“What is the single most illuminating question you can ask someone?” He added a supplementary question, “If you could only ask one question of everyone you meet from now on in order to gain insight from/about them, what would it be?” I responded quickly because I knew what I would ask. It was easy for me because I remind myself daily of the answer from my perspective. I replied, “I would ask ‘Why were you put on earth?’”
Many years ago, I began asking myself this question. I wanted to understand my role here on earth. Why was I put here? What is my role? What is expected of me? When I reach the Pearly Gates (or someplace down below), will I have fulfilled my mission on earth? My answer is simple. “I believe I am here to help others. Nothing more, nothing less. Just to help others.” In essence, my role on earth is to serve others. It is truly that simple.
OK, maybe not that simple, but let me explain some of my thinking.
- Visioning my role as being here to serve does not mean I am subservient to others.
- I have a leadership role in our industry. I have learned a great deal over my almost 35 years in sponsorship marketing, and in my role to serve others, I believe I need to share that knowledge and insight. Some of it is offered free like the TMC® you are reading. It may be through a minimal purchase to buy my book Reality Check – Straight Talk About Sponsorship Marketing, hear me speak at a conference, register for a workshop, or hire our company and me to help your organization deliver a better bottom line. No matter how you take this knowledge and insight, it is me serving others.
- I also look at serving others in our sector by being a mentor to students at my alma maters and other post-secondary institutions, as well as multiple chapters of AFP and SMCC. There I serve others while learning myself. This is a form of shared serving!
- And of course, I serve our clients. Whether they are a brand or property, it is my role to help them be more successful. I often say to prospects, “We look forward to serving and assisting you to get to the next level in your sponsorship marketing program.” To clients I say, “Thank you for letting us serve you.” Our job, and mine specifically, is to help them by serving them. It does not mean that we do it for free or that they can bully us, but we are a supplier, a trusted advisor, and there to serve.
- I also serve in my community. I am here to support charities, non-profits, and my daughter’s activities, among other things. Whether it is my church or the local food bank, by providing my leadership, knowledge, insights, as well as labour and financial support, I serve these organizations as well.
- Finally, and most importantly, I serve my family. I am here to provide shelter and food for them. I am here to support them in their passions and visions. I am here to provide leadership, insight, conversation, and love, not to mention listening, compassion, and frivolity. I serve my wife, my daughter, and all my family every day and love doing it.
So, when someone asks me this question as David did, I am pretty clear. I am here to serve. And when I ask someone else my question, “Why are you here in earth,” I can learn a great deal from their insight. It is a view into their world and being. It is interesting to ask them, as David did, “What would be that one question you would ask others?”
Mine is pretty clear. What would be yours?
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