Pay It Forward for Success

Tweet 127 in Success Tweets, my latest career advice book, says “Pay it forward.  Build relationships by giving with no expectation of return.  Give of yourself to build strong relationships.”

I’m a big believer in paying it forward. It’s great career advice.   To the best of my ability I am willing to help anyone, anywhere, any time.  I find that I get great satisfaction from helping others.  I also find that things that I do for others with no expectation of return come back to me in odd ways.

I am still in Ireland.  I’ll be coming back to the USA tomorrow.  I’ve enjoyed my time here.  On Sunday, I toured Trinity College and got to see The Book of Kells.  The Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels of the New Testament of the Bible.  It was hand written and bound by monks in 800 AD – that’s over 1200 years ago.  It was amazing to see such an old work of art – that’s the only way to describe it.  It is beautifully and painstakingly decorated. 

On Saturday I also go to do something I’ve wanted to do for over 40 years.  I saw an international rugby match in Europe.  Ireland beat Samoa 20 – 10.  It wasn’t a particularly well played match, but it was fun for me to see an international in one of the rugby “home countries.”

All of this brings me to the career success coach point of this post.  Cathy and I were standing in line to (or queuing as they say here) to purchase tickets for the match.  They cost 50 Euros – about 75 US Dollars.  All of a sudden two young men – teenagers – approached Cathy and offered her two tickets for free.  Of course we took them. 

I thanked these young guys and offered to pay for the tickets.  They refused.  I asked if they would take 50 Euros – still a deal at half price.  They said, “No sir, we don’t want anything for the tickets, we have no use of them, we were given better ones.”  So I got to see my first rugby international in Europe for free.  By the way, the tickets were great – in the end zone, about 20 rows up.

As we were settling into our seats, Cathy said to me, “I guess all those times you’ve given our hockey and basektball tickets to people with kinds paid off.”  She was right.  When we have tickets that we can’t use, I always make sure to find someone who will enjoy the game and give them to them.  I hadn’t thought of it until Cathy mentioned it, but that’s one way I pay it forward.

So I’ve paid it forward by giving away hockey and basketball tickets and two young guys in Ireland paid it forward to me.  I hope someone does something nice for them.  I never even got a chance to buy them a hot dog or Coke at the match.  I hope someone does something nice for them – and real soon.

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 not great career advice because it is reactive not proactive.  Too many people wait for others to go first.  They adopt the attitude, “When — and if — you do something that helps me, I’ll do something that helps you.” 

This scarcity mentality is not conducive to building strong relationships or creating the life and career success you want and deserve.  When you come from a scarcity 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 abundance mentality.  When you give with no expectation of return, you are acknowledging the abundance of the universe.  You are demonstrating faith that the good you do will benefit others close to you and the world at large – and that good things will come back to you.  Last Saturday the universe sent me two tickets to an international rugby match – saving me $150 – in the form of two nice young men.

The whole idea of paying it forward reminds me of an inspirational movie I sent to my subscribers a while back.  It’s called the 100 – 0 principle.  The principle is simple, and great career advice  The best way to build solid relationships is to take 100% responsibility for them.  You can see this movie by logging on to  

Check it out.  It is a great movie that you’ll want to share with your family, friends and coworkers.  You have not only my permission, but my encouragement, to do so.  You’ll be paying it forward to your friends by sharing this little movie with them.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple.  Follow the career advice in Success Tweet 127 – “Pay it forward.  Build relationships by giving with no expectation of return.”  When you do this, you’ll build strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the important people in your life.   And strong relationships are an important key to life and career success.  More important you’ll be sending good karma into the universe, and goodness knows we can use all the good karma we can get these days.  And, as happened to me last Saturday, you’ll be surprised at the good things that will come back to you in odd ways.

That’s my take on paying it forward.  What’s yours?  Do you have any stories to share about good things coming to you from unexpected sources?  If so, please take a minute to share them with us in a comment.  As always, you have my deepest thanks for reading.


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