When my book, Straight Talk for Success, first came out I did a big launch campaign that resulted in it becoming an Amazon.com bestseller. A few months before the launch, I settled on April 22 as my launch date; mostly because the timing was right. When I looked closer at my calendar, I saw that April 22 happens to be Earth Day. I can remember participating in teach-ins at Penn State on the very first Earth Day in 1970.
I decided that there was some karma involved here. Since I had chosen April 22 without knowing it was Earth Day, I thought it would be nice for me to make a symbolic gesture and donate 10% of my net proceeds from book sales that day to an organization that supports the environment. I knew the perfect one.
I am a member of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, an apolitical environmental organization. Their mission is to “motivate and enable Colorado citizens to be active stewards of Colorado’s public lands, thereby creating enthusiastic and beneficial stewardship of Colorado’s natural and cultural resources.” They are my favorite environment related non-profit. They do great work. I was happy to help them out by donating a part of the money I made on book sales that Earth Day.
I called Ann Baker Easley, VOC Executive Director, and told her what I had in mind. I was expecting a “thank you.” I got that, and much more. Ann put me in touch with Piep van Heuven, VOC Deputy Director of Development and Communication. Piep included a message about my book launch in the VOC newsletter, and sent an email to their membership on the day of the book launch, asking them to purchase a copy of Straight Talk.
What started off as a philanthropic endeavor on my part turned into a partnership. And, it proved my point about giving with no expectation of return. I approached VOC thinking that I could help them by making a small contribution. They embraced my idea, and took it one step further. So now, we are partners. I think this is great.
This doesn’t always work. Prior to my book launch, I participated in a book launch campaign for another author. When I asked her to return the favor, I got an email saying, “I am not participating in any book launch promotions just now. I am laser focused on building my business using Facebook.”
In other words, “Kiss off, Bud.” But that’s OK. I helped her with her successful launch, and many other people – some very unexpected — are helping me with mine. In my experience, for every experience where my help is not reciprocated, there are two or three more like my experience with Volunteer for Outdoor Colorado.
Recently, I have partnered with a new non profit: the Go For It! Institute. Go For It! teaches kids seven keys to life success…
- KEY 1: I Have a Positive Attitude! Learn what attitude is; what aspects of your life are controlled or directed by your attitude; how to determine your attitude at any given moment; specific strategies to make a positive attitude a permanent habit in your life.
- KEY 2: I Believe in Myself! Understand the nature of human potential through a simple process of identifying your personal talents and abilities; developing academic strengths and personal interests to create personal fulfillment and economic opportunities for your future.
- KEY 3: I Build Positive Habits! Understand the process of how habits are created; learn to identify and remove self-defeating habits; create habits that will make all aspects of your life easier and more successful.
- KEY 4: I Make Wise Choices! Learn the dramatic relationship between any current circumstances in your life and the choices that created these; develop a personal proactive plan for desired outcomes through conscious, wise choices.
- KEY 5: I Set and Achieve Goals! Recognize the difference between a wish and a goal; make a commitment, plan and take action; recognize completion.
- KEY 6: I Use My Creative Imagination! Learn to adapt a technique professional athletes use to extend their physical ability, to accelerate problem solving and goal achievement in all areas of your life.
- KEY 7: I Am Persistent! Track progress; develop the focus and determination required to succeed; create an attitude of gratitude as the access to fulfilling your dreams, link the Seven Keys to Success together in everyday life.
I like these seven keys and I like the people at Go For It! who are spreading the word to young people, parents and teachers all across the USA. These are smart people who give generously of themselves to help kids – our future. I am proud to be one of their partners. I am launching a new website on which I will sell career advice books and other career success materials I have developed. I will donate a percentage of my profits to the Go For It! Institute. In this way, you’ll be able to help them by helping yourself.
The common sense career success coach point here is clear. Successful people build and nurture strong relationships with the people in their lives. One way they do this is by giving with no expectation of return. Follow the career advice in Tweet 130 in Success Tweets. “Be generous. By giving with no expectation of return, you’ll be surprised by how much comes back to you in the long run.” Often, when you give with no expectation of return, you’ll be surprised by what comes back to you. But that’s not the important reason for it. Give with no expectation of return to help others and to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with the important people in your life.