Nice Guys Finish First

The old saying is nonsense. The number one absolute most important thing to do is:

Be Nice!

Need more? Read on my friend…

This may seem like common sense, but as Ray Edwards often points out, common sense isn’t always common practice.

The thing about being nice is that it is both the symptom and the cure.

If you’re living an amazing life, being nice is one of the automatic results. If you’re struggling in life, being nice will help lift you up.


  1. Being nice takes time. The only way to have time to stop and chat with that security guard you ignore every morning is to keep margin in your schedule. That only happens when you’ve managed your time well, having only committed to the maximum-value activities.
  2. Being nice shifts your focus. That person in the car ahead of you isn’t actually out to ruin your day. It’s just a person. Someone with their own goals for the day. Maybe they’re a jerk for cutting you off, or maybe they’re rushing to be at their child’s birth. My world is sunny because I choose to believe the latter. When you see people as people, you remember that you’re here to serve. People who serve others succeed. In a big way.
  3. Being nice helps you identify needs. When you take the time to smile and listen you give another person a chance to lower their guard. They’ll tell you about their hopes and dreams, and their frustrations. Odds are there’s a way you can serve them. Maybe it’s just an act of kindness. Maybe it’s the seed for your next big product or business.
  4. Being nice gets you favors. Don’t read this wrong: fake people trying to manipulate each other suck. But the other day I noticed the same conductor took my ticket in the morning and evening. The train home got delayed because a pickup truck broke down on the tracks ahead. Of course, the passengers became irate and chewed out the conductor. As if he could move a pickup truck. Later, as I got off the train a whopping 3 minutes later than normal, I said thanks to the guy for working a double. That must have been a long day. No agenda, just being nice. The next day, he “forgot” to punch my ticket. It’s not a big thing, but now we have each blessed the other. We shake hands every time we see each other and genuinely ask how the other is doing. Who does that?
  5. Lastly, being nice makes you attractive. Attractive people win at all sorts of things: grades, job interviews, networking, sales, business, the list never ends. Again, making an outward change WILL change your insides.

Being nice is easy:

  1. Smile. Mean it. When I make eye contact with someone I think silently to myself, “I love you.” The thought is private. The change in expression, demeanor, and tone are impossible to hide.
  2. See EVERY encounter from the other person’s point of view. You’re actually not more important than them.
  3. Ask, and listen. My goal in life is to have the following said about me: “Tony really knew how to listen. When I talked to him I felt like I was the only person on the planet.”
  4. Follow up. The number of people who have gotten misty-eyed because I asked about the outcome of that thing they shared last week is amazing.
  5. Make eye contact. Why do we look away when passing someone? Smile and say “hi”. Amazing things happen.

It’s weird to write about the benefits of being mindful of others. But trust me, it pays back. Especially if you aren’t being nice because you want to be paid back.

Try it out. I’ve never met someone who regretted being nice.

Are you nice? Take a second and leave a comment below. Tell a story of a time you were nice and it made an impact. Tell a story of a time someone was nice to you.

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