Pay It Forward — Use The 100/0 Principle

A while back I did a webinar on how to create the life and career success you want and deserve. You might have missed it. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I recorded it. You can hear the replay for free by logging on to

In today’s post, I want to discuss an important point I made in the webinar – the importance of building strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the people in your life.

Tweet 123 in my career advice book Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less gets at the importance of relationships when it comes to creating your career success and climbing the corporate ladder. “Use every social interaction to build and strengthen relationships. Strong relationships are your ticket to success.”

My friends at Walk the Talk have a great book on relationship building called The 100/0 Principle. The basic idea is simple. You take full responsibility (the 100) for the relationship, expecting nothing (the 0) in return.

Simple idea, but difficult to implement. It takes real commitment to the relationship and a good dose of self-discipline to think, act and give 100 percent.

The 100/0 Principle applies to those people in your life where the relationships are too important to react automatically or judgmentally. You have to determine the relationships to which you want to apply this principle. For most of us, it applies to the people we work with, customers, suppliers, family and friends.

Here are four steps to applying The 100/0 Principle.

Step 1 – Determine what you can do to make the relationship work … then do it. Demonstrate respect and kindness to the other person, whether he/she deserves it or not.

Step 2 – Do not expect anything in return. Zero, zip, nada.

Step 3 – Do not allow anything the other person says or does (no matter how annoying!) to affect you. In other words, don’t take the bait.

Step 4 – Be persistent with your graciousness and kindness. Don’t give up too soon — especially when others don’t respond in kind. Remember to expect nothing in return.

If you like these ideas, you may want to read the entire book. You can find it here.

I offer advice similar to that found in The 100/0 Principle in Tweet 127 in  Success Tweets. “Pay it forward. Build relationships by giving with no expectation of return. Give of yourself to build strong relationships.”

This is a quid pro quo world: you do for me and I’ll do for you. While there is nothing wrong in reciprocating a good deed or a favor, there is a fundamental problem with quid pro quo. It is reactive not proactive. Too many people wait for others to go first. They adopt the attitude, “When and if you do for me, I’ll do for you.” This mentality is the opposite of the ideas presented in The 100/0 Principle and is not conducive to building strong relationships. When you come from this mentality, you focus on holding on to what you already have. This can prevent you from receiving what you might possibly get.

On the other hand, giving with no expectation of return comes from a proactive mentality. When you give with no expectation of return, you are demonstrating faith that the good you do will benefit others close to you – and that good things will come back to you.

That’s the common sense career advice I found in The 100/0 Principle. What do you think? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. As always, thanks for reading my thoughts on life and career success. I value you and I appreciate you.

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