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WIIFM- What’s in it for me?

The WIIFM is a basic question that every sales person asks himself. Take for example a new product comes out that your company wants you to sell; you will find yourself asking “What’s in it for me?” One will usually identify compensation, job security, or a handful of other important outcomes by asking “WIIFM”.

“WIIFM” is a daily question you ask yourself
The truth is though, “WIIFM” really is equal to questions you and I ask ourselves every day. In marriage, for example, a spouse may ask you to do something (either out of the ordinary or an everyday occurrence). Most of us aren’t adeptly selfless, so we may say “Absolutely I’ll do that for you…” but in the back of our minds, we’re thinking “Well, What’s in it for me?” How many times have you helped a friend move? During those times, have you wondered, “Are they going to help me move when I’m ready to pack up and find a new place? Am I at least going to get pizza out of the deal?” The “WIIFM” is  inevitable. In some ways, it’s selfish. In others, it’s a self-discovery question that will help you get to the core of what’s important to motivate you.

When Chris, Adam, and I began to discuss forming a company to help farmers in Laos, I asked myself, “Gabe, What’s in it for me?” I was surprised by my response. It wasn’t about money, it wasn’t about fame, it wasn’t about time, and it wasn’t even about hanging out with two cool dudes. All those things could be sub-factors.  However, they weren’t the key….not even close.
Grandpa’s a Farmer!

Campbell's Soup Days - Grandpa far left; myself bottom right

Campbell’s Soup Days – Grandpa far left; myself bottom right

Let’s rewind a bit! My Great Grandpa lived to be a 105 years old. My Grandpa is still alive, in his 80’s. These men were lifelong farmers; they both lived through the great depression, but most of all, they contained an abundant amount of zeal for live. My Grandpa has severe arthritis from all his work on the farm. We tease him about his ability to spell things with his crooked fingers; his index finger is easily formed into an “E”–  a product of his extreme work. He was up 4 am each morning and wouldn’t come in until it was dark, for “supper”. While he did a lot of different farming, one of his main claims to fame was all the vegetables he raised and sold to the Campbell’s Soup company. My Grandpa would grow and harvest hundreds of acres of vegetables and then transport them to Campbell’s. Side note: I buy Campbell’s soup to this day because they helped provide for my family at one point or another. I also really enjoy their soups!

Now fast forward! There are farmers struggling to survive in Laos. Farmers that get up at before 4 in the morning and wouldn’t come in until dark.  They worked hard, but hard work alone doesn’t always get one where they need to be if resources are lacking. Seeing how my Great Grandpa and Grandpa made it, it’s easy for me to discover my WIIFM. And it’s not selfish — although the selfish nature in general, is understood. By joining Mission Arabica, you may ask:  what’s in it for me? It’s the ability to help farmers like someone once helped my family. It’s powerful. It’s meaningful — And for once, it isn’t selfish.

You’ll probably see me blog in the future about American Culture, Generation Y’s, Sales today, and so much more. I strongly believe that as a culture we watch too much TV, don’t build enough with our hands (this is a newer revelation to me), and don’t help others enough. We are seeing a shift back to helping people —, — Make a Wish Foundation — These are leaders in my opinion, in many ways. These organizations are all different sizes, but I believe in what they are doing.
What’s in it for YOU
We want you along for the ride, to join our journey! It’s important to us that we don’t do this alone. As you ask yourself, “What’s in it for me to join the journey,” think about what community looks like. How can your skills help the journey and is this cause as important to you as it is to us? The WIIFM doesn’t have to be selfish — And we hope it’s not. As you decide to join with us, you can solely keep up with us… stay in touch and drink some great coffee along the way. We love to hear from people——feedback is the key to evolving. You can also link with us by purchasing products from the Laos farmers through Amazon, with whom we are an affiliate partner (and therefore receive a small percentage of each sale).  There are other ways to help too, including something as simple as signing up for our email!

To close, WIIFM is a fantastic development process to think through– and you do it every day, whether or not you consciously ask yourself the question. I challenge you to keep an eye on selfishness vs selflessness. One will eat you alive, while the other will drive your passions.