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Why Is Giving Easier Than Taking?

From my first day at school (the day after I turned four,I don’t think my mother could wait a minute longer), we were taught that giving was a great thing. It was a convent school and every day Sister Collette would come around with a box and collect our pennies for babies in Africa. They taught us to share, to wait in line, to put our fingers on our lips so we could listen, to take turns but never to take. And almost never to ask. More than once I watched a barely toilet trained four year old make a puddle on the floor for the want of asking.

I loved bringing in lilacs from the garden at home for May alters and twigs for nature tables. Christmas gifts for secret Santas and homemade cakes on birthdays. I got a great education in taking and a lousy one in receiving, the legacy of which lives on to this day (ask my poor darling husband who despairs about buying me gifts). Maybe the same is true for you too? That’s why I’m sharing Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk video with you again.

In an increasingly freelance world where there is no direct trade of a paycheck for hours clocked in we’ve got to get better at asking. I don’t mean selfishly spamming that high profile person in your industry and asking for a leg up. The key to the ‘art of asking’ as Amanda said (and so many people missed) is the art of building trust first. Being generous. Giving in order to receive.

My book ‘Make Your Idea Matter’ has been nominated in the Small Business Book Awards alongside great books in the startup category. If you read it and got something from it I hope you’ll consider voting for it in one click.

Thanks for making it easier to ask.

UPDATE: Thanks to those who have emailed to say the link is not working in the blog post email.I’ve tripled checked it and it’s been working here all along so i have no idea why that is. I appreciate you tracking the right page down and voting anyway.

Image by Judd Hall.

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