This One Secret Will Change the Way You Do Business

A woman telling another woman a secret
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Note from the writer: This was a piece I wrote on the merits of the Golden Rule in business. — Ben


What’s the biggest challenge you face in your small business? If I ask ten people that question, nine of them will say “getting more customers.” In this post, I’m going to share one very special secret with you that will help you get more customers faster.

Are you intrigued yet?

Mohandas Gandhi reportedly said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” He never actually said this, but he made a similar statement.

Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” This was in his best-selling book How to Win Friends and Influence People published in 1936.

Going quite a bit further back in the stream of time, Jesus said, “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the famous Golden Rule.

All three statements have a point in common: Take an interest in other people, and treat them the way you want them to treat you.

Common Mistakes

I know what you’re thinking. What in the world does this have to do with helping me get more customers?

Here are three common mistakes I’ve seen small businesses make:

  1. They only talk about themselves. All their social media posts focus on how great they are or how they’re the best at what they do.
  2. They don’t reach out to the community. You won’t see them trying to foster a discussion with potential customers. They may not even ask current customers for feedback on how they’re doing.
  3. They don’t share information. Everything is a trade secret that they won’t share unless you jump through their hoops.

The secret I’ve been talking about is simple but powerful. Do the opposite. I’ll make it even simpler for you.

Secret, secret, I’ve got a secret.

The Secret

Before you ever ask a customer for anything, give them something of value first.

If they’re looking for solid information or advice, give it to them. Sure, some of them will take that information and go elsewhere, but that was going to happen anyway.

You know what’ll happen more often, though? They’ll talk to you and several of your competitors. What they’ll find is that all your competitors are playing things close to the chest. They’re telling your customer all about how great they are at what they do. The problem is, they aren’t having a real conversation with your customer.

Then, when that same customer talks to you, they’re blown away. You’re actually willing to open up and have an honest conversation with them. You’re not telling them over and over how you’re the best. You’re not afraid to give away some information for free.

Which company do you think your customer is going to remember the most? Which company do you think your customer is going to want to hire?


If you aren’t currently doing this in your business, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. You’ll make yourself stand out from your competitors, and people will want to do business with you.



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Benjamin Gilstrap

Benjamin Gilstrap

I help technology companies succeed through the power of engaging storytelling.