There is a saying in the bible from Luke that states, “Give, and it will be given to you.”
This saying has bothered me ever since I first heard it. I don’t know how about you, but it’s a concept that doesn’t always play itself out the way you hope it will. I have questioned this concept frequently, particularly because many of the top professionals I have networked with over the years have used this phrase again and again. I took their advice. They knew what they were talking about. Right? So, I would continue to give free talks, free coaching and free consulting as often as possible.
I didn’t do this because I wanted something in return of equal or greater value, but, deep down inside I knew I was investing in something that would yield a return. But, recently, I discovered a better way of giving. I still give and give. I love to give. But, now I have discovered a much more thoughtful way to give–a way benefits both myself and those I give to much more successfully.
I now focus on fewer people and projects to give to and follow these simple strategies:
- I make it clear that the reason why I am helping is because I have targeted 12-29 year old professionals and entrepreneurs to help them get better starts in their lives. I share with these chosen people that I had a hard time in life getting a good start and so I want to make a difference in the lives of others as my “give back.”
- I also make it clear that I am not interested in helping just once but in being a mentor until I am satisfied that the person or people I am helping get the support they need to really get traction with their ideas and efforts.
- I spend at least an hour once every two weeks or once a month by phone or in person coaching these people. We finish with a simple, solid “to-do” list that both of us work on between calls.
So far I have helped more than 12 people in the last couple of years for free. I also hire interns and see my giving back as part of the structured mentoring I love doing. The results have been amazing. The work I have done with these people is so powerful and long-term. Neither of us has any fear that the relationship will end because there is no money exchanged and that makes successes all that much easier to achieve. Finally, I have also sharpened my skills and improved outcomes for my paying clients dramatically as I get to see my ideas tested and developed much more often.
So if you want to give where you will benefit more from your giving,create a much more strategic, long-term, committed form of giving. What do you think? Have you done something similar?