One of the companies in my incubator just finished manufacturing a large batch of inventory. His company focuses on giving back to the community in a buy-one-give-one fashion. So far they seem to be doing quite well, and I’m happy to see success coming his way.
To my surprise, yesterday, he tossed a free jacket. The jacket is their flagship item and worth quite a bit of money. It fits snug, keeps me warm, and looks stylish to boot.
Needless to say, it’s quite an upgrade over the previous jacket I had.
All he asked was that I post about it to my friends. In marketing terms, this is referred to as influencer marketing. However, my network is rather small compared to even micro-influencers so I’d call it the law of reciprocity.
He knew that through his act of kindness – giving me a free jacket – I would feel the need to spread the good word about his product, company, and mission.
And he was right.
I know the game. Give kindness and receive kindness.
But when kindness is giving from a position of authenticity, it changes things. I don’t feel obligated to spread the word. I actually want to help him.
That’s a powerful difference.
It’s especially noteworthy when you expect nothing in return. When you give without expecting anything back, you will always be grateful when the kindness makes its inevitable round trip.
The law of reciprocity is powerful, but can be easily abused. When you genuinely give with kindness don’t seek to be repaid.
Instead, seek the feeling of joy from the act itself.
Do this, and you will always be grateful for returns your way.