Category Archives: Work Advice

Success in Business Just Might Require Giving Gifts

Seth Godin’s latest post is a great one.

The title is Generous Gifts vs. Free Samples

It gives a lot of food for thought…

A lot of learning that occurs in business and life occurs when you turn up the contrast and look at the differences in things.

Seth makes the point that giving away free samples is a great business marketing strategy and you often see a lot of sales occur from this strategy.

It is a give and take approach to life.

Yet Seth makes the argument well that giving a gift is something totally different.

A gift is something you give without receiving anything in return. And he argues that if you think this way about things it will change your whole approach to business and life.

…and it will change you.

Giving a gift is something that is very special, and it is to be much appreciated. If it is in your power to do so then maybe you should think about doing it.

Even if you don’t receive something in return (i.e. a sale or returning customer), receiving good will is not to be underestimated.

I’ll leave you will a quote I am very fond of….

“What Constitutes Success” by Bessie Stanley

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”

These are the most important people to listen to…

Your critics.

If you can stomach it, if you have the courage, if you want to improve…

Too often we are blind to our own faults, and we get stuck on a plateau.

We have met with just enough success, just enough praise, just enough results, that we stop growing.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to listen to your encouragers, it’s great to listen to people praise you and your work, but what is it going to do for you? Make you feel good, and maybe let you know you are on the right track.

And that is worth a lot, but the best people in their field are those that seek every opportunity to improve. And huge opportunities come from your critics.

Now remember there is a difference between a critic and an idiot. An idiot will only criticize you to bring you down. They don’t have much to offer and wish you were on the same level as they are.

A good critic is one with experience and wisdom. Because we are blind to our own short comings and because our fans are too, we often can’t see the hole in our business, political stance, product, service, etc.

A good critic will see the hole and tell you about it. A good opportunist will see the hole and exploit it. We should all be so lucky to have critics that aren’t opportunists. 😉

Think about this for just a few minutes…

Look at what they are saying. Are they idiots or are they good critics offering you a great piece of information to improve yourself, or your business or product?

Only you will have the discernment to know.

And only your heart will help you to determine the final answer…

“Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.” – Benjamin Franklin

The best thing you can do when unemployed is…

Anything Positive.

The first thing that comes to mind is to start a blog if you haven’t started one already and develop an internet presence. If you enjoyed your industry and want to stay in it, write exclusively about that. If you simply enjoy your job function (i.e. accountant, etc.), and want to switch industries, write exclusively about that.

Being unemployed is actually a great time to do some soul searching. To find out if what you have been doing is the best thing for you, or if you are ready for something fresh and new.

Writing about these topics on a blog will do a few things for you.

  1. It will keep you busy. A lot of people don’t know what to do with all their free time. Believe me when I say writing takes up a lot of time. It will be constructive time though which will make you feel good.
  2. It will help motivate you to do research. Actually what I meant to say was that research is what takes up most of your time, not writing. And research will be good for you. Perhaps you really haven’t been keeping up to date on the happenings of your industry. Perhaps there are opportunities for you out there that you haven’t imagined. Perhaps a lot of things. But you won’t know till you do your research.
  3. It will help you get noticed. Once you start blogging it is only natural to become a part of the blogging community. You will find other people interested in what you do, and you will continue to find great ideas and opportunities through them.

As a blogger myself I am a bit biased, but don’t knock it till you try it.

Anything you do along these lines will be positive for you, but I think blogging is one of those things that will have the highest potential of all.

And the best thing of all is that it is free. You just need to go to WordPress, Typepad, Blogger, or one of the many other ones out there to get started!