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Whenever I’m reading a book or listening to a podcast, I’m not just thinking about what’s in it for me. I’m thinking about what’s in it for my social circle too. Because most of them are creatives and creators, and they’re often looking for solutions to their pressing concerns, just as I am.

I may read a book and think to myself, “I think ABC ought to read this.”

Or I may listen to a podcast and think to myself, “XYZ would really benefit from this!”

This may seem somewhat unusual but it’s classic networking advice. After meeting someone, following up with an article or resource that would be of interest to them can build rapport.

I’d suggest doing this in a thoughtful, calculated way, though, because sending them a super obvious article about something they probably already know about their industry is just going to annoy them.

But why do this in the first place? What’s the benefit?

In self-improvement, we often get too fixated on ourselves. After all, the word “self” appears first in that term.

But if you were to think carefully on why you got into self-improvement in the first place, it’s because of something more you wanted out of life. And the things you want are often on the other end of uncomfortable or difficult conversations.

If other people aren’t part of your self-improvement journey, you’re probably doing it wrong.

To get what you want, you may need to get out of your comfort zone to have a conversation with someone you don’t know. You may need to get in good graces with someone of influence. What are you going to do if you don’t know how? How are you going to take your self-improvement to the next level if improving your social and communication skills isn’t a part of your growth plan?

But the thing that people often don’t see – because they are so fixated on themselves – is that when they help others, it ends up helping them.

You feel better when you help someone. You learn from the interaction. And it ends up building your credibility and authority. You become the go-to person when people are looking for a resource. Further, rising tides raise all ships.

We all talk about growing a “following” but that only comes from helping others. There’s no reputation to gain from naval gazing.

If you make recommendations others appreciate, guaranteed your influence will grow. Because you’ll be focused on the needs of your audience, instead of being focused entirely on your own needs and wants.

There’s no self-improvement if you stay in your comfort zone. And there’s no self-improvement if others aren’t a part of it.

Always be watching for what could benefit others. And when you find something of interest, send it their way. This is what leaders do.

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