A consistent mantra you will hear in networking is, “Give Without Expectation.” In short, do things for others and simply trust that someday … somehow, some way … those deeds will come back to you.
It’s true. Every day, whether they know it or not, someone reaps the benefits of the altruism they exhibited some time ago. If you look around and listen carefully, there is evidence of this.
Consider the story that Excelleweb President, Tom Anderson shares. His mother was making her way home from Sunday church services near Salem, Ohio when she drove over something in the road and her tire went flat.
Mrs. Anderson got out of her car and assessed the situation. Though she was no expert, she was able to determine that this was not an ordinary “patch-n-pump” flat. She knew that she needed to replace the shredded tire.
While she quickly considered her options, before she could act a stranger pulled up and parked behind her. After a polite salutation and a couple questions, the stranger swung into action. Within minutes, the stranger had begun jacking up the car and removing the destroyed tire. Once he had the tire off, he exclaimed to Mrs. Anderson that he would be back as soon as possible.
Within an hour, the stranger was back with a new tire and he quickly began securing it to the car. Focused and methodically, he completed the task without a word. He then lowered the car off the jack and put all the implements away.
Mrs. Anderson could only look on in astonishment. When the stranger was done, almost bewildered, she began thanking him profusely. Naturally, however, she asked, “What do I owe you?”
The stranger, rubbing his hands together to clear the grime and grit, did not hesitate in asking, “You are Jim Anderson’s widow, right?” Mrs. Anderson gave an affirmative nod and then the stranger continued, “Nothing. Years ago, your husband helped me. I am just returning the favor.”
You should find ways to help others. Give them referrals. Introduce them to others. Share valuable information with them. Do these things and look for nothing in return. While you should have no expectation, understand that the forces of networking and altruism will be working tirelessly in the background. Somehow, some way those good deeds will come back to you.