Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

The Gift of Giving: Why I Do Favors and Don’t Expect Anything in Return

Yesterday, I had a phone call with a complete stranger. I offered some advice and perspective, which he found invaluable. At the end of the call, he asked, “Now, what can I do for you?”

The Gift of Giving: Why I Do Favors and Don't Expect Anything in Return

Photo Credit: emenegue via Compfight cc

If he could see me, he would have seen me shrug. If I lived in the 1950s, I would’ve said, “Awww, shucks, I dunno…”

The truth is I like helping people. It makes me feel good to give. I don’t do it in order to get anything back, which makes questions like that feel awkward.

It seems that the more you help people, the more people want to help you. It’s human nature, I suppose, to want to reciprocate. But really the best reason to do this, to be generous with your skills and knowledge, is because the giving is the gift.

The best way to build a reputation

I’ve heard a lot of people recently ask me how to build a platform — how to attract an audience and keep them coming back. I’m sure there is more than one way to do it, but the very best that I’ve found is simply this: help people.

If you do, it will eventually come back around to you, even when that’s not your intention (maybe especially then). And when it doesn’t, you get the satisfaction of helping someone, which in my experience, it’s its own reward.

So what I told the guy was this: “Nothing. Just listening to me and being willing to take some advice is a gift in itself.”

And I meant it.

That may not be the case for everyone, but I like teaching and coaching. It gives me life. And maybe that’s the lesson here:

Find what you love to do, what you would do even if you didn’t get paid, and do it.

But don’t you have to get paid?

Of course, we all have bills to pay and many of us have mouths to feed. So this kumbaya concept of unreciprocated generosity sounds nice — as an ideal.

But how does it work in the real world? Good question. I’m not really sure, except to say that it’s a little bit of a mystery.

What I do know is that when you help enough people, when you put your work out there in the world and try not to be stingy with it, the world has a way of rewarding such generosity.

It doesn’t hurt to be a little shrewd and not let yourself get taken advantage of, but given the alternative of only doing quid pro quo kind of work that requires someone to return every favor you give, I’d rather be generous.

Given the choice between being Don Corleone and Mr. Rogers, I pick Mr. Rogers. Maybe you should, too.

One little caveat

You can’t help everyone. Not if you set out to make a difference in people’s lives. That’s the catch with this way of doing favors without expectation.

In order to help people, I have to say no sometimes. A lot, actually. It’s hard, and I hate it, but I remind myself that when I say no to someone, it means I can say yes to someone else.

And if everyone got a yes, that’s just the same as everyone getting a no, because I can’t possibly help everyone who needs it. I just don’t have enough hours in the day. Nobody does.

So, if I were to break this down, I would give you these three rules for doing favors:

  1. Help as many people as you can. It will come back around to you.
  2. Expect nothing in return. Help them just because you care and don’t obsess over the results.
  3. Don’t try to help everyone. That’ll make you crazy. Set some rules, like a maximum time commitment for when and where you help people, and stick to them. And get comfortable with saying no.

Follow these rules, and they should get you started. You just might be surprised by how much people talk about you as a result of your generosity.

How do you respond when people ask you what they can do for you? Share in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I help people tell better stories and make a difference in the world. My family and I live outside of Nashville, TN. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google Plus. To get updates and free stuff, join my newsletter.

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  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    I’ve learned that when others ask how they can help me, the worst thing I can say is “aw, nothing.” Their help is a gift that I must accept. So I do. And then I return the favor.

    • Marlene

      I agree Matt. Unfortunately givers need to learn the art of taking. It doesn’t come naturally for us but in the taking we have the opportunity to bless someone else’s selfless giving to us. Yes, what comes around goes around. Give and take is the stuff character is made of.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Fascinating. Maybe I need to come up with a better answer.

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        “Thanks for asking. I’ll let you know.” — that is usually my default response.

        Then I actually spend a few moments after the call or meeting thinking of ways they can help.

        Maybe an introduction to someone? A guest post on their site? A guest post on my site? A discount on a product? You name it…

  • http://contemplativemonk.com/ Bob Holmes

    I never know how to answer that question either Jeff. But there’s a saying from the Tao Te Ching that’s gone mainstream, “What comes around goes around.”
    I’m a grower, so I sow seeds and I’m always surprised when they grow.

    • http://www.EnzieShahmiri.com/ Enzie Shahmiri Portrait Artist

      Bob I like what you have said. That’s how I see myself as well. :)

  • http://www.frankviola.net/ Frank Viola

    Interesting. I think the main thing here is that we need to live what we preach. If we preach about giving, we need to be givers, especially toward those who know. For people of faith, Jesus said when someone asks, we should give. That’s a staple in his “Sermon on the Mount.”

    I know it’s good business sense to say “no” often. And the word “no” has to be applied sometimes, obviously, but it shouldn’t be the norm for those who truly want to help others. Especially people of faith. We should rather always tilt toward saying yes.

    I’ve seen people’s platform’s shrivel over time because they rarely gave and only took. Or they just gave to those who had a equal metrics. This, to my mind, is selfish. That’s fine if someone wants to be selfish. But for those who don’t, it’s something to be challenged with.

    In answer to your question, my measuring stick is to tilt toward a “yes” always . . . and if I can’t say “yes” to something specific, I try to offer an alternative that I can say yes to. This all gets back to treating others the same way we want to be treated. Matt. 7:12. So it seems to me, anyway.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I agree, Frank. I say no when saying “yes” would basically be a lie. But saying no just to create demand or scarcity? No thanks. I’d rather serve.

  • http://www.Marketing4Traffic.com/ Devani Anjali Alderson

    I am guilty as charged of asking “Now how can I help you?” … Mainly because if someone is giving of their time, I would like to be able to respond, not because I feel obliged, but because to me, it’s a way of fully appreciating the other person and then, making the time equally valuable to them.

    But, I also understand when you ask such a generalized question, it’s hard for the other person to reply. So, instead I change it up to sometime along the lines of “If you ever need support or someone to talk with in the future about any project or just for advice on (xyz) you’re more then welcome to contact me.”

    That way it takes the pressure off the original “giver” to come up with something on the spot, AND it keeps the conversation and relationship going… I think there is something to be said for people who want to reciprocate, because they see the value in what the giver has offered.

    Just my two cents … Great article thou. Thought provoking as to how we respond to the gift of other people’s time and wisdom.

    • http://www.EnzieShahmiri.com/ Enzie Shahmiri Portrait Artist

      I like that line “If you ever need support or someone to talk with in the future about any project or just for advice on (xyz) you’re more then welcome to contact me.”

      • http://www.Marketing4Traffic.com/ Devani Anjali Alderson

        @artenzie:disqus It takes the pressure off, AND by clarifying WHAT you can help with, might trigger something they do need help with … In my line of work (marketing) I will say something like “Well, if you ever need someone to brain storm on online marketing ideas, let me know!” that way, it gives them a certain thing they can ask for, when they face that problem they might think “hey! didn’t she say she did marketing?” … keeps the doors open for connecting more :)

  • http://stonewallmonroe.wordpress.com/ William Stonewall Monroe

    Convicting. Definitely something I struggle with at times especially when working on my dream. I find in my deepest heart I’m asking, “What’s in it for me” when really I need to be asking, “How can I bless this person without requiring anything in return?” Such a difficult lesson to learn and I’m still fighting through the renewing of my mind in this area.

    • http://www.EnzieShahmiri.com/ Enzie Shahmiri Portrait Artist

      William, the universe works in strange ways and I have been surprised by opportunities that seemingly came out of no where. When I paint someone’s loved one countless hours go into that work and often I see the involuntary emotional response it evokes. Right there, that one instant of helping someone attain a pleasing moment is priceless. See the monetary compensation does not even come close to what I have invested, but that good deed makes my emotional meter go off the charts. I have given up on waiting for people to ask me if they can do something for me, because I have learned that when you are doing nice things for others somehow nice things are done for you by people you don’t even know.

      It’s strange how it works, but it has helped me become a better artist, a better person and someone who really loves to make others feel good.

      • http://stonewallmonroe.wordpress.com/ William Stonewall Monroe

        Yeah, I think it helps to redefine success by the purpose of your art rather than on being famous or the like. If you can make someone’s day more beautiful, you win.

  • Marcy Mason McKay

    Amen, amen, Jeff. Your post reminds me of Winston Churchill’s quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Awesome!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      You’re the second person to share that, Marcy. Thanks!

      • Marcy Mason McKay

        Winston Churchill was AWESOME, so I’m not surprised. Thanks for responding, Jeff!

  • Rebecca Waters

    Oh so true, Jeff. I agree with Matt McWilliams, too. Allow people to help you. And I know this, if you are a giving person and do your best to serve when and where you can, a “no” is not a rejection. It’s not hurtful. A “no” is simply, “I can’t help you right now.” I appreciate that candor. I would rather someone help me when they can really give themselves over to it rather than agree to help and fall short. And I find that when I help others, people flock to assist me in my needs. And yes, it is a mystery. God just works that way.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    Great advice, Jeff. When I struggle with focus or being overwhelmed, I look to what’s best for relationships and for preferring others. Never has this been a mistake. The only mistake in this is not doing it often or soon enough.

  • http://xpedrooliveirax.wordpress.com/ Pedro Oliveira

    Its true Jeff and I subscribe him. But other thing its you other person share a thing in someone that in the first moment he or she think could trust and this person take profits for here without even say a thank you and treat you like a “dummy” this is the opponent of the trust who was broke.
    Thank you Jeff and best regards to all

  • Nancy

    I am one who will say yes to a request very quickly, but in the last few years I made a necessary change. My project is growing in all areas and, I find it helps to never say yes, until I step back and think about it and check my schedule. Lately, instead of one on one’s I find it necessary to send people to my website, ask them to join my enews mailing list, or listen to one of my audios. I too live by the motto of giving and expecting nothing in return, and at the same time I need to pay my household bills and have a life outside of my work. It is a daily challenge and maybe times a gray line on the yes and no, but I love what I do!

  • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

    I learned a few years ago that the number of people who want your help rises exponentially with the number of people you actually help. My “trick” to being able to serve people without feeling like I have to serve everyone is my “stray cat fund”. I purposefully set aside a certain number of hours to focus on helping others. Whether it’s volunteer work or pro bono consulting or anything in between. Like any budget, I have a limit and when that limit’s reached for the month, I get to be intentional about the choices I make regarding whether or not to do more, or put folks on a waiting list for the following month.

    And if someone asks how they can help me, I tell them. That is, if there really is anything I believe they can help with (a referral is usually the simplest, easiest ask). Sometimes, I am grateful to not have a need, but years in mastermind groups have taught me the power of the ask. People like to help as well as being helped, so when I can ask for help I do. Plus, it’s good practice for me to ask. I’m one of those folks who never asked for anything for years, trying o do it all by myself. I’m still working on it, but I’ve learned the power and value of making the ask.

    • Carrie Wilkerson

      Stray Cat Fund. I like that a lot Lisa!

      • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

        Hey Carrie! Good to “see” you. And yep. Someone once remarked about how helping everyone is like the old lady with all the cats that can’t afford to feed herself. That’s when the idea of a stray cat fund came to mind. :-)

    • http://www.EnzieShahmiri.com/ Enzie Shahmiri Portrait Artist

      LOL – stray cat fund is a funny term. I like that you predetermine how much of your time you are willing to give to keep a good balance.

      • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

        A funny term that keeps me focused. :-) Time budgets – like financial ones – are a way of honoring ourselves as well as the people we strive to serve.

  • http://www.tomlaforce.com/ Tom LaForce

    Two questions: When you have an obvious need the favor requester could help you with, do you put it out there? How do you proactively ask others for help? I share your philosophy about being helpful. The hard part is learning to ask when I need the help.

    • http://innervironment.com/ Joe Antonio

      That’s the hard part for me too – asking for help. I guess I try to do whatever I can before asking for help (a form of pride maybe). Sometimes I stress myself needlessly about it then when I realize I can’t do a particular task I finally humble myself and ask.

  • Heather

    I tell people off the bat, “This is a gift. You don’t return gifts.” And I punctuate with my eyebrows raised and a firm nod of my head like I mean it. Then I promptly move to another topic like the exchange didn’t take place.

    Here’s a fun way I like to help. I think of it as saving lives:

    https://analyticalperspective.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/what-will-you-do-with-the-rest-of-your-life/

    • http://www.islandsofmysoul.com/ Shari

      Your story was very moving, Heather. You are honestly, an angel.

  • http://robyn-campbell.blogspot.com/ Robyn Campbell

    Jeff, this does NOT surprise me. You are always giving back. It means so much to folks. I wait to be like that. I already am in some ways. i.e. giving critiques away for free to anyone and everyone and trying to answer questions of newbie authors. Thanks for all you do. Now when someone asks me what they can do for me, I just tell them to pay it forward. That’s what they can do for me. :-)

  • http://lgibooks.com Tom Huntington

    I’m glad you’re a Giver, Jeff!

    I recommend the recent book titled GIVE and TAKE by Adam Grant. His research (and his synthesis of other people’s research) is that people are either “Givers” “Takers” or “Matchers” and that the most successful people are “Givers” but so are the least successful people!!! “Takers” and “Matchers” tend to fall in the middle of “success”in any area. The difference between the successful Givers and the unsuccessful Givers is the most successful Givers tend to easily balance Self-interest/self-care/self-motivation with “Other-interest/other-care, whereas the unsuccessful “selfless” givers get burned out and distracted from their own goals/interests/needs/priorities.

    Very interesting book. I highly recommend

    • http://www.EnzieShahmiri.com/ Enzie Shahmiri Portrait Artist

      Since I am sick with the flu – I am off to order the book! Thanks for the recommendation Tom :)

  • http://www.EnzieShahmiri.com/ Enzie Shahmiri Portrait Artist

    Jeff, I have to say I have to disagree with you in terms of seeing reciprocated help being offered. I paint portraits of people and pets and have given a lot of artwork in the form of giveaways and donations to charitable causes throughout my entire career. This year when I added a “Pay What You Want” section on my website, with an additional note that 10% of whatever is sold goes to charity, I was hoping that all those who I have helped in the past would at least help me spread the word. Nothing- nada -zero….

    There have been only a handful of people who have ever asked if they could do something for me in return. They are outnumbered by those who have taken advantage of my generosity or who just take, never to be seen or heard of again. Even with social networking, which requires a simple button click of “share” , a simple gesture as spreading the word of what I do, seems to be too much to hope for. It has left me rather baffled to say the least and at times deeply disappointed. Now if my portraits would be butt ugly than perhaps that could be considered a reason, but my artwork has received prizes, been published in books and even was included in a documentary.

    My advice is don’t help anyone in hopes of getting a return. Help because this world needs more people who can be selfish, kind and generous. It creates good Karma and is simply just the right thing to do. When you know that your knowledge and skill has done something positive for someone else, you have enabled them. In return that person might do something good for someone else, just don’t expect it to be you. :)

  • cele68

    Like Enzie says, selflessness is necessary to keep the best attitude possible. Like her, as a photographer, I have experienced some lack of reciprocity from the many that I’ve pleased, weddings, senior portraits, family, etc. but, I can say that at least I got ‘thank you’s’ and for some people that means something. Sometimes we don’t make it clear that we’re expecting something, so they don’t know what to do, it’s not their fault but our own. I have implemented the rule that I have to educate my friends (don’t do this with my actual clients though, paying customers can write their reviews but I don’t tell them how or where to) that they can go into a review forum of my liking and write a review for the work I did for them, and tell them that it means gold to me, so they (not all) go in and write a review that helps me in the long run but didn’t require a lot from them and still is invaluable to me. I make sure I tell them I saw their review and thank them 1,000 times more. I think that works out for me, but I have to spell it out to them, or else, they forget and just go on their merry way thinking a good ‘thank you’ was enough.

  • http://adventuresintheballpark.blogspot.com/ Mare Ball

    love this philosophy. That’s where my heart lies too. Would be NICE to make money doing what your heart dictates, but it usually doesn’t work out that way. :-)

  • http://www.nomorehamsterwheel.com/ Camilla

    Love this! It’s so true that if your basic motive is to make money you usually end up empty handed but if your heart is in it and you do it because you want to and love doing it then you get rewarded not only through the good feeling of helping someone but financially too. What goes around comes around. Invest in good karma and good karma will come your way.

    • http://www.EnzieShahmiri.com/ Enzie Shahmiri Portrait Artist

      Yes, it does. It just does not come your way the way you might think it will.

  • http://innervironment.com/ Joe Antonio

    Like you, when I help someone I don’t expect anything in return. I was brought up that way. With people I know or not, I respond by smiling, saying there’s no need to reciprocate then walk away.

  • Tiara McClure

    This is so true, and I have this happen a lot at my job. I’ll do something that isn’t required by me and people will ask how they can thank me for it. But I just tell them that I helped them because I wanted to and don’t expect anything in return, which I don’t. Making someone else’s day a little better is good enough.

  • Lisa Barton

    I love this :) I do find people are suspicious however when one helps them and expects nothing back in return. I offer free marketing tips for creative businesses and quite often am asked why do I not charge for all my advice especially in forums/social media/blogging etc. I do but only after I’ve helped someone a few times:) in response to your question I tend to say I’m doing ok right now thanks but let me get back to you when i need something :)

    • http://www.Marketing4Traffic.com/ Devani Anjali Alderson

      We work in the same industry and I do that as well… I’m constantly reaching out and offering brainstorming sessions with folks on their marketing strategy. Surprisingly, it’s leads to more work, even when that wasn’t my goal. Either they eventually end up hiring me, or refer me because they know of someone who needs my help… It’s one of those unplanned “win-wins” …

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        Ah, the beauty of reciprocity. You’re a very generous person, Devani. I have a feeling your greatest success is ahead of you still.

  • Mariola

    Thank You.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      :)

  • http://michelletessendorf.com/ Michelle Tessendorf

    Great advie Jeff. And thanks for the help you gave me. You are a generous person!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      It was my pleasure, Michelle. Keep up the great work!

  • Sandy

    I simply say to “pay it forward…”

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      That’s good, Sandy.

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    Good stuff here, Jeff.

  • http://www.fonghsiung.com/ Fong Hsiung

    Here’s an awesome quote that summarizes my feelings about this blog. “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
    ― Winston Churchill

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      I am totally tweeting that! :)

      • http://www.fonghsiung.com/ Fong Hsiung

        Go tweet away. :)

  • Dad

    So… What goes around, comes around. You are blessed.. Dad

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Right. :)

  • Aileen Stewart

    Good advice Jeff. When people approach me, I am happy to help. As you pointed out though, sometimes I do have to say no. But I try to do so as kindly as possible!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      That’s the hardest part, Aileen.

  • http://www.sherreymeyer.com/ Sherrey Meyer

    Great advice, Jeff. Like you, when people ask that question, I usually respond similarly to you. I’m not expecting anything so I’m really not prepared to answer that question. In our family, we grew up in an atmosphere of not expecting to be repaid for something we wanted to share or give. But the hardest lesson for me has been learning to say that two-letter word “no.” :)

  • Barbara McDowell

    Great piece and practice, Jeff. I tell people that others have helped me and ask that they spin that forward in their own way.

  • http://www.seannisil.com/ Sean Nisil

    Tips 1 and 2 come naturally to me–it’s #3 I’ve always struggled with.

    Something that helped me in this area was when I realized that saying yes to one thing means I am inadvertently saying no to another. Now I try to set clear boundaries and give myself more slack.

  • http://movedbypurpose.net/ Stephanie O’Brien

    I am seeing the return of my giving and it actually takes me by surprise. I love to help people get unstuck in their lives and careers that I don’t even flinch when they reach out to me. Last week my inbox was filled with referrals from people that I helped for free.

  • Carryl Robinson

    I struggle with #3 but I am learning, albeit slowly, that I still have to take care of me, too and that sometimes means I have to say “No”. I get a lot of satisfaction out of being able to help people get where they want to go. My only request? They do the same for someone else.

  • Denise

    I really hate it when I do something for someone and they have trouble accepting my help or when they feel like they immediately have to do something for me. Not only does it feel good to give but it’s also a true Christ lifestyle. In my devo time, I’m sipping on a little C.S. Lewis. I’ve just been reading what he has to say about unselfishness. First, in the process of defining it, he mentioned how women think of unselfishness as going out of their way for another, whereas men think of unselfishness as not being of any trouble to others. Each sex thinks the other is tremendously selfish. Mr. Lewis also wrote that if we live for others with the focus on how good it makes us feel or look, we are definitely not unselfish. He says we should not be thinking of ourselves at all, but the service should simply be an outgrowth of our love for God and our obedience to Him. It’s an interesting area to consider with many more ramifications and conditions than we would think at first blush. As we give and develop giving as a lifestyle, as you obviously have, I think being generous and unselfish becomes synonymous with who we are and an expression of who God is as well.

    • Grace Ghazarian

      Thanks for sharing that Denise. I ditto everything you and Jeff just said! Selflessness comes from a decision. It’s not for us. Jeff, I resonate with all your thoughts about giving. What happened to paying it forward?

  • Ashley Nance

    Thank you for sharing this – and for living it. This is why I choose to be part of your tribe. I am going to try this strategy out at a big publicity event this weekend where I will have the chance to meet potentially thousands of people face-to face. Wish me luck – I’ll have t let you know how it goes!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Whoa, good luck Ashley!

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Cool!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    My response depends on where I’m at. Sometimes it’s like you said, helping you was enough and what I wanted to do. Other times, if something big is going on, I give my request. It all depends on the situation.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Interesting, Joe. Ever get any push back?

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Very rarely. It’s not that I do something with the expectation to get something back but it can help the person who you just helped to give back to you. And if there’s a special project lined up, why not make the ask?

  • Paula Winchester Hisel

    Thanks for sharing this. I couldn’t agree more–this is the philosophy I have tried to live by for the past few years and I can’t even begin to describe how much it has changed my life.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Love that, Paula.

  • http://brucercross.com/ Bruce R. Cross

    I am naturally a giver….so it takes a mental shift for me to be on the receiving end….getting better at it…but awkward

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Yup. There WILL be awkward. :)

  • Teresa

    have a cup of tea or coffee with me and share some time

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Ok… :)

  • Debbie Drissell

    When someone gives me the “Oh, you don’t have to do that!”, I say, “Yeah, I know, that is what makes it so much fun!” When they ask how they can reciprocate, I tell them that it will all come around someday, and they will have an opportunity to give. It might be to me or to someone else, it really doesn’t matter who it is.

  • Terry Gassett

    This post really resonated with me, Jeff. The gift really is in the giving. It brings me no greater joy than to have the opportunity to be generous and be a blessing to someone else each day whether in some small way or in a bigger celebratory way – depending on the circumstance and occasion. You are an example to us all of a life lived generously. Thank you!!

  • http://juliusbutcher.wordpress.com Julius Butcher

    In long term it really helps your business if you are not all business all the time, but help people here and there without expecting anything. People will have a positive image about you.

  • Nicco

    Jeff, you’ve just done it again! Everytime I open your email you confirm something I’ve developed over the years. Early in my Christian walk I was disciples by a gifted man that helped me to not only grow in my faith, but also as a man. He taught me to stay teachable no matter what. When I tried to thank him and asked what I could do for him he’d always smile and simply say, ” pass it on”. So that’s the secret to being a successful giver. Making sure to pass the tools you work with on to someone else so they in turn can do the same. That’s how ministries grow, churches grow, and yes tribes grow. And since I started learning from you I have met so many others who follow you, too! Thanks so much for sharing your tools with us and for always being a blessing!! We are all richer for having known you. God is smiling at you as I write this…just wait til you see what He has for you!!

  • http://imanidealist.com Wan Muhammad Zulfikri Bin Wan

    Trying to help everyone is futile. i definitely agree with that.

    With our limitations as human, we can’t help everyone because we don’t have the energy and sometimes people just don’t need our help.

    It’s better to focus on who we want to help because we will improve the lives of others significantly and who knows – maybe you efficient act of helping can topple down the domino.

  • kentsanders

    Jeff, I love the comparison of Mr. Rogers and the Godfather. The Godfather did favors for people, but always with the expectation that they would someday need to repay. (“Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me …”) I’m not sure I’d want to be in debt to the Godfather!

  • http://www.clippingpathindia.com/ Jannatul Ferdous Shumi

    I must say you have plenty patience and of course very insightful writing.

  • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

    I usually tell them to pray for me. I tell them to pray for my spirit and health. @jeffgoins:disqus this sentence stood out, ” I remind myself that when I say no to someone, it means I can say yes to someone else.” Powerful words. Sometimes I get caught up in trying to please people and this leads to a dinner plate stuffed with obligations. People will continue to add dinner rolls to that plate and eventually we have to leave the dinner table. I am tired of being burnt out. I will learn to stay no and be confident in my decision.

  • maxwell ivey

    Hi Jeff; those ar all great suggestions. I find myself oftn asking someone that same question how can i help you. and something to remember is just being there a kind friendly voice for people who are struggling can be a big gift. and you are so right the universe seems to reward the generous. take care, max

  • http://au.linkedin.com/in/anaikalcasas/ Anaik Alcasas

    I love this so much that I’m tweeting it. There is the balance (which you’ve probably covered elsewhere) that sometimes people only value your advice if they’re paying for it (those in creative industries who are asked for a free evaluation experience their advice being disregarded or devalued, for example).

    However, I think because you have over time built a platform that is so immensely valuable, and you do offer optional paid courses (Tribe Writers fan right here!) that when you do behave in a generous manner, people value it for what it is: truly priceless input.

  • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

    I see a worldview here…if you give and serve as much as possible with no srtings attached, you will likely receive and be blessed with no strings attached. Not sure how it works, but it just seems to.

  • https://www.kylebhart.com Kyle Hart

    Fantastic post, Jeff. Giving is certainly euphoric, blissful, and fulfilling. Is there a certain balance you maintain terms of time you spend helping others to time dictated to you and your own personal projects?