A few weeks ago I had dinner with a colleague and received one of my favorite compliments to date. I invited him to dinner as my treat to thank him for meeting with me once before, and to get more information out of him on how to incorporate my startup. As I was thanking him for meeting with me, he says “Thank you! You always bring something to the table.” (as he acknowledged the carry out container in his hand). This got me to thinking...first off, what did I bring to the table the first time? Then I remembered.
In preparation for our first meeting, I researched his company, Tenaciti, Inc. and came up with a few ideas that could be beneficial to the uniqueness of his corporation. As a licensed Realtor and fellow CEO of The Textbook Plug, Inc., I have a little insight on his sector so my suggestions weren’t benighted. Additionally, I wasn’t paying him for his time, so I felt that was the least I could do. This compliment meant a lot to me because although I strive to be of equal value to the people in my circle, I didn’t expect him to notice. Especially being as though I initiated contact with him to pick his brain free of charge. In a world consumed by money and power, the word “value” has become synonymous with capital. And don’t get me started on how useless the art of “teaching someone how to fish” has become unless it’s a get rich quick scheme. To Millennials, unless cash is attached to it, its basically worthless.
I was delighted to know that I was sharing a space with someone who shares the same values as me. Through this encounter, and a few others, I’ve come to realize that my favorite compliments are those that speak of my character. They validate who I think I am. Because let’s be honest, thinking you’re great means nothing if no one is on the receiving end of your greatness. What do your compliments say about you and what are you bringing to the table?