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WHY #10: Why You Should Give and How

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?

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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