How many of you have heard the adage “Givers Gain” in your networking adventures? The concept is simple. The more you give, the more you gain.
Very similar to the MUCH older adage “Give and you shall receive” used in volunteerism for years.
However, what both neglect to address is often a gap I see with many newer Entrepreneurs.
It’s great to give to receive. But what if you can’t receive?
Sounds crazy right?
If someone offered you something, without asking for anything in return (i.e. money) … would you accept it?
COULD you accept it?
Is there some sort of block, or guilt or even shame around accepting it?
This was a HUGE stumbling block for me for a long time. The idea that someone would offer me help without asking for anything in return.
When you make a deal with someone, aren’t you indebted to them for LIFE! To give them your first born! Doesn’t that mean they can take advantage of you forever with the one simple reminder … “Hey … remember that time I did that thing for you …”
I took me time (and mentorship) to realize that I wasn’t living a life in an episode of the Sopranos.
So for those of you side hustlers and newer full time Entrepreneurs who think they are, let me offer 3 insightful pieces I’ve learned over 15 years of Entrepreneurship, and working with over 500 Entrepreneurs in the last four year.
1. Help, support and intimacy are intertwined.
The greatest gifts of help I’ve received are from people who I share some sort of bond with. Relationship. Friendship. Kinship. When you connect with people and work to embed trust within the relationship, whatever you receive is given with pure altruism. Simply because that person cares for you. Its difficult to accept help from someone we have not developed a bond with.
Consider this. When you give to someone you feel especially close to a hug. Or a comforting stare. What are you expecting in exchange? Nothing right? In fact, you simply hope you’ve offered impact in some way.
In business, being able to establish these more intimate, connected relationships are HUGE. Accepting help from these close connections will feel second nature.
So dedicate time to get to know people in your network. Notice who you resonate with, and work to cultivate a bond with them.
2. Its not about you.
I mean, it is about you, but its not. Clear as mud?
When you are offered help and kindness from someone from point 1, it’s not all about you. Know that this person would offer the same level of help to anyone they feel that close bond with. And when we shift our mindset to know that this person offering help does so out of their nature, we feel more free to accept the kindness they extend. Consider it as a part of their makeup, rather than someone overextending or putting themselves out JUST to help you.
3. Receiving should be in direct proportion of giving.
Now, I write that but I don’t mean at every turn. Certainly there will be times in your Entrepreneurial career when you have more to give, and when you are more in need to receive. In startup, you’re more in need to receive, but you can pay that forward as you build your venture. You’ll eventually find that its a balance.
Someone who continually receives without giving will eventually find they are offered less to receive. That’s just the nature of Entrepreneurial connection. You want to ensure you are contributing back to the “energy” or “good vibes” you are withdrawing from. I can assure you, giving back once you’ve received also becomes very natural.
Hopefully, at least one of these points has resonated with you to be open to receiving kindness in your business journey. Above all, if anything should guide you its should be to NEVER be an Askhole.
Askhole: From Fred Blumenberg:
“An askhole is basically a person who asks for your opinion or advice, yet never uses your advice and does the opposite of what you said to do.”
Happy receiving my Entrepreneurial friends!