Dinner that night, at a seashore restaurant in sunny San Diego, had turned awkward. To my left was one of the most generous men I knew, my business partner, Bedros Keuilian. To my right, a gentleman, HT, that we had met at the seminar earlier that day, and whom Bedros had invited to join us so that we could talk about HT’s business and help him out.
But unlike most conversations, where there is an equal give and take, our dinner discussion had turned lopsided. Bedros would give, give, and give. HT was there to take, take, take.
At the end of the night, we said our goodbyes, and that was the last I heard from HT for over eighteen months. I figured that like many of the people I meet at similar seminars that he was all talk and no action. I supposed that he would disappear into the darkness, inhabiting a space on the Island of Failed Entrepreneurs.
Suddenly, one day, I noticed he was back in the industry, this time referring several new clients to my business. It was a pleasant surprise, and after exchanging a few emails with HT, I could immediately see that something was different. He had made a significant change in his approach to business and life in general.
But first it helps to know the rest of his story. Unknown to me at the time of our dinner in San Diego, HT was struggling. He didn’t let on, and in fact he made it sound as though his business was even more successful than mine. The truth was just the opposite. He had been living out of the trunk of an old beat up car, struggling each day to pay the bills and put food on the table. It was a trying time in his life and he felt that no matter how hard he worked, that everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
I wish HT had known that was nothing to be ashamed of. After all, we all struggle. Bedros lived out of the back of a pick-up truck for months early in his career after a failed entrepreneurial venture. Such are the hurdles and false starts that many entrepreneurs go through as they get started.
Later on, after his maturation, HT would admit, “I wanted to quit. I was tempted to give up hope. But each time I was on the verge of quitting, I would stumble across one of your messages that inspired me to give more of myself, to add value, and to solve other people’s problems. This simple change, of becoming a Go-Giver, has paid off in ways that I could never imagine.”
It all starts with forgetting about yourself and focusing your efforts outward. It means adding value to the world and solving other people’s problems first. You must help others succeed. Some call it The Law of the Giver’s Gain.
Others, such as my friend Bob Burg, have immortalized this success step in the rules of his book, The Go-Giver. Bob explains the two most important rules that you must follow in making your Generosity Transformation:
#1 – Law of Value. Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
#2 – Law of Compensation. Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
I highly recommend you read Bob’s book. It helped change my life when I read it in 2009. It contributed to the daily routine that has brought great wealth, health, and happiness to my life.
In the spirit of generosity and serving, every morning I wake up, do my big thinking, write for ETR, and then move on to one of my favorite parts of the day, writing a personal Thank You card for someone in my life. I love the feeling of giving this gift everyday. As the day goes on I keep giving. I might send flowers to a friend. I share lessons on Facebook, Twitter, and through our newsletters. I encourage our ETR team, my readers, my business partners, and my colleagues to do the same. To give.
I have one of my early mentors, Yanik Silver, to thank for first teaching me that you cannot out-give the Universe. I give away everything I know because I know it will come back to me many-fold. I encourage you to give so much that you think it will hurt. Because it never does. It never will. When you give more, it will change your life. It helped HT rise out of poverty into abundance. Today he gives more than ever, and gets more in return.
HT, Yanik, Bob, and I are not saying that success will come easy. This isn’t another Law of Attraction. You still have to work hard. You will sacrifice. And there will be times when you feel that you have given and given and given without receiving any payoff in return. But that is to be expected. “Research shows that even if the rewards aren’t immediately apparent, contributing to the success of others pays off in the long run,” writes Adam Grant, author of Give and Take.
According to Grant, “research from Rutgers professor Neha Shah found that the highest performers were those who provided the most help to colleagues in solving task-related problems. Why? As the consultants shared knowledge about the challenges that colleagues confronted, they gained specific insights about their own work and became better problem-solvers in general”.
That’s what we’ve found to be true in life as well.
“The more you help others succeed, the more success you’ll have in return,” HT explained to me, “It’s just how the world is wired. What you make happen for others, the world will make happen for you.”
Today, HT is one of the most successful people in his industry. He has several best selling products and is now a sought after consultant. He is a go-to Go-Giver. Few, if any, know about his struggles, though they are worth mentioning to show you that anything is possible, that we all can change, no matter how much you might be struggling right now.
Whatever bottlenecks existed in San Diego had been smashed. His personal and professional growth, developed through his massive generosity, has been exponential.
It simply begins with Giving. Can you start there?
That is your goal today, this week, and for the remainder of your business life or career. You are to try and out-give the universe.
As entrepreneur Scott Dinsmore wrote, “What could you be fearlessly giving away? What do people thank you for? What unique passions, talents and strengths are you keeping from the world either because you don’t think you’re worthy or because you insist someone pays you before they get any value? I challenge you today to draw a line in the sand – to start leading with value, to make your number one priority be changing lives in a way you know only you are capable of doing. Service to others is where it starts.”
That’s where your journey to professional success begins – by giving, by becoming a Go-Giver of enormous value to your marketplace and industry.
Go and give freely for it will all come back to you many fold. You will find out, as HT and I have, that you simply cannot out-give the universe.[Ed Note: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise (Join him on Facebook here) and the author of Financial Independence Monthly, a complete blueprint to helping you take control of your financial future with research of proven methods in your career, in your business and in your personal life. He has created a unique system to show gratitude and appreciation to stay on track for these goals each and every day. Click here to follow the exact 5-minute system you can use to improve your life.]