I have been thinking about the Boston bombings and how many people stepped up to help without thinking about their own safety.
These selfless acts reminded me of Tweet 130 in my book “Success Tweets”. “Be generous. By giving with no expectation of return, you’ll be surprised by how much comes back to you in the long run.”
When one of my other books, Straight Talk for Success, came out several years ago I did a big launch campaign that resulted in it becoming an Amazon.com bestseller. A few months before the launch, I settled on April 22 as my launch date; mostly because the timing was right. When I looked closer at my calendar, I saw that April 22 happens to be Earth Day. I can remember participating in teach-ins when I was in college on the very first Earth Day in 1970.
I decided that there was some karma involved here. Since I had chosen April 22 without realizing it was Earth Day, I thought it would be nice for me to make a symbolic gesture and donate 10% of my net proceeds from book sales that day to an organization that supports the environment. I knew the perfect one.
I am a member of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, an apolitical environmental organization. Their mission is to “motivate and enable Colorado citizens to be active stewards of Colorado’s public lands, thereby creating enthusiastic and beneficial stewardship of Colorado’s natural and cultural resources.” They are my favorite environment related non-profit. They do great work. I was happy to help them out by donating a part of the money I made on book sales that Earth Day.
I called Ann Baker Easley, VOC Executive Director, and told her what I had in mind. I was expecting a “thank you.” I got that, and much more. Ann put me in touch with Piep van Heuven, VOC Deputy Director of Development and Communication. Piep included a message about my book launch in the VOC newsletter, and sent an email to their membership on the day of the book launch, asking them to purchase a copy of Straight Talk.
What started off as a philanthropic endeavor on my part turned into a partnership – one that proves my point about giving with no expectation of return. I approached VOC thinking that I could help them by making a small contribution. They embraced my idea, and took it one step further. So now, we are partners. I think this is great.
This doesn’t always work. Prior to my book launch, I participated in a book launch campaign for another author. When I asked her to return the favor, I got an email saying, “I am not participating in any book launch promotions just now. I am laser focused on building my business using Facebook.”
In other words, “Kiss off, Bud.” But that’s OK. I helped her with her successful launch, and many other people, some very unexpected, helped me with mine. In my experience, for every experience where my help is not reciprocated, there are two or three more like my experience with Volunteer for Outdoor Colorado.
The career success point here is simple common sense. Successful people build and nurture strong relationships with the people in their lives. One way they do this is by giving with no expectation of return. Follow the career advice in Tweet 130 in Success Tweets. “Be generous. By giving with no expectation of return, you’ll be surprised by how much comes back to you in the long run.” Often, when you give with no expectation of return, you’ll be surprised by what comes back to you. But that’s not the important reason for it. Give with no expectation of return to help others and to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with the important people in your life.
Read more posts by Bud Bilanich, Ed.D., The Common Sense Guy, a career success coach, leadership consultant, motivational speaker, bestselling author and influential blogger for JenningsWire.