Generosity breeds generosity.
This is one lesson that stuck with me from SEOmom Gillian Muessig at the MIVA conference last weekend.
Evan Fishkin, her son, echoed this same lesson in his presentation on SEO. You share more, you get more.
On the train to Tucson after the conference with Josh, I contemplated this lesson. We arrived in Tucson at midnight, and I was thirsty. A woman was fumbling with her wallet in front of the drink machine, looking for a single so she could buy a soda.
“Do you have five 1’s?” she asked me.
“No, I only have four” I said as I brushed past her to purchase a bottle of water.
I put in a dollar and 25 cents and pushed the button, but the water was sold out. I pressed the return button, but it didn’t give me my change back–it only beckoned with a choice of soda, which I did not want. It also asked me for an extra 25 cents. Should I buy a soda that I didn’t want or walk away and leave my money in the machine? The lady was still in the lobby, asking people for change.
“Hey, you can have a soda, there’s already money in the machine,” I offered.
By now she had found five singles, so she put her dollar in. I got 75 cents back, and she got a soda for only a dollar. Win-win.
We took a taxi to our hotel. The driver was exceptionally kind. In the eight mile ride, he shared with us his philosophy on life, his spiritual beliefs, and his religious practices. He didn’t charge us the 15-minute wait time when he was parked waiting for our luggage at the train station. I pulled out the fare and a modest $1 tip. Then I saw an extra dollar in my wallet and I thought of the lesson on generosity–why not. I got the extra dollar out and handed it to him too.
By now it was almost 1AM, and I was really thirsty. We checked into the hotel, put our luggage in our room, and I headed to the vending machine with my last dollar. Luckily the water only cost $1 here instead of $1.25 because it’s all I had left with the extra dollar I had given the taxi driver. I put the money in the machine and pressed the button: a water came out. Then the machine made a bunch of noise and a second water came out!
You share more, you get more.
With my $4, I could have lost a $1 at the train station, tipped the driver $1, spent $1 to get a water in the evening, and inevitably spent another $1 on a second water in the morning when I was thirsty again.
Instead, I bought a woman a soda, tipped the driver $2, and got two waters.
Win-win, win-win, win-win.
When was your last win-win situation? What has been your experience of “generosity breeds generosity” at work or in life?