This is somewhat of a weird post for me to write, but it may be the best piece of advice I could ever give. And that’s what I’m about…giving.
When I take a look back at the successes in my life, I find one thing striking. Time and time again, a big achievement or success is rooted in me giving. Here’s what I mean:
I was offered my first job at 12 years-old. That’s right, a pimply kid who’s balls just dropped was OFFERED a full-time summer position at a semi-private golf course. Why? I always hung out around the course, it was my home away from home. Without anyone asking, I’d volunteer to pick up the range balls or help out with the junior golf program. I’d volunteer my time as a caddy and help out in the pro shop. I enjoyed doing it, so I was more than willing to volunteer my time.
One day, the Head Pro said, “You’re around here enough and you do all this work, so we might as well pay you for it.” And that was it. I had a full-time summer job making minimum wage (of course my parents had to sign off on it). Woot! Woot!
I gave my time and was eventually rewarded with a job. Funny enough, my goal wasn’t to get a job. I enjoyed giving, it made me feel good, it gave me a purpose.
Try this: every morning give someone a compliment, whether you know them or not. I saw a girl yesterday about to cross the street and I complimented her on her shoes. I had no idea who she was, but it made me feel good and I’m sure it made her feel good too. Come to think of it, I’m positive it made her feel good because she instantly smiled and thanked me.
Recently, I had an intern helping me out around the office. She was originally part of a team of people I hired on the east coast. Just so happens she wanted to see what Western Canada was all about, so my co-worker and I took her on as an intern.
Long story short, she was awesome. She gave up her time to do some not so glamourous stuff like make a giant coin out of an old country record or gas & clean the company vehicles. However, she always did it with a smile and always asked for more. The internship ended and we wanted to keep her on, but we didn’t have the budget *shakes fist violently*. Having said that, she knew about an opening in the city just North of where we were. Of course, we were more than happy to give her a reference. Plus, one of the guys in our office used to work with the group in the northern city, so he immediately sent them an email to the effect of, “You’d be stupid not to hire her!” She got the job.
She gave her time, efforts and knowledge to my colleagues for close to a month. And she did it in a very approachable manner. In the end, we were more than happy to go out of our way for her to ensure her success in landing a job.
When you give don’t expect something in return
It’s not an eye-for-an-eye world when it comes to giving. You must give, give and then give some more. And never expect anything in return. Giving is a marathon, it’s not a sprint. But trust me you’ll feel a whole lot better giving than receiving.
When I reach out to small and medium sized businesses, I always do so by giving them something. Whether it’s an article that could help their business or an invite to an event I know will aid them and/or their business. I follow that up with a letter encouraging the business owner to meet with me where I’ll give some more. Believe it or not, I have a 16-step process of giving.
What are you giving your customers, loved ones or friends? What value are you providing them?
Every Sunday, I give you free advice on how to improve your business and your life. Most consultants would charge you for this or write a $3 e-book and expect you to buy it, but I like to give.
Remember: the reward of giving is far greater than the reward of receiving. Try it out and you’ll see what I mean.