Life is full of givers and takers in both our personal and business life. If asked, we can all create a huge list of the takers we've met, whereas creating a list of the givers is a more difficult task. Don't believe me? In the next 30 seconds, I challenge you to make a list of the top ten most successful business people you know and the top ten list of givers. Ready, go!
Do you have any of the same people on both lists? As a culture, we seem to have the misnomer that nice guys finish last, and this saying probably evolved for a good reason. We hear stories of popular business people who didn't get to be where they are by being kind or giving, thus creating the belief that these two traits are mutually exclusive. However, they don't have to be.
Within our own life, there is a delicate balance between giving and taking. For most of us, giving is something that we do, not something that we are. Likewise, most occupations are something that we do, not something that we are. But what if you could find a way to combine them all into one and truly live a giving life that created prosperity?
Today's luminary, Dave Taylor, has built his business and his life around giving. Dave, a brilliant pioneer of the internet since 1980, built his site AskDaveTaylor.com to share his wisdom with others. He gives of his time and expertise so that others may benefit from his experience. From that intention alone, he has risen to the top of the internet world.
Dave has a philosophy that wraps it up in a simple way -- "Give with no thought of what you'll get in return." Not only is that the motto of his business, but of his life as well.
When we think of giving in today's business world, most of us think of a charity that we support or the check that we write at the end of the year and make giving an occasion, not a way of doing business. We make plans to give, rather than make giving a part of our everyday life and a cornerstone of our business philosophy.
Imagine the possibilities if giving were the rule rather than the exception, for giving offers opportunity. Living from giving creates not only benefits in the short and long term, but also makes the path to get there one worth walking.
There is a balance between giving and taking. The givers of the world have learned how to live to give and have been abundantly blessed for doing so.
We often make the excuse that we would give, if only we had something to give. No matter where we are in life, we all have the ability to give the gift of our time, our smile and our compassion and love to others.
A few months ago I volunteered to help the homeless in Santa Monica, CA. As we were preparing goody bags, a young homeless man walked into the shelter. He was ragged, thin, unshaven and looked like he'd had more than a few rough nights. We assumed he was here to ask for something from us, but instead, he approached our group, smiled and asked how he could help us.
This 24-year old, barefoot man shared his story of being on the street for the last few months. To add insult to injury, he'd been mugged the night before, was bruised and now had no money, no coat, no shoes, no ID, and no glasses. He wanted to be a giver too, and wanted to help us assist his brothers and sisters on the street in any way that he could.
We were dumbfounded. We all came from good neighborhoods, great jobs, and lives of abundance. For most of us, the worst thing we could imagine in life would be living destitute on the street. Compound our worst fear and you'd have this young man's life. He made giving real.
No matter where we are in life- homeless on the street or the CEO of a major company, giving opens up the magic of the Universe. Imagine a world where, "Give more that you'll ever expect to receive" is the motto.
Dave challenges us with this exercise. "Pay attention to how your day goes and try to tally up the amount of time, effort and energy you put into asking for things you want versus the amount you put forth to help other people, meet their needs and try to make the world -- or even just your tiny little corner of it -- a better place."
Give time when you're stressed and too busy and you'll find you have more time. Write a check when you feel poor and abundance will come your way. Help someone else with his or her problems and yours may well disappear. Create opportunities to give and watch life open unto you.