Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

Everywhere I turn, people are saying that in business, in life, the more you give out the more you get back. I'm a huge supporter of this theory and see evidence of this almost on a daily basis. How it happens I don't know, I just know it does.

But when it comes to business, is there a right way and a wrong way to do this?

I have a very dear friend who is a new member in ecademy (and who will be watching out for your advice on here so please contribute in any way you can) who needs your help.

After a great number of years climbing the ladder to heady heights in the corporate world, she took the leap into self employment 2 years ago. She has a great mind and a great product. As she's a natural giver, she's spent much of her time looking out for where she can help others and she's worked tirelessly mixing activity between promoting her business and helping other people.

But a few weeks ago she told me that she needs to change her outlook and stop helping so many others because it's costing her dearly in time and money and nothing ever seems to come back. Of course she'll continue to give in life as she always has, but in business the theory of 'givers get' just isn't working for her.

ecademy has been an enormous source of support for me and whenever I've reached out for help you've given it by the bucketload.

Now I need help for a friend.

Any comments will be HUGELY appreciated, not only by my friend but also by anyone else experiencing the same problem.

Thank you.

Tracey

Dean Grimshawe

deangrimshawe-164000

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

I have fallen foul of this trap myself and paid the same price. The truth is I spent hours on people sharing what I knew and all the value I had. Yet 9 times out of 10 it was a waste of time because they never did anything with it? It appears the saying is true; 'Free advice is worth the price you pay' Not neccessarily bad advice but because they won't use it anyway. The key is to channel your energy and focus on where you are going. If she needs any help then she is welcome to get in touch with me. By TwitterButtons.com 'The only limits are the limits that you set for yourself' Bruce Lee Nourishing the constant pursuit of excellence www.warriorcoaching.co.uk. For my Daily Warrior Tip Click Here

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Isobel McEwan

isobelmcewan-651253

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

Hi all Well I've decided to "out" myself! I didn't know Tracey was going to blog about this subject but I'm glad she did as the responses have been amazing. Just to be clear though - I never give to get - but perhaps that's the problem in a business context. If someone asks me for something that I know I have the means to give, relatively easily I have tended to plough on and give it - be it information, guidance, support - whatever. Tracey mentioned the 6 Weapons of Influence (from Robert Cialdini's Influence, Science and Practice) - I love them. Reciprocity is not necessarily something that you think about it's just something that you do (well most people do). The best people and companies I have worked with respect that philosophy - knowing that information and knowledge is there to be shared not coveted. The problem arises when you are no longer supported by the infrastructure of traditional employment with a pay cheque dropping into your bank account each month. But should that really change your willingness to help where you can? Or does that make me naive? Possibly. Unfortunately in a dog eat dog world many people would advocate looking after No 1 first. I struggle to subscribe to that sentiment. So my aim is to continue to build my fee paying work so that I can continue to give to those that I want to and to give more thought to those that ask me to do "stuff" that they should pay for but don't. Thanks to everyone for their advice! I am new to Ecademy and the responses to this blog alone confirms that there are enough of us out there that are willing to support, help and guide. Thanks Tracey for reaching out on my behalf - a true friend indeed :) Isobel Think Global Innovation Management isobel@thinkso.co.uk http://thinkisobel.wordpress.com/

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Tracey Finlay

traceyfinlay-643311

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

This is a damn fine debate and I, too, am getting so much out of the responses. What's really interesting is that there appears to be 3 distinct views: Some think that you should never give stuff for free Some think you should be selective about the circumstances around your free stuff Some think you should give freely regardless I sit somewhere in the middle - What I've learned about the advice here, along with my friend's experience, is that if you are prepared to give some things for free you should have a clear process about when you do this. What I do know is that one of the 6 weapons of influence is reciprocity. Research has shown that people naturally want to return a favour... but my friend has found to her cost that this doesn't always work - So this tells me that caution is needed here, which points back to the above suggested processes. I just know that some people on ecademy have given me stuff for free, some I've paid for. One thing I do know is that of those who've given me free stuff, I'm itching to return the favour, either by offering my services or through referrals, or any other way I can think of. Fabulous food for thought... Tracey

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Sam Borrett

samborrett-372470

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

Hi Tracey, @ , but in business the theory of 'givers get' just isn't working for her. Tracey, of course it won't work and the good thing is that she can see that her giving was conditional, which is not a bad thing; it is just the truth. Georgina asked this question in a quote by Zigler where givers gain. And I said what about givers down the ages who gave, such as Socrates, Mansoor, Buddha, Osho and others who got poisoned for their trouble. Can you sat that they were not givers? It's important (IMO) to separate Christian conditioning of being a giver, because the reality is that Givers get crucified. I'd suggest to your friend please keep these ideas out of business. NOW BY THAT I MEAN, KNOW WHY YOU ARE GIVING. If you have to have a reason to give then you're not a giver and mostly our giving is conditional otherwise the world would be different. It does help to like/love/respect people but there should be no idea of getting anything back. That agenda is purely political. The acid test is to see at what point a person gets frustrated with giving. At that point they can be honest and admit they actually had a big investment in giving. In fact the wrong reason. I find it is still possible to give and to be rewarded, it is not only about being paid for it. I feel your friend needs to have a deeper look into her motives and not be too hard on herself in the process. Sam Sam Borrett Performance Coach, Trainer, Real Estate, Mentor, Lawyer, Facilitator, Life Constellations Mentoring4Change Jupiter Properties Pty. Ltd. PO Box 241 Brunswick Heads, NSW, 2483 Australia

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Stan Broadhurst

stanbroadhurst-134242

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

Great blog Tracey... this "what is in it for me" stuff is a little confusing... My separation is people that I want to associate with should get unconditional as long as they need it, people that I would like to do business with get up to a half day free.... Social Media is changing this People like William & Geoff always seem prepared to give more than they ask for in return... Thomas Power is a major influence here & we will all have gained from thinking about this interesting subject....thank you

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Tracey Finlay

traceyfinlay-643311

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

As expected, wise and excellent advice from ecademy members. My friend has been following the posts and it's given her food for thought. That said, I too have learnt a lot from the posts here and hopefully others will too. Thank you so much... Really, really appreciated! Tracey

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Adrian Traher

adriantraher-370818

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

The other thing of course is that, the perception is that something that is free has no value. I always say to my potential clients that the first meeting is at my expense. Adrian Traher Insured - Qualified - Reliable - Plain Language Civil Wills & Surrey Probate

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Stephen Bailey

stephenbailey-133543

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend - YES BUT ..

Hello Tracey, So the solid perspectives from Mick, William and Geoff have more or less covered what I would have said. So, let's have a go at it the other way around. If what you friend has achieved so far is to gain a lot of non-reciprocating takers, she has a couple of choices: 1. Get after them aggressively with a "can you help me request / favour to ask" and give them a monetary value target and timeline by which to deliver (this will cull her network of takers pretty quickly - CAUTION THOUGH - it might cull all of her network !!!) 2. From now on, only accept help / favour requests after qualifying the Asker (Taker) on what the value to them would be if said help/favour is provided. If the Taker knows it's going to be worth £1,800 (Mick) then there is no reason that the Taker would not say "and if you can/do, then i'll gladly give....". To execute this approach, always carry a little pad of unbranded Purchase Orders with you so that the Asker can fill one in and give it to you there and then. CAUTION THOUGH - orders are only worth the paper they are written on once the cash has cleared in your bank account. 3. As an alternative, your friend could just say NO to everyone who asks for the next 90 days and when the Asker gets all huffy, your friend can say "sorry, but too many people have taken th pee before and someone's got to pay for that and you just happen to be the person picking up the tab" CAUTION THOUGH - network and connection expansion may become a negative percentage. Now, as your friend is a newbie, I am happy to meet her. I'm not interested in her product. However, if she has a great mind as you say, then I will be very interested in thinking like her ;) Thanks Stephen Follow @Stephen_Bailey

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Iain McGuigan

iainmcguigan-350540

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

Give your best work - for a fee If you are good and deliver They will gain. Simples!

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Gordon Wheaton

gordonwheaton-294525

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

Good blog Tracey. Givers do gain, but like anything, it takes time Regards Gordon

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Paul Mackenzie Ross

paulmackenzie-ross-512848

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

An interesting question. Whilst I agree with the philosophy of giving and sharing you have to ask yourself this - If you are the giving type, at what point do you draw the line? How much time do you spend giving and is it detrimental to your own welfare i.e. are you spending more time giving than you are looking after yourself? Who are you giving to? Do the recipients show gratitude and reciprocate goodwill and/or are they a threat to you and your business? I say this after giving time, advice, beer, a job and good references to somebody who seems to have mistaken my goodwill as a form of perpetual charity - Not only did they taken all these things from me without even so much as a word of thanks but they then stole some of my code (I'm a web designer), then had the cheek to tell me they'd done so and then ask for even more advice on what to do with it! (And yes, I told them what they could do with my code) What's more, they are now offering web services which they have little experience of and they've stolen content from other websites to promote what they are unable to articulate themselves. The issue here is a lack of gratitude, trading-off other people's hard graft, the theft of other people's work and the fact that they are willing to offer a service which they would be happy to sell but which would be severely lacking in experience/quality - this in itself I find misleading. In life, as in business, there are givers and there are takers. In between the two there is a place where most well-balanced people find themselves to be comfortable. It's good to give but if people feel they're giving away too much then they probably are.

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Alan Bowman

alanbowman-330504

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

Geoff you are so right in what you say and long may you keep saying it and Tracey his advice is great so do get it for your friend. Cheers Alan

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Mick Say

micksay

Do givers really gain? Read This

Hi Tracey This story is only too familiar to me and many others who will read this post Penny recently asked or posed the question "Wanting to make money is not greedy!" She of course is spot on!!. Please see my response to Penny's question and my response to you is below.... In the early days (3-4 years ago).... I used to give free advice, free work by way of sample, visit prospects at their office travelling far and wide to provide a consultative service - Man I was so busy I was working 18 hours a day 7 days a week, literally. People loved me - I received adoration at every turn, my back was sore with the number of pat's I received on it and my cheeks were constantly red with lipstick laden kisses of thanks and appreciation. WOW - I felt appreciated... Problem was I was rapidly approaching bankruptcy because I found myself (with hindsight) in what was like a circle of people and businesses who would take all of the free stuff they could get from every possible vendor and pay for little or nothing. But hey I was loved Sod LoveMy business provides a first class service and I/we put hart and soul into our client work and our clients receive great value for money. Today I do practically nothing for free and even charge for a consultation - the result - far fewer pat's on the back - much less adoration - & - A HEALTHY BANK ACCOUNT. Recently though I broke my rule of nothing for free - - - I received a telephone call form an old contact who knew the kind of work I was expert in. He explained that he was spending £18.500.00 on a new website for his (and partners) new venture and that he needed a social media and online business development expert to give guidance and advice. Can we meet to talk about it he said - OK no problem, where and when, I asked. We met a few day's later - he was 45 minutes late, which screwed up the rest of my day but hey ho... I spent 90 minutes ish listening to his story - at the end of which I gave brief advice which included some information that saved him £1,800.00 on the spot !! - I said I would give a bit more thought and research to his project and then come back with a price for the potential work. Now - prior to the meeting we spent quite a bit of time on the phone and including the 3.1/2 hour meeting, my research and travelling to and from the meeting I spent about 9 hours time on this. YOU GUESSED IT - Since giving the quotation of £2,000.00 +VAT to the client for social media and associated work - I have not heard back from the person who has gone very quiet indeed. Now the moral of the story is - don't break your own rules - it's only your fingers that will be burned - not theirs. I thought that I had qualified the prospect - he said he was spending 18K on a website which was under construction, he told me that substantial budget was in place - but the contact in question was a person I new from my "early days" when I gave advice, consultancy and work for free, I failed to realise that the impression he had of me was one of great knowledge, great work and - Cheap.... My mistake - hope you don't make the same one.... Mick (I charge for my work) Say Givers gain is a great sentiment and in many respects it does "come-back-to-you" but many a business has gone bust chasing this theory. You/she/we must all be very careful. Finally - the phrase givers-gain comes from Ivan Misners BNI network and in that, very excellent but very close personal chapter world givers gain works a treat - but in the wider world where we reach out to prospects nationally and globally a different approach must be sought. Hope this helps :-) Mick Mick Saywww.onlinemarketingacademy.uk.com We Specialise in Meaningful web 2.0 Website Design and Hosting.We Create Online Marketing Platforms Developed for the Social WebCall me : 0044 7719 061 835 Email: mick@micksay.com

1 comments

William Buist

WilliamBuist

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

I'm a firm believer in this, and I agree that giving has to be unconditional, but it doesn't have to be unending either. One way to look at this is to ask "what can I do that costs me little time and effort, because I'm experienced and skilled, but which makes a massive difference to someone else" Giving becomes part of what we do, but it doesn't swallow our time and effort to the exclusion of business needs Beware 'exchanging' skills unless there genuinely is mutual need and sometimes it may be worth swapping invoices, and making balancing payments where the value of one side is different. What you do should be charged for, unless you choose otherwise. We all should recognise that we all need to make a living, and as Geoff has said when you do give it's fair to ask for teh favour to be returned. It's not necessary to ask for the favor to be returned to you though. 'What can I do for you?' is a question that I'm often asked. If the fit is not good, in terms of my needs for their skills I'll often ask them to find someone they can really help and to give their skills and time to them in equal value. Swapped testimonials isn't a bad idea either. Geoff's three point plan is excellent. My blog on Building referrals on Ecademy> has more information on the relationship aspects of this issue. I'm very happy to have a Skype/Phone conversation too. William Buist Ecademy, Follow me >

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Geoff Kirkwood

geoffkirkwood-178484

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

Jimi, I disagree! If you only look to help people where you can see a real possibility of getting something back then you will miss out on much and it will be seen as a cynical gesture. Geoff Kirkwood - Challenge The Impossible!

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Geoff Kirkwood

geoffkirkwood-178484

Do givers really gain? I need help for a friend

Tracey I have been an avid follower of this philosophy for the last 20 years of more and it has helped me in business handsomely. However I see some people misunderstanding how it needs to be applied. A great friend of mine, Robyn Henderson - the queen of networking in Australia - says you need to earn the right to ask a favour. That's my first point. Not much point in earning the right...... and then not asking. Secondly I see people who network, always open to ways to help others, yet not having a clear system to make those connections work for them. There is no point in having lots of connections but no relationships. And you only get relationships if, having made a contact - and maybe helped them - you then implement your system to build those contacts into people who will help you. Lastly you need to be very clear about what you want and be ready to respond when people ask "and how can I help you?" which they will do.... it's human nature. What I see most people say when asked that question is "if I think of something I'll let you know." Opportunity lost! So without losing her humanness and kind approach (which I am assuming she has) your fiend needs to get a business perspective about her "givers gain" approach. 1. Ask for referrals and introductions and be clear about who she wants to meet 2. Have a system (I have a 5 step system which I am happy to share) that turns contacts into relationships... and use it every time! 3. Be very clear about what she wants and not be shy about asking. Geoff Kirkwood - Challenge The Impossible!

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