“During the winter of 2015, when snow hit, he broke out his snowblower and began clearing his sidewalk. But he didn’t stop there. He then started on the neighbors’ sidewalk and continued for multiple blocks.
Neighbors were so impressed by his generosity that they started inviting him in for drinks. This random act of kindness literally opened shut doors.
We call this the Snowblower Effect, but it’s also known as habitual generosity. Make being generous to others part of your daily routine and you’ll be amazed that what once were closed doors will suddenly swing wide open for you ,(…)”
I took the above passage from Forbes.com. Reading newspapers covering business practices is extremely useful. Some practices are no conscious practices at all. At least they are not done with an expectation and out of calculation. Actions taken with an idea behind it to generate some profit are doomed to fail. That’s what i like to believe and i stick to this belief, no matter if proven wrong. Looking for benefits in every direction is a mistake. The guy above didn’t act with a foresight. He didn’t seek any palpable gain. He merely wanted to help. Unselfishly. Not being selfish is a trait not common in business people. The guy above used his physical effort and went the extra mile to clean up in front of somebody else’s doorstep, after having cleaned up his own. If he had done the sidewalk of his neighbour’s first, that would have been an even more generous action.
When we talk about business people or simply about people who run a business, translation business at that, generosity here doesn’t lie in physical effort. It’s in the sharing of useful information and knowledge. Knowledge that you would keep to yourself, as you have acquired it after having gone through a lot of trials and errors, experimenting and blundering. Useful knowledge provided to others saves their time. It can drive their business forward, evading paths which they would have unnecessarily taken were it not for a wise and kind word from a fellow translator. Who doesn’t privatise useful content, but gives it away, without requiring anything back.
I can’t count the number of occasions people asking me whether there was any use from going to translation conferences. How often colleagues link a certain event with a benefit they want to gain, and that is mostly the reason why they attend these events in the first place. Expecting to get something out of the event (more clients and money), which is why they would readily pay the entrance fee. Turn up for the event and wait for the projects to come in. Things do not work that way. You get what you give. You paid a price, yes, but it’s what you make with your presence at the event that could make a difference. Show generosity there and find out how you can help others, suppressing your needs (which you can’t just shove aside, obviously, but let it just wait in the queue for a while).
Hope joins generosity
Good may not come as quickly as you hope (won’t use “expected” here), but you know what they say of “hope”. There’s the Croatian saying: Hope dies last. Not only that. Like purpose, hope is also a powerful driver and it affects our brain chemistry. It is an important thing that keeps us in business, especially when we’re heading for quiet times. This is where generosity shown at times before could prove beneficial. Generosity in the translation business could mean many untypical business practices that may appeal to clients who wish to work with a trustworthy translator…