One of my unconventional business principles is to default to generosity.
Many years ago, I realised that when I give liberally and without expectation, not only do I create deep trust with my people, but the world responds in unexpectedly beautiful ways.
Defaulting to generosity should not just be a business principle but a lifestyle.
Behaving generously doesn’t necessarily mean “donating money” or “giving away your last cookie.” Those are two options, sure, but there are plenty of other ways to be generous.
For starters, I believe it is a chance to serve and delight. Every tweet and DM, every piece of content, every email, every course, every 1-on-1 interaction, etc. is a chance to be generous in some way, large or small. And every one of those touchpoints matters in the quest to earn 1,000 True Fans.
So whenever I’m faced with a new decision or a new point of interaction, one of the questions I ask is, “What’s the most generous or delightful option available to me?” Am I being as generous as I can be in this situation?
It’s a lovely little heuristic, and it’s led to me pouring everything into my content and products, as well as creating fun little easter eggs (often with silly animated GIFs) that exist all over my business universe.
The tiniest act of generosity can change someone’s day—or even their whole life.
Here are 10 examples to inspire you to infuse generosity into your life and business.
- Create a special treat for your audience and share it for free. A video. A music playlist. A helpful checklist. A mini audiobook. A list of tips.
- Shine a spotlight on readers (and/or clients) and celebrate their victories. Give them a public shout-out in your newsletter or your social media channels to make them feel appreciated.
- Send a personal email to someone in your audience or your customers, privately, just to say, “Thank you for being here,” or, “Thank you for brightening my inbox.”
- Include a free version / free taste of whatever you’re selling. For instance, if you’re selling a program, and your program has 10 components, you could share the first one for free.
- Go above and beyond to support your readers, regardless of whether they are “paying customers” or not. If someone emails to say hi, say thank you, or ask a question, send a caring response. (Or hire someone to help you do this.)
- Use your newsletter platform to celebrate others. Shine a spotlight on a fellow business owner that you admire, an author your readers might love, or a podcast that you’re obsessed with.
- Create a scholarship program, internship program, or some other program that gives people full access to your work, even if they can’t pay the full amount right now.
- Create a sliding scale pricing or pay-what-you-can pricing for your products/offerings.
- Reach out to your favourite creator and publicly thank them for adding beauty and inspiration to the world. Post a positive review online. Mention them in your newsletter. Or send a personal note to say, “I love your work. Please keep going.”
- Create a generous "auto-responder" for your email, complete with connections, information, entertaining videos, answers to frequently asked questions, a free gift, or whatever else you wish to include. This is a simple method to automatically provide people with something inspiring, interesting, and helpful (or all of the above!). While they wait for your response, they can enjoy the cool items. Would you want to see some creative examples? Have a look at this
- Leave a rave review for your favourite podcast, your favourite book, your favourite product, or your favourite anything.
I hope this sparks ideas so you can start creating little acts of generosity in your life and business.