Throughout my adult working life, there has been a common theme that binds every single one of my successes. It didn’t matter what industry I was working in. My job title made no difference. The positive results were all earned through this one tiny, simple little concept.

A concept that I want to share with you…right now.

And you know why I want to share this business success strategy with you…right now?

Because I honest-to-goodness, genuinely and whole-heartedly want you to be successful. It’s actually my first and foremost priority. Did you know that? And consequently, my bosom business buddy, what I just told you is the essence of everything we’re going to talk about today.

Every time I have been successful in my career, it is because I put the success of someone else before my own.

I like to call it, The Art of Residual Success.

And please don’t assume I’m about to waste your time with a ridiculously Utopian philosophy drenched in sap and lathered with buttercream frosting. Although this strategy is undoubtedly sweet, it’s also legit.

However, it can also feel counter-intuitive and often requires us to reprogram ourselves. But I can say this sincerely and with real-life experience to support it:

It works.

This secret weapon behind my business successes can be applied to practically any and every industry. Regardless what business you’re in, you can practice the Art of Residual Success, and if done correctly, you will be rewarded with positive results.

So my fellow blogger, business owner, entrepreneur and employee of ABC Corp., bear with me as I explain the WHAT, WHY and HOW behind this practice. It’s time we make some magic together and get you hitting your goals!

The Art of Residual Success

What Is It?

>> The Art of Residual Success is based on the premise that if you genuinely focus your efforts on helping others reach their goals, you will experience success in return. <<

I know, I know. You’re thinking this sounds awfully Polly Anna right now. I get it. But I’ll remind you again, it works. AND, though the premise seems relatively straight forward, I’ll warn you: there’s a touch more to it than just its definition alone.

Allow me to illustrate the concept with an example.


As I shared with you in this article, before my husband was my husband, he was my boss. During those years, I watched him pour all his energy into developing each and every member of our team.

He got to know us. He listened to our goals and learned what motivated us as individuals. He assessed our strengths and weaknesses and worked tirelessly on helping all of us reach our full potential.

However, while he was doing this, he was being hammered by his chain of command to “make his numbers” and tow the company line…pressures that most any boss can relate to.

But he knew that if he stuck to his guns and continued to invest in us, eventually it would pay off in a big way. And man, did it ever.

After a few months of being pretty much mediocre, our team began firing on all cylinders. We became the best team in our company (and it was a LARGE company) and were breaking records all over the dang place. Our once chastised team was suddenly flooded by awards and accolades…none of which did our boss ever take ANY amount of credit for. All the spoils of victory were passed directly on to the team.

Yet no matter how generous or humble he was, this fact was undeniable >> He was the most successful person at his position in our company. 

And it all was because he put our success in front of his, and was willing to take the heat and hang in there while waiting for those residuals to come trickling in.

Some Important Points

1. This Strategy Does NOT Only Apply To Bosses, AT ALL

While the example I offered was that of a manager investing in his team, I absolutely PROMISE that it transfers to any position, business or job title.

For instance, I practiced this successfully when interfacing with clients at a former job. I noticed quickly that every single time I focused 100% of my energy on their goals, I created a “win-win” situation. The client succeeded and I felt great.

But the moment I allowed self-concern to creep in, I would make little decisions here and there that were more about serving my own needs rather than the person I was trying to help. It almost always diminished their outcomes and consequently, mine.

And to you, my blogging friend, the Art of Residual Success applies to you as well. For you, it’s about placing the needs of your audience in front of your own. And that can be a hell of a lot more difficult than you might imagine at times, but is so rewarding. I’ll explain in more detail in just a bit.

2. Sacrifice

Before you decide whether to buy a ticket for this crazy train I’m driving, I need to disclose that this business strategy often requires a substantial amount of sacrifice.

It’s a sacrifice of time and energy. Practicing this philosophy correctly means that in almost every case, you are going above and beyond. You extend yourself for the sake of some else’s success. And you often are sacrificing small gains/rewards now in the faith that doing so will pay off much larger dividends in the future.

3. Selflessness

Yes, you have to take care of your business. Yes, if you own a business of any sort, you have to market it. And by all means, yes…you absolutely must take care of yourself.

I’m not advocating the type of selflessness or sacrifice that causes you to make self-sabotaging decisions for you or your business.

I’m talking about branding ourselves as givers instead of takers.

If you’re going to practice this philosophy, there will be times where you work an hour over, not because you have to. Not even to directly benefit your own work. But because someone sent you an email asking for your opinion and you really want to be there for them.

It might have taken an hour away that you could have used promoting your products. It may not make actual business sense. But it was selfless generosity, and that’s what I’m talking about.

Why Should I Care?

Okay, so I’ve told you what it is and that it works but I’ve also warned you that it requires a bunch of sacrifice and sometimes doesn’t pay off as fast or as early as other methods. So why the heck should you care? That’s a super valid question, my friend. Let me make a case.

1. Your Skills Improve

When you make the success of others your chief concern, it forces you to up your own game. Period.

How can you possibly help others reach their goals if you are not constantly learning, growing and adding to your own skill set? You can’t.

Bottom line, the more you know, the better able you are to serve someone else. The likelihood of their success increases when you increase what you have to offer.

2. You Create Brand Ambassadors

Every time you help someone achieve a goal, they automatically transform into a living, breathing testament to your skill set. That rocks, right?

If you’re a beauty blogger and your tutorial gave someone the ability to look and feel just a little better than they did before, they are going to love you for that gift! And while they are out there strutting their stuff, they become a testimonial for you —> personified.

You can bet that the team I told you about in the example above was singing our boss’s praises from the mountain tops..and we still do. We are quick to give him credit for believing in us and for helping us achieve things we never thought possible. We are ambassadors of him and his talent.

3. Referral Generation

That leads us seamlessly to this point. When you help someone reach a goal, they become brand ambassadors…and what do brand ambassadors do better than anyone else?

They create referrals for you.

I have learned an ENORMOUS amount from other bloggers. When I implement the ideas of those people, that makes me one of their brand ambassadors. I am taking what they taught me and putting it into action, all the while being ever so grateful to them.

And because of my gratitude, I do things like link them in blog posts and share their content throughout social media. I create referrals for them. And it’s not because they asked me to. It’s not because I was incentivized. It’s because I genuinely appreciate their contribution to my success.

Oh, and because if their info helped me, I assume it can help someone else. (Someone like you…perhaps?) And since your success is my priority, I’m at peace with the fact that the link I just stuck in my post caused you to stray to that other person’s site for a while.

I’m a referral for other people because I value them and what they have to offer, and I hope that by sharing things like that with you, you in turn will be successful and then become an ambassador of mine.

See? It’s like a big, old circle of awesome.

4. Your Success Is Sustainable

And speaking of that circle, The Art of Residual Success is an extremely sustainable method to building your business. Even just helping one person can set off a chain reaction…or shall I say ripple effect…that if fostered can carry your business into the realm of long-term and multiplying success.

Here’s what that looks like:

  • You help Abby accomplish something.
  • Abby is crazy excited that she finally accomplished this thing. (Way to go Abby!)
  • Over the course of time, Abby gives you some shout outs and recommends you here and there.
  • Around 5 of Abby’s friends/colleagues come find you to see what all the fuss is about.
  • You’re just as caring and invested in them, because hey…any friend of Abby’s is a friend of yours, right?
  • Abby’s friends are all like, “Dude. I totally get what Abby was saying. This person rocks!”
  • They become brand ambassadors for you too, and eventually start spreading the love and sending people your way.
  • Now you suddenly have a ton of people to dote on and assist and care for.
  • You send a thank you card to Abby, because that’s the right thing to do, dangit. 

5. More Fulfilling Path

You know that common phrase, “It’s lonely at the top”?

Well here’s my response to that quote.

It’s only lonely at the top if you don’t bring somebody with you.Click To Tweet

Whether you are creating a team of successful employees, assisting someone on a project or teaching someone how to cook the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, helping someone reach a goal is seriously one of the most rewarding things in life.

Have you ever had a coach that got more excited than you did the first time you scored a goal, even though the team was down by 5 points? If so, good for you, and understand it was because that goal was a result of hours of practice and the knowledge that they played a part in helping you make that happen thrilled them and fulfilled them.

The Art of Residual Success adds just a bit more purpose behind your personal business goals. It’s a motivator. It’s an added fringe benefit for your hard work.

How To Make It Happen

Hopefully by now I’ve convinced you that shifting the focus to the success of others is a pretty decent strategy for cultivating your own victories. If so, I want to share with you some tips on how to put this strategy into action and make it a little easier for you to implement. Ready?

1. Research

Get to know the needs, interests and obstacles of your client, employee, reader, etc.  Ask questions, do research, conduct a survey…whatever it takes. Find out what they need help on and what’s important to them.

2. Listen

Have a dialogue with who you’re assisting and then LISTEN. Make notes, remember the details and be ready to dig a little deeper with follow-up questions.

3. Put Yourself In Their Shoes

Not to get all “Golden Ruley” up in here, but in order to help someone succeed at anything, you have to be able to see things from their perspective. Putting yourself in their shoes allows you to feel empathy for their situation and in turn, more attune to their needs.

How you treat them is directly proportional to how they’ll treat you. Just like how your success can be directly proportional to their’s.

4. Quality Over Quantity

That former boss I keep referring to (AKA: my current husband), was always big on reminding us that it is far more important to create connections than it is to make contacts.

So what if you have a hundred thousand page views today if those people never come back? Those people were merely contacts.

The people who become your brand ambassadors, who buy from you, who are loyal to you are the people with which you connect. When you invest in people, you form a connection with them and that’s when the magic starts happening. Focus on the quality of your interactions and you’ll make a lasting impression.

Engagement is greater than volume. Every time.Click To Tweet

5. Test Your Advice

Before you offer up any guidance, ask yourself:

  • Would I give this advice to my best friend?
  • Would I follow this advice myself?
  • How specifically does this advice help?

Whether you’re mentoring a co-worker, creating a tutorial or conducting a training, these are all important considerations. Also, when trying to help someone, make sure your advice is specific and clear enough to act on. Don’t just tell someone what to do, but explain the why and the how.

6. Proactive Follow-Up

When you’re working hard to help someone reach a goal, it’s important to follow-up and verify that your advice is actually helping.

If everything is turning up roses, then that follow-up gives you a chance to join in the victory dance!

If not, you can at least be proactive in lending support. Do you need to switch up your strategy?  Would a different approach to the trick? We don’t always have the answer to everything, however we can provide reassurance, show that we care and do our best…and follow-up gives us that opportunity.

7. Reverse Promotion

My highest traffic days here on the blog are the days I spend time interacting with and promoting other brands.

Now, that’s not why I do it. Believe me. But it does reinforce the fact that what goes around comes around.

I don’t share things for no reason. I don’t make it rain links in my blog posts just to try and grab audience. I also don’t do it to butter up the author. When I share something on the internet with you all, it’s because I think that particular thing rocks, it may help you too, AND because I love the thought of contributing to your success AS WELL AS the success of the person who created it.

Promoting the work of other people is a way of helping them succeed. It’s also a sign of generosity and confidence.

Because that boss I told you about earlier was so quick to sing our praises and give us all the glory for our successes, he earned our unwavering loyalty. He was promoting us, our work and our talent, and we loved him for it.

Bonus to Bloggers: If you would like ideas on how to promote and build up your peers, I have a bunch of funs ones listed here. 

Summing It Up

The Art of Residual Success is quite honestly, my one and only plan to succeed in this hyper-flooded, crazy competitive blogging world. Why? Because it’s worked for me in the past. Also, because it’s the most fulfilling way I’ve found to reach my goals and it’s what keeps me pumped up when things get grueling.

It takes longer initially. I have to be much more aware of what I do and how I do it. It takes a ton of work. But the rewards…oh the rewards.

It’s why I prompt my subscribers with questions and opportunities for shout outs. I want to promote them. It’s why I focus on collaboration opportunities, so I can introduce you to amazing people like Marissa. It’s why I don’t drop links to my content during Twitter chats, but instead focus my attention on answering questions, adding to the conversation and spilling my guts.

It’s why The Common Great exists at all.

Until next time friends, here’s what I want to know…

Have you ever worked for or with someone who made your success their priority? Would you like to give a shout-out to someone who has unselfishly contributed to your success?

By all means, tell us all in the comments below!