give to gain: a shocker?
I have done a fair bit of business networking over the years in which the "give to gain" concept is the driving theme of the networking group. Indeed, this concept is understood and practiced by the vast majority of successful business networkers.
The motto of Business Network International (BNI), for example, is "Givers Gain", and undoubtedly the most successful members of BNI have made an art form out of the concept. But I have met more than a few new members of networking groups to whom "give to gain" is a new concept, and for whom the adoption of the concept is difficult.
Ironically, when I think of the "give to gain" principle, I recall the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, which includes the phrase "for it is in giving that we receive". The notion that we may give of ourselves to help others must be altruistic in order to realize the full spiritual benefits that St. Francis had in his sights.
However, in the world of business, it is practically prudent to plant as many seeds as possible so that you might have a fruitful harvest. And often, the seeds that fall on the best soil are those that are fertilized with real kindness and generosity.
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