"You don't give back to the same people who give to you. Not at all. You give to different people and they in turn will give to someone entirely different. Not you. That's the sloppy economy of gift and love." – Lorrie Moore
I found this quote as I finished reading Another Country by Mary Pipher. It struck me that like love and gifting in this quote, building business and building community often works the same way.
You cannot expect to sit back and wait for things or money or business to come to you. Like love and friendship, the best way to grow community and business is to give. That means giving first. Giving with no expectations of reward, profit or another gift in return. Give because it's the right thing to do and it will help the world around you. It will also improve business.
Sometimes I hear local business owners complain about people not shopping in their store or that our local chamber isn't doing enough for them. In reality they're not doing enough for themselves - or their customers. They forgot about the personal responsibility part of work and business.
When I think of life, I believe there is an abundant amount of love, business and money out there. I don't think there is only a small meager amount and that I have to grab as much as I can or I won't get any. I know there is plenty of love and money out there and that it's my job to find it and make it work.
What can you do to entice people into your store or business? Think about things from your customer's viewpoint. Think about what you like as a shopper. Isn't it a nice treat to find some free litle thing that is provided when you make a purchase? Even if it is a cup of hot chocolate or a cookie. Find some ways to give to your customers. A small gift or reward is always such a wonderful surprise.
Please don't be negative and focus on all the things going wrong or work not coming your way. It's so easy to be negative. It's really too easy. It is much more challenging (and rewarding) to think positively and creatively. Before you go negative, stop and think. I'll bet you can think of some good creative ways to give and be positive about it. It's kind of like praying for your enemy. It's good for your soul, and it might help the enemy too.
Let's figure out ways to give to our customers and our community. Surprise one of your customers with a gift today. A gift without strings. A gift that will help build community and business.