Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Generosity Makes the World Go Round

I just hung up the phone from the first of an eight module teleseminar course I signed up for. While on the one hand, the course is expensive (it costs about as much as a 4 credit course at a major university), on the other hand, the information provided is well worth the cost.

I'm bordering on brain overload, however. It's like wanting a drink and sitting in front of a fire hose with a straw in your mouth. I've learned so much in the past few hours that it will take several days to digest.

The teleconference teacher is Alex Mandossian. He talks about making his annual salary his daily salary (!) in less than five years. But my favorite thing about what he has to say is that he doesn't always focus on the money. In fact, he says that focusing on the money you could make will stunt your long-term growth (he's talking about your business, but I think the concept is true across the board...).

He's a big advocate on giving things away: talents, knowledge, ideas, suggestions, expertise, and goodwill. His philosophy is: Go ahead. Give a bunch of stuff away for free. If you're any good, and if you really have something to say -- honestly -- how much information can you possibly give away in an hour or two?

In other words, holding your cards too close to your chest only makes you seem petty and greedy. Playing with an open hand lets people get to know you. It lets them try out some of your suggestions. It gets them to like you and trust you. And it makes them feel much more comfortable about paying their hard-earned money for a more in-depth look at what you have to say.

That coincides so perfectly with my own philosophy of things. I am always skeptical of people who claim that they can solve all my problems... if I only pay them first. I'm much more willing to give people the time of day when I've seen what they are capable of -- and have been able to ascertain that what they have to say will work for me, too!

I have to say that based on this first module, if I don't recoup the cost of my investment, it's my own fault. The sheer amount of information and new ways of looking at things, however, is still staggering. Going to take some time, now, and rest my weary brain. Then I'll pick up that straw and go back for another drink.