QUICK! BEFORE YOU do anything else (except breathe – you can breathe, I’m okay with that), go check out the awesome article by Men With Pens entitled:
James truly outdid himself with this article; in a nutshell, he gently explains with the subtle touch of tractor trailer mowing over a maple cupcake the fact that freebies are NOT something that he, nor anyone else of that matter, owes anyone.
And considering the comments that are being generated (44 at last count), he certainly struck quite the chord with this, ahem, warm and fuzzy stance!
Here’s my take on this.
James is 150% on the mark (and no, I NEVER exaggerate, why do you ask?)
There are two types of communities – the one where the members give to one another, and the one where everyone lurks and takes and takes and lurks and…well…that’s it.
And true, I can accept that quite honestly, we’re ALL out for Number 1. It makes sense, doesn’t it? At the end of the evening, your success depends upon what you bring home for your family…NOT what freebies you give out to those who ask.
I look out for me, you look out for you – it’s just plain common sense.
BUT! We also have the CHOICE as to HOW we choose to help one another.
You should NEVER EVER EVER approach someone with the attitude of expectation. When someone does offer to help or respond to your plea…they’re giving you the rather awesome gift of their TIME.
Do you treat that like the gold it is?
I remember back in April when I was building the Income Fitness forums – I dropped James a note asking if he’d check it out and give me his opinion.
What I received from him blew me away – he systematically took apart my entire graphical look and feel and walked me thru ideas for major magnificent improvement.
I remember we exchanged 4-5 emails on the topic; each time, James would freely give his advice and suggestions and I would fling myself into the brave new world of colors interpretation, layout design and other things more bizarre to me than 2 headed turtles sunbathing on an ice floe.
I never forgot that time – the guidance James gave me helped me turn the whole layout into something most snazzy indeed.
When people go out of their way for me, I find myself consumed with a desire to return the favor 73 fold!
THAT’S the power of community – people give because they WANT to, not because they’re EXPECTED to.
i can honestly say that if Brad or Joanna or Ulla or John or Bill or Tom or James or Mat or Cath or Vince or Karen or Barbara or anyone who is part of MY personal community asks me for ideas or help, I’ll fall over myself in my eagerness to provide whatever thoughts I can!
Not because I HAVE to…but because I WANT to. I value these people in my life…and I’m always happy to walk the walk I talk.
Now…let’s turn this topic over to the most important person imaginable…YOU!
Are you in learning mode? If so, do you ask for help? And if so, do you proactively thank the person for the assistance they offer…or do you think to yourself, they’re too busy to read it, I’ll just take it and run?
The best way to become part of a VALUABLE community is to embrace the fact that learning goes BOTH ways.
- Sometimes…you’re the teacher.
- Other times…you’re the student.
In both cases, you should NEVER have expecations of the other…but ALWAYS approach and treat them as you’d prefer yourself.
That’s what builds a strong and healthy community…respect. And appreciation.
And you can take THAT to the bank.
PS – speaking about community, check out one of the friendliest ones online below!