The Daily Stoic for August 23rd, “It’s In Your Self-Interest”.

“Therefore, explain why a wise person shouldn’t get drunk—not with words, but by the facts of its ugliness and offensiveness. It’s most easy to prove that so-called pleasures, when they go beyond proper measure, are but punishments.”
—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 83.27

Today’s stoic excerpt has two interesting interpretations. One at a personal level, and another at a business level.

The first one means that it’s usually useless to try to convince people of something by moralizing. We all hate to be lectured. Instead, it’s better to tell this person why you truly think something is better for them, but without judging.

It’s In Your Self-Interest

The second one is interesting from the point of view of an entrepreneur, freelancer or even blogger. When you are trying to get the attention of someone, in my experience, is useless to talk about stats, about what’s better, morally acceptable, more fashionable, cooler, etc.

What really works is alluding to people’s self-interest. “What’s in there for you?”

This might sound selfish, but it’s not. We live in the era of information overload. The internet has become a big online mall to attract people into buying stuff. There’s a myriad of people everywhere puking information, re-tweeting, posting videos, writing yet another “the 7 most common mistakes you are making when…” post, vomiting their virtual happiness on their Instagram feeds…

People have desensitized. And it’s perfectly normal. We just look for our self-interest, like everybody else. So if you want to be heard, offer people something they truly need. Give them some useful information, instead of writing yet another SEO-friendly article.

Curiously, in my mind, you get to people’s self-interest when you forget about yours. When your intention is honestly, humbly helping others, that’s when you start getting heard.

Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “It’s In Your Self-Interest”, discusses a very interesting truth. We all look for our own interest. Being aware of that can help you personally and in your business.

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