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One of the favorite books I’ve read in the past year is Give and Take by Adam Grant.  Mr. Grant talks about three types of people….givers, takers and matchers.

It’s interesting to note that the most successful of the three groups are the givers.  It’s also interesting that the least successful and most stressed out are also givers.  The question I have is why are some givers so successful and others not.

Understand who you’re dealing with.

If you think you’re a giver there’s someone you have to be very careful around.  Those are takers.  Takers have no qualms in having you give and give and give and they can never return the favor.

If you’re in a relationship like this you have to disengage as quickly as you can.  Relationships like these are toxic.  The only thing you’ll work away with is less money, time, self-respect and energy. 

Don’t resent takers, just stay away from them.

Make sure you always go for win/win.

You’ll notice I said win/win.  This is a hard one for a giver to get their heads around.  You probably want to help others.  You might even think that if there’s something in it for you, it’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

My belief is that it’s win/win or no play.  I won’t be in a situation where I win and you lose.  I won’t allow myself to get into a situation where you win and I lose.  And I certainly won’t waste my time in a place where we both lose. 

Make sure you have a definition of what winning means for you.  It doesn’t have to monetary and it doesn’t even have to come from the person you’re working with.  This is where a little creativity can go a long ways.

Make sure you take care of yourself.

Research by Vicki Helgeson shows that when you work for others with no concern for yourself you’ll get burned out and likely become sick.  Your mental health will suffer and you’ll find yourself tired and out of sorts.

Instead, when you give make sure you keep a substantial concern for yourself.  Let’s face it; most of the world is matchers.  I do something for you; you have a feeling you have to return the favor.  I’m not talking about that situation.  I’m talking about where you give and don’t expect anything directly in return.  That’s where you need to pay attention to what’s going on with your mind and body.

Feel free to pay it forward.

My favorite way to work with lots of people is to have an expectation that they’ll pay it forward.  I spend a lot of time talking with people who likely aren’t going to directly benefit me.  If I decide to spend any real time with them it’s not for what I’ll get. 

I make sure to make part of the deal to be an expectation that at some point in the future you return the favor with someone you can help.  We all have areas of expertise.  Knowing what yours is and how it can benefit you and others is really what its all about.

If you think you’re a giver are you ready to take care of yourself?

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Topics: wealth management, takers, givers

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