Small Gifts

It seems counterintuitive, but the more altruistic your attitude, the more benefits you will gain from the relationship. If you insist on a quid pro quo every time you help others, you will have a much narrower network and a more limited set of opportunities. Conversely, if you set out to help others…simply because you think it’s the right thing to do, you will rapidly reinforce your own reputation and expand your universe of possibilities.
— Reid Hoffman
Small gifts, freely given, are like magic for both parties. For the giver, the contributions feel authentic and genuine because there are no strings attached. It’s easier to give because you’re not manipulating or promoting, you’re being helpful. The receiver, sensing this, isn’t burdened by the weight of an obligation, and the gift no longer feels like an unwanted transaction.

Offering small gifts freely takes practice. The key to real generosity is to be detached from the outcomes. Go ahead and hold the door open without any expectation of a thank you. Make a helpful introduction. Offer some assistance without any mental strings attached. Your small gifts, freely given over the course of your network, will deepen relationships and unlock access to possibilities.
— John Stepper