In a capitalist society, everyone is out for their own interest to some extent. But whether you’re talking about investment or business, there is a real argument to be made for incorporating an element of altruism into your approach. These things aren’t necessarily the zero-sum game they appear sometimes, and there are more than a few benefits of keeping an eye out for others as well.
One person who knows this all too well is Hunter Leonard. Hunter was recently on the Get Invested podcast and talked a lot about his values, which include empathy and a respect for everyone. Hunter runs Silver & Wise, a business consultancy that aims to ‘Change the lives of mature age Aussies through business ownership, one person at a time.’ In pursuit of this goal, Hunter has landed in some brilliant territory, he makes a good living for himself and in doing so truly helps others succeed in life as well.
But altruism is an easy thing to pay lip service to and then forget about in the grind of our daily lives. Below we’ve listed out three key benefits of altruism, great reminders to let seep into more aspects of our lives.
Everyone wants to live in a nice place, but few people think of their individual actions in terms of affecting the quality of community they live in. We’ve become very disconnected and have lost the relationship to our communities, particularly in big cities. A good way to think about how this can work is the Pay It Forward phenomenon, where one person’s good deeds have far-reaching positive consequences. Create a positive ripple in your family, team, office and community today.
When you’re feeling overly taxed or stressed, it can feel like you’ve got nothing to offer anyone. Counterintuitively, giving to others can be a great way to forget your stress and relax. Numerous studies have shown that the act of giving can activate the area of the brain associated with positive feelings, lifting your spirits and making you feel better the more you give.
Again, this one is counterintuitive, but by practising a form of conscious capitalism you differentiate yourself from the ‘me, me, me’ crowd. This can prove very valuable from a business perspective and increase the number of people who want to work with you. Being a successful investor or entrepreneur is often as much about partnerships as anything else, and the dynamic here is pretty simple. People like to work with people who are not selfish.
Being altruistic obviously doesn’t mean giving away all your money, but it’s my view that caring for others and your community is an imperative to real success. Add a dash of this moral philosophy to how you approach life and see what happens. I’ve found it to be a key ingredient to successful investing, entrepreneurship and relationship-building. Think of some of the most powerful legacies in human history, was altruism involved? The answer is usually yes.
For more of our conversation, check out the podcast here!