Saturday, September 15, 2012
A Fundamentally Different Gift
I received an e-mail the other day from a friend with whom I had recently reconnected (thanks to LinkedIn). In his e-mail, he introduced me to a friend of his who he thought shared many traits in common with me and suggested that it would be good for us to get to know each other. In addition, he asked if I would send this person a signed copy of my book as a gift that he would gladly pay for.
I went ahead and got a book in the mail to the friend with a personal inscription; and I have no intention of accepting money from the guy who suggested it. I love to share my book, Fundamentally Different, with as many people as possible as I know how much they'll enjoy it and get value from it. While I obviously can't give them all away for free, it's fun to be able to use it as a gift in appropriate situations. This was definitely one of those situations.
As I sent the book off, I got to thinking about the investments we make in relationships. It seems to me that it's kind of like planting seeds in a garden, though with less foreknowledge of the fruit they will bear. I've tried to be as helpful as I can to as many people as I can in as many ways as I reasonably can, without worrying too much about how, or even if, I'll be repaid. Instead, I trust in a sort of universal law that the more good you spread, the more good somehow comes back to you. I think this is as true in business as it is on a personal level. I always found that the more you focus on helping customers, instead of on making money, the more money tends to show up.
I think I'll keep on planting seeds . . .