You Gotta Give To Get

I have noticed a trend within myself recently: The more I help others when they ask the more I tend to get from others when I ask.

I am not sure if its a natural phenomenon, me being more attentive to others needs or others starting to be more in-tune with where I sit in our industry. Regardless, I discovered really cool things happen when I am more open to giving to people.


The giving I am referring to is of my time, relationships and mind-share. This realization has come to my attention as younger founders or less experienced entrepreneurs more frequently reach out to me for help, perspective or introductions. This is natural, fine with me – given they are respectful in their ask – and something I enjoy doing.

Yes, that means I’d be open to responding to you too if you need it!

Interestingly, many times when I meet with someone they are very thankful and surprised with how generous I seem to be.  My response: I feel it’s what we are supposed to do if we are farther down the road in our journey than someone else (referring to providing guidance and intro’s if the situation calls for it.) All I ask is they do it too once they are at a level where they can help others in this way. Most first time founders don’t run in the same circles as investors or wealthy former founders, and they have to get connected somehow, someway. Founders getting introduced to well known people, investors or customers was how pretty much how this whole industry got started. Let’s keep it going…

The interesting thing I notice is how much natural karma is created when you are genuinely more open to helping people when they reach out.

The adage I now live by: help people first and people will no doubt help you.

2 thoughts on “You Gotta Give To Get

  1. Nick, I’ve followed your blog for awhile but just wanted to make my first comment. One warning I’d give to people is, if you’re going to give then do it from a genuine place with no strings attached. I’ve encountered people who give just to set themselves up to “cash in” on their “deposit.” (You can recognize these people as they preemptively and repeatedly pepper others with unsolicited advice or help, or gifts that don’t actually meet the other person’s needs or desires – because they aren’t paying attention to the other in the first place. It’s literally a “give to get” perspective.)

    Oftentimes they do get away with eliciting guilt and a sense of reciprocity even if other people didn’t want what was given (and it’s easy to elicit guilt and reciprocity from some people more than others). However, it can also come across as false and icky to more discerning people. Having followed your blog, I doubt that you’re anything like this but just wanted to warn people in general about giving for the sole purpose of getting. When I encounter the latter, I “throw them under the bus” (figuratively) without any qualms when they try to “cash in.” 😛

    • Absolutely! That’s why I emphasize genuineness and appropriateness in the post. You are right though, people need to be coming from the correct mindset and genuinely want to help others, with no ulterior motive or it’s all for not.

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