I've been thinking a lot about giving recently. And not just because I'm
still recovering from the holidays.
The thing is, you get more
. Let me explain.
Take a look at
this post by Hugh MacLeod
. It talks about how many well-known (and not so well-known) marketers
are "selling by giving" – an idea that a few years ago was pretty much
They put stuff out there, as gifts. Great content, great ideas, great
insights, great personal connection. By giving so much of themselves, for
free, every day, they build up huge surpluses of goodwill, so when you're
finally in the market for something they're selling (and they're ALL selling
something, trust me), they're first on your list.
Of course, he's right. And it's what I've been nagging you all to do with
your newsletter. Give lots of good content, regularly. Build relationships.
Be there for them.
And when they're ready to buy, they'll choose you.
But I think this whole "giving" thing goes further than that.
When you start to think of giving first (before taking) your mind opens
up. You become an abundance thinker, not a scarcity thinker.
Now, before you delete this message for going all metaphysical on you,
this whole "abundance" versus "scarcity" thinking is a central theme of
", by Chris Anderson. He of "The Long Tail." I've just finished reading
In the days before computers and the internet, everything was "stuff".
Atoms. There were only so many atoms to go around. To create more stuff,
you had to dig atoms out of the ground.
But now, thanks to digital technology, we have abundance. Information
is free. It can be duplicated for nothing – just hit the Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V
So that means many businesses can afford to give stuff away.
For example, forward-thinking bands (unlike most of the backward-thinking
music industry) are making money by giving their music away free. How?
Because the music comes in digital form, which is easy to duplicate (and
no one can stop pirates copying stuff), so you can give it away free and
increase your market share at no extra cost to the band. The musicians
then make their money on concerts, merchandise and even souvenir CDs of
their music. And because they've given so much of their stuff away for
nothing, their market is that much bigger, meaning that the revenues from
their "physical" products that much bigger too.
I'd do the same with my newsletters – if I had a physical product to make
money on. Maybe in future I will. (I do, as you know, give a free trial
– it allows people to try the newsletter at no risk, and thereby brings
me more business.)
So can you imagine how being able to give a whole bunch of stuff away
free expands your mind and increases your possibilities?
One last thought. For many years, I'd heard people say that the more money
you give away, the more comes back to you.
Frankly, I thought it was nonsense.
But last November I went to an event – the sole purpose of which was to
pledge money to charity. I gave some money personally and on behalf of
Ready to Go Newsletters.
Not only did the night produce a huge adrenaline rush (can you imagine
what it's like to be in a room of people who gave away $30,000 in about
20 minutes…during a recession?) but I also believe it led to more income
coming my way the month after.
Why? Because if you feel you have enough money to just give it away, you
know you have sufficient money to live on…and you stop thinking about
not having enough – which is what most people do, most of the time.
This works even if you give just a dollar.
You have enough stuff that you can afford to give some of it away.
Your mind moves from scarcity to abundance, and once you start thinking
of what you have and not what you
have, you become more optimistic and you create more opportunities for
Now, some of you are probably thinking that this is a bunch of nonsense.
But try humoring me.
Over the next month, deliberately give something away. Maybe it's money.
Maybe it's information.
Instead of keeping things to yourself, share them in your newsletter or
on your website.