Last week I was at an event for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and I bumped into an entrepreneur that I had met only one time before, a full 10 years ago. A minute into the conversation he looked at me and said, “You changed my business.” Not remembering the conversation from such a long time ago, I had to probe further. He went on the explain that I recommended the book Predictable Revenue at our previous conversation and he promptly bought it, read it, and implemented it. The methodologies and ideas from the book worked and today his company is thriving with hundreds of employees.
Paying it forward through sharing lessons learned, building community, and helping the next generation of entrepreneurs is the real joy. Recommending a book that you believe in is easy. The harder part is proactively putting yourself in a position to be able to help. Whether it’s going to events in-person or online, participating in industry groups, or meeting people one-on-one, it takes time and effort to do so. Only, from that effort so many new relationships, opportunities, and insights emerge. Life blossoms.
Paying it forward is a strange concept. We’re wired to act in our own self interest optimizing for instant gratification. Yet, we’re also social creatures drawn to community and clusters of likeminded people. When we act in someone else’s interests, with no expectation of something in return, we’re helping move everyone forward, which in turn helps us.
The next time an opportunity emerges to pay it forward, do it. In a world of little certainty, there’s always value in trying to help and support others.