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Many people struggle to find a career that makes them feel whole. To find that “thing” that provides their life with purpose, fills them with joy and speaks to the heart. I always knew the saying “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” was feasible, and I was confident I’d find that calling. For me, my “thing” is building a business that benefits customers more than the business itself.

When I co-founded my company Renovating Lives, I truly wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and I didn’t really care how much it paid or how much work it took. I believe when you do things for the right reason, the money comes. When I see the smile or happy tears rolling down my clients’ faces after helping them renovate their home and sell it for more than they ever could imagine, giving them the ability to start their new life… now that is a business worth building. A business that truly puts people first over company profits. 

As with any career, there are ups and downs, trial and error and learning curves, but I’d never change a thing about what I do. Here are four things I learned from creating a business out of helping others.

Show compassion. A lot of people in business are scared to be human. I am not sure where the stigma of showing emotion or compassion in business came from, but I’m here to tell you to cut that out. Showing compassion is the easiest way to help someone. It humanizes the situation, it brings you closer to your clients and in the end, it builds more trust than you ever would have been able to before.

Build trust through results. When your line of work is built on the premise of helping others, sometimes it can be seen as too good to be true. To build trust in your business and its purpose, you have to produce results. A portfolio of past work examples speaks volumes to a new client and provides them with an example of what they can expect. Another way to build trust is to over-communicate. Ask for feedback, bring them on the journey with you. If you make them feel part of the process, in the end, the results will be exactly what they were looking for. Finally, once a project is complete, arrange a time to gather a testimonial. Whether done via video interview or online review, these real-life case studies have the ability to build a huge line of trust in future clients.

Clients should be seen as family. Having a business that revolves around helping others means you need to form relationships that are stronger than your average client. It’s important to gently peel away at their layers to discover the true wants and desires of these individuals who are in need of your help. Don’t be afraid to get close – it can only benefit you and the client in the long run.

To help others, you have to take risks. If you are scared to fail, you’re not taking risks and some of the scariest things are the most rewarding. Having a business that is based on the premise of helping others is asking people who are in vulnerable situations to risk their time and emotions on your business. That takes guts. So, to give back to these individuals, you have to take the risks that will not only benefit you but the client even more.

Building a business out of helping others is no easy feat. There are times when emotions are running high and when stress hits hard, but in the end who else can say they dedicate their lives to making other people’s better? Take the time to get to know each client so you can truly help them in the ways that are needed. Build that trust, be someone they can lean on and above all – do what makes you happy.