she wanted to see if we fit one another, and if we did, she would get an amazing referral from me (and continued paying business).
She’s looking to make money, yes. She has a business.
But first and foremost, she is looking for a long-lasting friendship and sustainable business relationship. That, to me, is irresistible
What’s your Snow White action for this week?
Here are some tips:
Comment on other people’s blogs, retweet their statuses and share their Facebook pages with your friends. If you appreciate what they do as a business, tell the world about it! That’s one of the best ways to make a fabulous business friendship.
Instead of fighting with your spouse, massage his shoulders when he gets home from work (yes, even if you had a hard day at work too). Ask him to massage your shoulders — trust me, you’ll be doing him a favor just as much as doing yourself one. Your spouse probably really does want to help out, but doesn’t know what to do. This is a whole other blog post, but to keep it simple for now, remember that honey always traps flies!
Find out why your friend is so out of reach. Have an honest conversation with her. Perhaps she’s going through major things in her life and really could use a kind word. Text, email, or call her. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just reach out. Better yet, send a surprise card or text to your friends, letting them know how much you appreciate them. I recently received a postcard from a high school friend whom I hadn’t seen for over 10 years. It made my day (Thank you, David)!
What did you think of this article? I would love your comments and shares–it helps me write blogs you want to read — a win-win for us both!