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G is for Generosity

G is for Generosity
This entry is part 7 of 27 in the series A to Z

It’s only recently that I’ve learned the “secret” of generosity. By secret, I don’t mean that I didn’t know how to do it, but I learned the joy you get from being generous. I’m also enjoying the “Slow Marketing” benefits. It’s quite simple, of course: you do something nice for someone and chances are they will do something nice for you. Of course, you’re not banking on their doing the nice thing back, if they do it’s a bonus. In fact, it’s not part of the rules (there are no rules, of course), but the less you’re looking for something back, the more “benefit” you actually get from giving someone something for nothing.

The “secret” of generosity is that you get more than you receive. But don’t tell anyone.

My most recent true story was when a tire shop in Lake Tahoe fixed not one, not two, but three leaks in my front tires for free. I hadn’t asked them to, I didn’t have a coupon, I wasn’t (yet) a regular customer. I had never been in there before. But they saw from the address I gave that I was a local so they wanted to take care of me. All they said, after I confided in them that I was rather confused about them giving me the services for free, was that they hoped that I would think of them the next time I needed tires for my car. Well, I would certainly do that. In fact, I haven’t forgotten them, I’m now writing about them for the second time, and it just spurs the sparks for me to be even more generous with my time, my knowledge, and my time.

But it hit me most clearly at the holidays when the kids learned about The Gift of Giving. The pure and innocent pleasure I saw from the kids who gave something to someone else was moving. They also received gifts, but they actually were more involved in the giving. In fact, maybe that’s part of it. It took some effort to find the gifts, to choose who got what, they were involved. Even better, the more involved they were, the more important they felt themselves in the whole process. Kids who are involved feel more self worth.

Of course, this example is about children, but this is where the topic grows: it’s not just kids. Adults who learn to give, to be generous, gain more self worth, feel better about themselves. It’s a powerful tool, this simple act of giving, of being generous. But I think most people don’t get it. I feel like I’m just scratching the surface of the topic.

It didn’t take much to find others with similar strong ideas about the topic. Here are just a few.

  • Derek Halpern of Social Triggers says in order to get the attention of someone, Give Them What They Want or Need. How do you know what they want or need? Read their posts, their tweets, their updates. Figure it out. He outlines it in more detail in his post How to Meet New People Who Want To Help Your Business and Career.
  • David Henry Sterry says in his post, The 7 Minute Rule of Social Media: How to Use the New Tools of e-Networking without Drowning in the Timesuck, “Be generous. This is one of the big misconceptions about Social Media. It’s not about asking other people to do nice things for you. I get so sick and tired of people I don’t know asking me to like them, to love them, to vote for them, to buy things from them. You wouldn’t just walk up to someone on the street and say, Love me. Well, you might, but if you did it often enough, there’s a good chance you’d be arrested. The guiding principle for successful Social Media is Good Samaritanism.
  • Ann Tran has it in the first paragraph of her bio, “Ann’s swift rise to prominence across social media platforms can be attributed to her entrepreneurial drive that is tempered by her gentle spirit, generosity and down-to-earth charm.”
  • Mike Yasieniuk writes on ThinkTraffic about The Value of Free and says, “In the blogging world, two of the most common goals people strive for are larger lists and more website traffic.  These two things, as well as conversion are what will help you generate more revenue with your website. Now, one of the best ways to build your lists as well as increase your website traffic is to give stuff away for free.”
  • Neil Perkin writes in Goodness And Happiness, “Being generous is about exceeding expectations. At every touchpoint. Making people happy. And happiness is not a bad thing to base your business on. It’s the kind of thing where you end up saying “they didn’t have to do that”. The kind of thing we intuitively know every brand should be doing yet so rarely happens.”
  • George Dearing interviews Tim O’Reilly and writes in Create More Value Than You Capture, “For publishers and content marketers, the analogy is clear: by creating content that serves an audience rather than the creator, one can build enormous respect and eventually capture value from loyalty. By not publishing advertisements under the guise of editorial content, marketers will better serve their audiences and themselves.”

Generosity

BTW, it is not lost on me that I very recently wrote about Beneficient. As I started with Generosity, I didn’t connect the two. Beneficient (I know see it’s usually spelled Beneficent) I saw as an adjective whereas generosity was a noun. I see generosity as something larger, beneficent as an act, maybe a few times. Generosity was something that a person grew into, they became generous. They were beneficent for a period, but they, as a person, became generous.

Series Navigation<< F is for FailH is for Health >>

About The Author

Bradley

I don't like to call them excuses. They're priorities. With a handful of exceptions, we usually have a choice in our actions. They just need to be prioritized.

4 Comments

  1. Cindy Dwyer

    I recently committed 26 acts of kindness, a trend you may have heard about, and I was surprised by how good doing them felt. Some were anonymous others for total strangers. But in each case I walked away feeling like I’d received much more than I had given.

    Great post.

    Reply
    • Bradley

      Thanks, Cindy. Another bonus: there’s another bonus in it all: it’s fun. 😉

      Reply
  2. Bonnie Gwyn

    Paying it forward, in a way 🙂 I love helping people – feels good in the heart 🙂

    Reply
    • Bradley

      I love that there are so many ways to phrase it. Thanks, Bonnie!

      Reply

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