Actor George Clooney floundered in Hollywood for years before he became a star. He went to audition and after audition, was rejected, and sent away. Like anyone would, he became bitter & frustrated.

But, everything changed when he had an epiphany. He realized that the movie producers had their own problems. He realized that these producers were stressed about their budgets, stressed about finding actors to fill their movie’s roles so that their movies could succeed. They needed somebody special and they were hoping that the next actor to come in would be the one to make their movie a success.

In short, George finally realized that these auditions were not about George Clooney at all. He had been agonizing over how much the producers might like him or if this audition or that audition would make him a star. But, these auditions were actually about the movie producers and their needs. George could succeed by focusing on what they wanted. He needed to offer a solution to their problem, not his problem of wanting to become a star. If George solved the producers’ problem, then George’s problem would solve itself.

George adjusted his mindset, got focused on the movie producers and what they were thinking and feeling, and his luck changed immediately. The rest is, as they say, history.

The Simple, but, Overlooked, Secret

If you want to win big in anything this is the simple secret:

Focus more on who you can help and how you can help them. Focus less on what you want out of the deal. The other person can be a movie producer, a job interviewer, your boss, or the customers of your business or potential business.

When you think about who you can sell, how much you can sell them, and how everyone will look up to you afterward, you have an inward-focused mindset. These types of thoughts are really about you. These thoughts are about what you want, just like George Clooney’s initial approach to movie auditions was about him. This mindset will blind you to the other person’s wants and needs. It’s near impossible to hit a target that you cannot even see.

But, when you think about how you can help the other person, what they might be feeling, what problems they have, how they might feel, and how you could provide solutions to their problems, you have an outward-focused mindset. This will open your eyes to see the clues that were there all along. This will give you the empathy to understand how you can solve their problem.

And as George Clooney learned, the solution to your problem is always on the other side of the other person’s problem.

The featured image for this article was taken by Gary King and is used in accordance with the Wikimedia Commons 3.0 license.