Do Unto Others As You Have Done Unto You
This is my first book review in a while because of personal challenges, but I signed up for the launch team a few weeks ago for Brian Dixon’s new book: Start with Your People: The Daily Decision that Changes Everything. (Affiliate link)
This week, my life slowed after weeks of difficulties with serious family issues. I suffered from bronchitis and used the time in bed just to immerse myself in Dixon’s book. My only regret after reading this book is that Brian did not write it years ago when I worked as a professional journalist and educator. I am retired because of disability, but this book makes me want to serve!
As I read this book, I thought about Jesus’s central message for his disciples, which I quoted above. Many call it the Golden Rule found in Matthew 7: 12: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I found this philosophy of service to be the main theme of Dixon’s book.
In the first chapter, Dixon shares hard lessons that he learned after completing a 360 Assessment, an anonymous survey program used to solicit unfiltered feedback from key people in life. He writes that the kicker statement he received in the surveys was, “Brian often puts projects over people.” The feedback led to him rethink how he approached his business.
Dixon adds that instead of moping and feeling sorry for himself because of the criticism from clients, he did the hard thing: put people first. Putting people first became time-consuming and even hit his pocketbook because he offered a refund to a client after he asked her what he could do to make the situations right (p. 16). He writes:
Change starts when you shift your focus outward to serving others. Deciding to put people first isn’t easy. It often requires doing something we don’t want to do. When we start with people, we have clarity of purpose, a plan for our daily practice, and a path to profit.
In his book, Dixon challenges each of us to:
Imagine what your life would be like if you were to start with your people.
If you began with their needs and desires—not with your purpose or profits but with what your people need and want from you and the work you do.”
Dixon covers wide-ranging people issues in this book. The author talks about everything from winning over your boss to tactics to become a great team member. The book also includes chapters on life-work balance topics such as using your spouse as your secret weapon to success in the workplace and seeing your children, not as liabilities, but as opportunities to build a legacy. He examines the role of friendship and the effect that friends can have on your success and even includes a section on dealing with difficult people. This book touches on every important relationship you have in life and how by using your relationships, you can build strong networks that help you succeed in life in holistic ways.
The organization of the book is another strength. Each chapter includes a valuable section entitled “Ideas to Consider” which includes note-taking nuggets to ponder such as these tips on serving others:
“Show up and serve people right where you are, right now, and your mission will follow (p. 147).”
Another beneficial section in each chapter is “Actions To Take” which lists realistic steps to take daily to improve your people relationships in your business and personal life.
Finally, I love that Dixon packed this book with valuable quotes and powerful writing. Below I share a few of my favorites I found as I read:
“Be humble. Be kind. Be generous. Be encouraging. Be forgiving.
It wasn’t so much a set of goals as it was a creed, a motto for how to live my life and run my blog, a list of the five characteristics I most want to display to everyone I come across, five habits I wanted to instill in my life that year and every year. I vowed that, no matter what, I would not be small in my business practices.”
Forward by Ruth Soukup, founder of Ruth Soukup Omnimedia Inc. and New York Times bestselling author of Do It Scare
Starting with your people can turn a hard-driving entrepreneur like me into a heart-centered coach. It can save marriages, heal broken friendships, and end workplace rivalries. It can help us love our work again. And we can wake up with purpose and passion, ready to fight off the voices nudging us toward mediocrity (p.27).
When we get down to it, our main legacy will be the investment we made in people (p. 31).
What if we treated every order, every interaction like it was a life-altering event? Because often it is (pp. 45-46).
Change your performance, but don’t announce your change. Let your dedication speak for itself (p. 63).
When we start with our who, we begin the journey toward our profitable purpose. We help our dream customer accomplish their goal (p. 152).
Do you have a family member finishing college? Starting a new career? Do you know a loved one pondering whether they should leave a job or having difficulty in the workplace? Dixon filled this book with real ideas and life-changing tactics that will help you and loved ones in your life, making it a wonderful Christmas present. You can use this affiliate link to hop over to Amazon to purchase! I hope you will consider doing so!
About the Author
Brian Dixon is a podcaster, conference speaker, and business coach. He believes that each of us was made for a purpose. You will discover that purpose by clarifying your calling, discovering your audience, and creating your products, which will help you navigate a clear path to impact and income.
Brian is passionate about helping authors, speakers, and aspiring messengers create a sustainable business through growing their platform and creating compelling online courses. He is the co-founder of hope*writers, a membership site of over 2,000 working writers. Brian has a doctoral degree from the University of San Diego. He and his wife Julie live in Charlotte, NC with their three young children.