Do you ever think about “paying it forward” in a business context? Giving, rather than taking, may be a strategy for a kinder business world.
Paying It Forward in Business
This may not be an easy question, but I think it’s an important one to ask. So many business people are always looking for what they can get out of a deal that they forget to pay their debts forward.
“Paying it forward” means to do something kind for someone else without hope of recompense. It’s not like paying a debt, which returns kindness for kindness. Rather, it’s doing a kindness without any immediate pay off.
Kindness. Pass It On.
Last week, I was able to offer words of kindness and support to a fellow writer. Most writers struggle with self-doubt, and I am no exception. During those times when I’m ready to throw in the towel and apply to become a Wal-Mart greeter, friends in the writing community have stepped up to offer a kick in the pants or a shoulder to cry on, whichever seemed most needed at the time. Whether it’s someone to commiserate about a yucky assignment or someone to tell me to suck it up and get the job done, I know that I can count on that special group of friends to support me through good times or bad.
One of those friends needed someone to prop her up this past weekend, and I happened to be online when she was sharing how blue she felt about her current work. Her assignments lately had been boring; she felt as if no matter how much she wrote or how hard she worked, she wasn’t making enough money.
I encouraged her, and pushed her, and yes, put on my best New York business woman sense via some of my comments. I felt like I was being slightly harsh with her, but I also felt she needed it. Sometimes people need a kick in the pants more than they need a shoulder to cry on.
The next day after my little coaching session with her, she wrote to me, ecstatic. She’d written an article for a publication she’d long admired and sent it in before she had a chance to chicken out. They accepted it the very same day – and she made more money from that half hour of work than she had the entire day before.
I love this story because it reminds me every day to pay it forward — to encourage, inspire and motivate anyone and everyone I come into contact with. Will I get any immediate benefit out of it? No, but I do believe strongly that what goes around, comes around.
Helping a friend with coaching, giving my time to write an article for an animal charity, sharing a stranger’s great blog post…it all counts. It really does. We pay things forward, and in time, they return to us ten-fold.
Jeanne Grunert, president of Seven Oaks Consulting, is an award-winning direct and digital marketer with over 20 years of senior marketing leadership experience. She’s passionate about mentoring marketing managers and providing exceptional content marketing programs and services to Seven Oaks clients. Jeanne holds an M.S. (awarded with distinction) in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University and frequently lectures on content marketing, search engine optimization, and project management techniques.J