I read regularly, but as a kid I was a voracious consumer of books.
Everything from Westerns to science fiction, detective novels, and anything in between.
Although to be fair while I tried a Mills and Boon novel once, and attempted to read Sweet Valley High (my sister’s books), romance novels never cut it for a young boy. Ewww!
But it was when I was about 10 or 11 that my world completely shifted. A good mate gave me a fantasy book to read (how I hadn’t read any up to this point is still beyond me even today, but they weren’t so popular or prolific back then, especially in my small hometown library).
The first fantasy novel I ever read was The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander. It changed my life, expanded my mind to new levels, and gave me a passion that has never dwindled as I’ve levelled up in years.
But it was through the stories of writers such as David Eddings and Raymond Feist that I learned a profound lesson.
Most of the main characters of those novels come from humble and simple beginnings. They acquire power, and often positions of wealth. But rather than using this status to gain greater wealth or lording over others these characters see themselves as servants of the people.
Their power, position, and wealth is put to use serving other people, mostly the simple, humble folk who the main characters were once like. They see their role of service as giving value back to their community and world. Not one of taking more and accumulation for their own sake.
This ideal is the nobility of service.
Nobility of service is about focusing on nurturing the relationship rather than miserly squeezing every dollar out of every transaction.
It comes out of love and gratitude for what we are able to do, and who we are able to do it for. It comes from seeking to provide excellence, great service, and enriching another’s life.
When your side hustle comes from a place of noble service, value first, you bring mutual trust and respect. Trust empowers, increases self-worth, and leaves your customer feeling valued. Not because you’ve met their needs or wants, but because you see your customer as a person. Nobility comes from giving a toss beyond the transaction.
Put your people first
If we want to make a difference in the world, help people transform their lives, or simply be a better version of themselves and see them succeed, then we need to focus on finding ways to bring more value to our customers and clients instead of focusing on how much money we can make off of them.
Noble service is not about sacrificing yourself or doing everything and more for your audience. It’s not about giving everything away for free.
They won’t value you or what you do. You won’t value yourself or your audience either.
Instead, when you create and bring value that can positively transform the lives of your audience, when you focus on the nobility of service, you create a win-win-win situation which your audience will thank you and reward you for.
As Dharmesh Shah said “Rather than finding a way to make a million dollars, find a way to serve a million customers”
Do you elevate and transform your customer lives?
Entrepreneurship is about finding problems and creating solutions to those problems, usually by building and scaling a business. Side hustles are less about solving the world’s problems, and more about sharing something that we ourselves enjoy. That doesn’t mean side giggers can’t be problem solvers.
We should always be about bringing value and transformation to the lives of those we touch.
In fact we can often bring greater value to our specific audiences than would an entrepreneur who wouldn’t “waste their time” with a small niche audience that may have limited scope to scale.
Less is often more. And finding ways to serve is the way to success.