Be a second mile servant

Changing how we give and reaping the reward

We all know that in today’s economy everyone tries to  stretch and squeeze every dollar to get the best value we possibly can.. That the way to make technology and business work, is to run a tight and lean ship. Cut back staffing, increase profits, lower expenses, do more with less.

Let’s admit it. We all at one time or another, have implemented those tactics to achieve our goals and increase our resources. 


But I decided that I would sit down and blog a different type of post this week, to offer up a different perspective. One that can change the way you do business and still watch profits grow. 


It’s not the latest in get rich, 10-step to growth plans, or a run lean and mean scheme. It’s a lesson that I have been learning and trying to apply to my own life, business and change how I interact with my vendors, clients and employees.


I call it the “2nd mile servant” and it’s both a life changing and revolutionary way to do business. 


Now, before I get into the details hear me out… 


Serving comes naturally


Everything we do, on some level is serving. That includes, providing clients with a product or service, using our skills to solve a problem, using our hands, minds, voices; we give those items or that service, to serve someone.


I know for the longest time I felt the word “servant” had a negative connotation. To me, it meant that I make myself lower than someone, it made me feel less than or brought imagery of a butler or maid to mind. It made me feel less and my selfish side was screaming “Enough it’s time to get yours…” 


It was only over the course of 20 years, that I really understood what it meant to be a servant when I had kids, volunteered and gave to others, without any want or need in return. I felt that when I gave of my time/resources to someone - no matter how small/large, free/expensive, to me I saw my life being enriched and blessed. 


So, through this journey I had this thought: Why not apply this in business? Where can I give of my company’s time, resources and money to better those around me.


A positive experience


So, I opened my eyes a bit, listened, and waited for the time to present itself. An opportunity to give, with no “strings attached”. And you know what? I had a local HS Club come to me asking to donate one day, and from that initial conversation, I found they were also looking for help with their website.


I am here to say that after 5 years now after giving my time, hosting space and design expertise, I have had the blessing turned back. I now get to see students seek their passion with robots, web design and coding, being able to teach and educate and I’ve learned a LOT about going the second mile. 


I have several other stories similar to this. That’s because I now know the true value of going the second mile. Every time I took my focus off trying to always make the next dollar and instead, looked up to see who I could serve, I gained a real reward.


And that’s something everyone who tries this will come to realize. Each time you serve others, you’ll feel rewarded, oftentimes, doubly so.

Make it work for you


So, you’re probably scratching your head and thinking “how can I do this in my business?” We’ll here are a few suggestions that may help.


  • If you have the opportunity to work with your client’s face-to-face, make a visit with muffins and coffee and see if there are ways to teach them a new skill or tip, that can help them in their day-to-day.
  • If you’re an organizer watching someone’s workflow, you may be able to offer solutions to better organize their filing systems, or reorganization of office equipment that improves productivity. 
  • If you’re a landscaper, offer to install Christmas lights free of charge on their bushes, or offer to come by to show them how to prep their gardens for the winter. 
  • If you own a dog grooming business meet, with your clients and share how to keep your pups grooming up in between visits. 
  • If you’re a lawyer, you could offer to meet with your clients and share experiences with how they can prepare for their future and connect them up with resources you trust in areas like insurance, property management etc. 


All this really requires is you to take your eyes off trying to always sell and turn it into ways to serve. If you can do that, I’m willing to make a bet that you’ll start to see your business take off.


If you have a similar story you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it! As its always encouraging when you can hear others stories of “going the second mile”.