One of my favorite things about the people at Lemonade Stand is how outward minded they are. One of our core values is to “Serve Others First.” This means that you should always be looking for other people to serve before you ever think about serving yourself or putting your own wants or desires before theirs.
We believe that this is the way that you should act in all circumstances of life. That means that you should serve your clients first, you should serve your team members first, you should serve your family first, you should even serve the random person that you don’t even know first. Think about other people – the people who you interact with, the people you could interact with, etc. before you think about yourself.
If everyone thought like this, then the world would mostly take care of itself. We live in a world of “selfies” “self care” “self love” self, self, and more self. We believe that this is where most of our problems and disappointments come from in life. Think about other people a little more often than you think about yourself, you just might find yourself happier than you ever thought you could be.
Our CEO has a little saying that we all love. It goes like this. “One of life’s greatest mysteries is that the degree to which we think about ourselves, the unhappier we are, and the degree to which we think about others, the happier we are.”
It seems a little backwards, right? Take care of yourself less.. And you’ll be happier? Doesn’t necessarily seem to make sense. No matter how nonsensical that sounds to you, it is the absolute truth.
When you think about other people more than you think about yourself, and you serve those other people more than you serve yourself, I guarantee you that you will be a happier person. There is just something about the act of giving and being selfless that fills you up with immeasurable joy!
If you want to live life and not just get by, if you want to stop only living for the weekend when you don’t have to work anymore and you can sit back and sip a pina colada and do nothing for anyone but yourself, if you really want to know what joy is and what it means to be here on Earth, stop thinking about yourself! Go out and serve others.
Service is what life is all about.
Plus, the flip side of all of this is that when you are worried about other people, then those people are worried about you. Part of the happiness from serving others comes from the fact that those people will also start serving you. They’ll have your back. Your life becomes less of a worry because you know that other people are watching out for you and that you’ll always have a helping hand when you need it the most.
You don’t serve to be served, but it is one of the happy coincidences that comes from being outward minded.
Build Then Bless
We try to foster this value in our team members through our favorite thing ever: “Build Then Bless.”
(You can learn a little bit more about this program by reading this article.)
We want our team members to be happy, and we also want them to be some of the best people on the planet. With those two things in mind, we’ve created a program for our team that encourages them to always be thinking about other people’s needs and wants.
Out of almost every interaction that they have, they’re able to come up with some way that they could help. Build Then Bless then gives them the opportunity (or sometimes just the encouragement) to actually go out and help. Thinking about others is only the first half of serving them. Once you think about something, you have to actually go do it.
Honestly, though, just getting yourself in the proper mindset is probably the most difficult, yet important part. It takes a lot of focus and dedication, but it is so worth it!
A Couple of Bunk Beds
One of my favorite stories of our team members living this value is when our company president, John Rowa, needed some help building a few bunk beds that he had purchased for his children.
You can check out the full story from him on LinkedIn, but I’ll summarize it here.
John had recently broken his back and was not in a great place to be moving around and building furniture. Our team knew that.
He mentioned at work one day that his plans for the evening were to go home and build two bunk beds that he had bought from Ikea. It was an all-night kind of project regardless of his back, but his back made it even more difficult.
Well, upon hearing this, two of our team members (one being the CEO, Derek Miner, that I have already mentioned in this article, and the other being our COO, Mitch Labrum), decided that they were going to give up their night to go over and help John build these bunk beds for his kids.
These weren’t a couple of employees trying to get in good with the company president. They are just two guys who were looking for a way to serve someone else. They were thinking outside of themselves as they listened to someone else talk about what was going on in their life.
They put someone else’s needs above their own (they both have large families and had also had a good, long day of work before even starting on the bunk beds). They could have easily filled their time with all of their other responsibilities or by just relaxing and doing some of that “self care” stuff.
Instead, they chose to “Serve Others First” and showed us all what it means to really live that value and to Build Then Bless. Always.
How Can You Live This Core Value?
How do you put this core value into practice?
It really is as simple as I’ve been saying all along.
You have to stop thinking about yourself all the time. You have to actively decide that you are going to put your needs on the back burner and focus on other people that could use your talents, your time, your listening ear, whatever it may be. You choose to give up something for yourself and use that to serve someone else.
I suggest starting with that. Start by simply changing your mindset and your outlook on life. This life isn’t about how much you can get. That’s never going to be fulfilling. This life is all about how much you can give. Your joy and fulfillment will be never ceasing when you make that switch.
The other part of it will come naturally, I think. Once you decide to change the way that you think about people, you will naturally start to reach out and serve others. It will become a part of your daily life. You’ll stop thinking about what other people might think about you. You’ll stop feeling self conscious or doubtful that you are doing any good for anyone. You’ll just start acting.
Thinking outwards and acting on those thoughts is the best way that you can start living this core value.
We would love to be able to get to know you and see how we can best serve you. Please reach out to our team with any questions that you might have or any of your specific digital marketing needs!