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The Magic of Strategic Generosity In Business

Michelle Dale - Monday, February 17, 2014
Over the years, and especially through living for more than 2 years in a 3rd world country where poverty is very much on the surface, and you see it everyday, I've learnt a valuable lesson in 2 things - gratitude (my post on gratitude I wrote a while back) and generosity. The post about generosity I'm about to share with you. Most people think that generosity is all about giving, but it's also about receiving... Let me explain how I've seen this in business.

I've recently submitted a video (see above) to Marie Forleo's B-School, she gives away scholarships every year and this is the first year I've applied, this is the first year I've wanted to.

I watch Marie.TV every week, I soak up the information she provides, and for the most part implement it. She's one of very few people who I intake information from, I think because I often think too much information is a bad thing, I want to absorb very specific paradigms, positive ones of course.

She gives away places in her B-School every year, to a select number of people, I truly believe she does it out of generosity, but she also gets a lot back from it, whether this be from those people succeeding and then becoming an advocate for her programme or giving her a testimonial, or it could be that someone she gives a scholarship to helps her other members in some way, or it could be that they share her excellent programme in the future and bring in further business. It's a kind of strategic generosity, where she helps someone grow, and they help her or those around her to grow. It's a beautiful, beautiful thing, and fits in well with her message, "Make Money, Change The World."

What's Strategic Generosity?

For me, strategic generosity, specifically in business, is giving through kindness, but strategically - giving to people who you feel deserve a chance, and if they succeed, can make their world a better place, and also yours.

Let me give you an example...

You know I'm all about personal experience and I'm going to share a story with you now, that gives an example of strategic generosity - thing is, I didn't know I was doing it until it was done.

This year when I was in England for a while visiting family, I met up with some people for the first time, many I had been working with as a mentor/coach whatever you want to call it, since 2011.

I was chatting to one of these people before I travelled and asked her if she could come to see me. She lived quite a ways away and unfortunately it wasn't financially viable for her to fly down to where I was staying at the time.

A couple of weeks went by, and I felt a strong pull to meet this person, I felt she needed me, and a part of me felt I needed her. I contacted her and said that I would pay for her ticket to come and see me, and give my time for free.

She agreed, and she came.

She's had some struggles over the past year, her business was in a less than an ideal place because of it, and we spent the day together, I gave away the information that I knew - if she applied it (and peeps only you have control over the application side of things), it would turn her business around, and give her what she truly wanted.

(1) month later we had a chat and she said that she was making well over £2000 more (over $3350 USD) than she was the month before, before she came to see me, and her client base and gone through the roof. She had a full Virtual Assistant practise again (yay!), and the change happened in less than a month, because she took initiative, and applied what I taught her.

This person has agreed to provide a testimonial as to how I was able to help her, in one day, to basically turn her entire business around on its head - I will most certainly make more in future sales from that testimonial than it cost me to pay for her ticket, and for my time.

In a way, this is an example of strategic generosity and although I had no expectations from her, I had an instinct that by helping her, I would also be helped.

So next time you have the opportunity to help someone, and your gut is telling you it's the right thing to do, I say do it. It doesn't have to be financial, it can be support, time, anything... but generosity does pay back.

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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