Of all the book titles I’ve considered for the book I dream of writing some day, my top two favorites are: Give Everything and Use Everything.
What I’d like most to do in my life, what I would be most proud of and satisfied with doing, is being able to live a life of generosity and usefulness to others.
At times, this desire to give is in direct conflict with being a business owner. Giving everything is not a business model that is sustainable. If I want to grow a business, I must have a profitable pricing model. And, making money is one means to generosity — if I am financially successful, I can give more away to others.
When I say that giving everything is a decision for 2013, I do not mean that I will literally give away everything I have. Instead, I want to have an attitude of generosity; I want to give what I can; I want to give more than is expected; I want to give energy, encouragement, help, support, love, kindness, time, money, and expertise. I want to give as often as I can, to as many people as I can.
Part of my desire comes from being a recipient of generosity from others. I am regularly astounded by the way others give to me, the way God gives to me.
Here are a couple of examples of people giving to me recently. These totally amaze me.
Over Christmas, while I was away from home on a trip with my girls, a friend gave her entire afternoon to spend time with me while I waited in a pharmacy clinic so my daughter could be treated for what turned out to be strep throat. Not only that, she gave her energy to entertaining her children — and mine — while we waited.
Last week, a client invited, hosted, and treated an entire table full of potential clients to a wonderful dinner and put me on center stage to talk about my business.
The only response I can think of to giving is giving. I want to give because I have been given — so much.
Tell me something! Have you been amazed by generosity lately? Share your story. What do you enjoy giving?