Two of my mentors, in different ways, have proposed we establish the "giving economy". Most of us want the world to evolve for the better. We just disagree on how. And too often we find we're forced to vote for the better of two bad options, rather than someone who truly inspires us. So what can we do in the meantime? A lot--and one important way is to evolve the way we approach our work. Before your eyes glaze over at something as soft and naive-sounding as a "giving economy", let me explain. All this means is we stop treating every client or team interaction as transactional. Have you ever been in the middle of a project and thought to yourself, I don't get paid enough for this? It's a sign you've gotten caught in a transactional loop. Your work has no meaning beyond the cash you'll receive for it. If you approach every interaction with curiosity around how you can serve - and do your best in every work relationship to make the other person's life easier and more enjoyable - you'll start to get a very positive energetic return. It can be a longer-term game, but it's much more enjoyable to play. We don't live in a utopia, and martyring yourself by not commanding an appropriate sum for your services helps no one. But consider people who always go above and beyond in an effort to serve. Others enjoy being around them. They want to offer them new opportunities, raises, exposure. As long as that person doesn't push these opportunities away, she will have no shortage of resources coming her way. This is the giving economy. Approaching every interaction as a potential way to make someone's life easier. Proactively offering your services free of charge every once in a while, knowing you'll do such a great job, and build such a strong relationship, a high percentage of these recipients won't hesitate to hire you down the road. Sharing your message online, with no expectation of immediate return. Trusting that while some will take advantage, others will be loyal (high-paying) clients for life. A mutually beneficial relationship will be established. We know much needs to change. We need an economy that works for everyone. The giving economy is a great place to start.
To receive my writing directly to your inbox, subscribe here.