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Why You Need to Give It Away

Why You Need to Give It Away

    Everyone is looking to make an extra buck these days.

    We all want more clients, a better job offer, a promotion. Nothing wrong with that of course, but why is one of the best strategies to give it away?

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    Well, I’ll give you four good reasons.

    You make connections

    Let’s say you write a free white paper that can help solve a problem, or respond to questions at Answers.com, or give a free health assessment at a train station. You are meeting people and making connections. Granted, most of them will go nowhere, and that’s OK, if you begin to connect with 2 – 3 % of those who accept your offer, you will soon find that you know a whole bunch of people who are interested in you and your talents. You would not have met them if they would have had payed for something, since they didn’t know you and the risk was high. By giving stuff away you reduce their risk to almost nothing and more people will take you up on it.

    You get practice

    One of the best ways to gain experience, especially in a new and untried area, is to give it away. Again, there’s no risk. A company might not be willing to offer you a big salary to come and sell for them, but a church or PTA fundraising committee would be overjoyed if you volunteered to help them. Now you’re gaining experience, getting better at the thing you want to do and creating stories that demonstrate your success to people who will now consider taking a risk.

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    When I was still getting certified as a coach, I began volunteering at the Career Transition Center of Chicago, with a little training, a lot of raw talent, and a willingness to work for free. 200+ clients later, it has been a wonderful use of my time, and it has led to paying gigs.

    It feels good

    Don’t underestimate this. It feels great to do something you really enjoy and have people appreciate it, even if you’re not getting paid. You’re doing “Your Thing,” that will make you feel strong (if it doesn’t, it might not be “Your Thing”), Important point here; don’t just do something because you have to and do it begrudgingly. Do something you love to do, and your joy and passion will attract attention. If you like to write, write a white paper or a blog. If you hate writing, do something else, like create websites or read to sick kids or talk about a favorite topic at a professional association.

    It always comes back to you

    You are investing in the “Good Karma Market”, which always pays out in the long run when something is offered with joy and love. It doesn’t always pay out the way you expect, or on the schedule you would like, but it never fails. That’s not to say you should give in order to get. You should give and trust that you will get what matters. It’s a subtle distinction, yet crucial.

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    To sum up, give because you:

    • Make connections
    • You get practice
    • It feels good
    • It always comes back to you

    Conclusion

    I heard a story (I wish I could remember where) that most people stand in front of the fireplace and say to the fire, “I’ll give you more wood when you start giving off more warmth.” We laugh, but that is the approach many of us take to our careers and lives. Some people, on finding the fire burning hotter by sheer luck, don’t even put more wood in at that point, yet we find ourselves surprised when our career is nothing but ash.

    Don’t be this person. If you put in more wood first, the fire will give off more warmth. Give and give. You will surely receive.

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    (Photo credit: The open hands of woman via Shutterstock)

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    Dave Kaiser

    An Executive Coach who helps people make better use of their time, from productivity to living their life's mission.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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