So what’s the story?

This is a story about how I got to Pay it Forward this year. Since the beginning I’ve been going to the Spark Conference for women entrepreneurs. First as a speaker, and then as an attendee.

Being self employed, I love my job. And I miss having colleagues. AND, I miss team days out. So going to Spark is like a team day out for me. As participants we don’t work together (although sometimes we do), but we have a common cause: building our businesses and keeping it enjoyable. So when I’m at the conference I strengthen connections, meet new people, and learn things I can use to do my job better – like a team day out.

This year I decided to sponsor the event too. The organisers do good work and I wanted to show my appreciation. Part of the sponsorship package I chose was an opportunity to add promotional material or a giveaway in their goodie bag.

As a service business, I don’t have a tangible gift to give – and I didn’t want to waste the worlds resources on a logo’d gift that nobody really wanted.

Go big or go home

I wanted my contribution to count, to have impact. So I decided to do a giveaway:

3 x 3 months entrepreneurial leadership coaching.      

This would go to the first 3 people to sign up. If 3 people actually applied, I’d be giving away over €2k worth of services.

I got 3 sign ups that night. The same day as the conference. This giveaway was the best decision.

The wonders of the universe

The women who applied are awesome. It feels like the universe connected us. We have found each other at just the right time. I’ve had the first session with all three women and what I know is this:

  • They are strong women with vision
  • Their businesses are great – I really love what they are doing and want them to do more of it!
  • I believe in them
  • I’m already getting energy from them – it’s so rewarding
  • This is going to be fun!

Difficulties

The giveaway was planned a few months before the event, and life continued. I attended Spark, enjoyed myself, and focused on business. At this time, I was facing a difficult conversation – at least it was difficult for me. I needed to say something to someone and I was going to be letting them down. I wasn’t sure how to do it and I’d been trying to figure it out.

In the end, I scrunched up my courage, scheduled the call, and decided: be open, and see what they have to say. I sighed in relief when I realised:

You don’t need to have it all sorted out now

This was another great decision, even if I do say so myself (and yes it’s ok to talk about the great things we do – join me by sharing your great decisions in the comments). I had the call and this person was gracious and open. She took the time to listen, find out what I was thinking. She understood me, and generously offered both her time and flexibility. Just what I needed.

Lessons and Reminders

  • It’s good to go big
  • Generosity makes you feel really good
  • The universe listens and gives it back
  • Working together is so much better than doing it all on your own
  • We create our work – this means that what we do contributes to the world we live in
  • Giving and Getting aren’t always causal, and there’s no tally sheet, but there is a link in the world

Over to you

So what’s your Random Act of Audacious Generosity? You know, the one you’ve thought about doing but talked yourself out of because “it’s too much”?

And remember that time you actually did something audaciously generous? Remember how fantastic it felt? Share your story. And better yet, do something like that again.

It doesn’t have to be financial. In fact, my giveaway is really about reaching out to help others by offering my time and skills. Who do you want to help?