Giving It Away, Two  

 

ideas-twoIn my last post, I talked about the reluctance of many to share, contrasting it with what a mindset of abundance can do for those willing to share.  My thesis was that giving things away, instead of always trying to see how much you can get for them, can lead to greater prosperity.  In this post, I’d like to tell you about one of the ways I am putting my money where my mouth is.

I decided to start a new company because (what else!) I saw a need.  The need was for our member agencies to be able to make more money on some of the business they write.  As I worked on the pro forma I was conservative in my estimates but projected a 35% annual growth rate for the business.  In reviewing my numbers with our CFO, he pointed out that if we could get to our 5 year revenue estimate in the first year we’d make a lot more cumulative profit over that period.  Duh!

I was challenged.  How could we grow the revenue that fast?

My thinking centered on how we could make this new company’s product absolutely irresistible to those who use it and sell its services.  After a lot of thought, and tinkering, I decided to create an industry best compensation program and, in addition to that, give half of the net profits to those who use and sell the product.  That would let me cover our costs, make a reasonable return on capital and be irresistible in the bargain.  It would let us become true joint venture partners with our customers and sellers without their needing to make any investment or take on any risk.

So, that’s what we’ve done.  In the first three weeks since we launched, we’ve booked 300% more revenue than my original forecast!  And we’ve arrived about where I thought we’d be at the end of year 5!  In addition to that, we’ve only marketed to about one third of our prospect base – so we have every reason to expect our first year numbers to blow our wildest dreams away.

I’ll be the first to admit that the results we are seeing far exceed what I expected.  But I did expect something remarkable to happen.  Sharing opens up the possibility that the part that you keep can be much bigger than what you would have had if you had kept the whole thing.  In my experience the same thing happens when you share ideas as well as profits – they multiply – and you’re richer for having donated your wisdom to others.

To some this probably sounds crazy.  But I’d like to challenge you to think about what you have that you can give away, or share with others.  What are the possible positive outcomes for your business?  I believe they are virtually unlimited.

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