Imagine if you are already a successful business person who had a multi-millionaire company, you sure had faced a lot of hardships or problems especially during startups. It can be anything such as marketing, credit control or even leadership problem. Now, I want you to imagine if someone is there to help you out and give you a pair of hands without expecting anything in returns. Do you want it? Of course, you want it right and that includes me too. Who doesn’t!
“You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want.”
― Zig Ziglar
Inside a great book called The Idea in You: How to Find It, Build It, and Change Your Life, the authors call this act of giving as the cycle of the economy of favors where it is dependent on our ability to give what we have earned unconditionally. Which means we do get value back from other people. It is a very interesting cycle, it seems to work and helps a lot of people in it.
From time to time, if the system works, the peoples who had been received from the economy of favors will try to give back and try to help others. Robert Cialdini calls this concept in his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, as reciprocity rules. It is a state where when you are given something by someone else, we can’t help but the urge to returns the favors. For this reason, alone, the economy of favors had been standing through thick and thin.
Additionally, Adam Grant, in his book, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, calls these type of people as the givers. Which means these were the peoples who had been giving a lot and made the cycle of reciprocity a continuous cycle. In other words, these peoples created this ecosystem (economy of favors) in the first place. However, they are still a human being and have a limitation of what they can give. Not to forget, they give without expecting anything. Hence, we have to protect them from burning out.
The economy of favors needs feeding and it needs a receiver, so when you take, remember to give back someday — and when you do give it, feel good when you take someday. So below are the four brilliant ways that we can do today to protect the economy of favors:
The simplest way you can do to give back to others. What can you do, though, are praise their effort for trying even when they failed. Sometimes a few kind words can make them get back up and motivate them again. It requires no experience at all, just a sincere appreciation from the bottom of yours heart. All it takes is interest, some generosity, and a few kind words. Very simple but so powerful.
Offer Your time.
You may not have a lot of money or you may not have a lot of experience but you can always offer some of your time to help them out. An extra pair of hand had never failed to do this. All it take is your time with them. Sometimes being there with the person when they needed the most while they are working hard is a huge way of providing favors. Be it serving coffee for them or accompany them when practicing, it doesn’t matter. These little events is what had kept the momentum of the economy of favors moving on.
Offer Your Skills.
This is the next level. If you do have an experience or any skills about anything you are good at that can ease people’s problem. For examples, you are an expert at social media marketing, you have a mad adobe photoshop skills or a sick web design skills. You can always share it with the worlds. The trick is simple. If you do think it can provide values and help a lot of peoples, then start giving. The easiest way to do it is by writing a blog like I did or create a nice video then post it on YouTube — or write a book.
Share Your Hard Won Story.
Have you even read Richard Branson, Sam Walton, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos books? If you haven’t please read or you wouldn’t understand this point. The one thing in common all these highly successful had shared in their book were, they shared their own personal hard-won story of how did they do it. One common trait they have before starting out is all of them were just an average guy when starting out. Now, all of them are billionaires.
By reading their stories, it shows that if they can do it, then we can do it too. Sometimes we just need to know if the thing that we had thought as an impossible thing to do is actually possible. Although, it is a super hard thing to do. It just needs hard work, commitment, sacrifice, persistence and time. More importantly, these stories help a lot including me. I felt so motivated when I read all their book especially about Sam Walton and Elon Musk. They were willing to do exactly anything to make their dream com true.
In addition, sharing you hard won story is also good for your business. Because more people will learn more about you and what you do with your idea. It also increases their personal branding. So it win-win situation.
“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”
― Zig Ziglar
Have a go at it. Practice giving back to other people and make this world a better place. A place where everybody is there to help you not just your family. Doesn’t need a lot. Just your time and your kind words would be enough. I end this post with a quote from Paulo Coelho,“And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”