Giving It Up For Free

A few weeks ago, I read a blog post by Twitter friend and blogger Kirsten Wright entitled “Free.” The post talks about the value of “free,” and how we as a society need to rethink how we use the word in our lives, and especially in our businesses.  She offered a free hour of consulting to a reader who would do the same for someone else and “pay it forward.”  I stepped up and offered to give a copy of my book to someone at random; someone I didn’t really know and wasn’t a family member, just someone who deserved it.

The other day, I was talking to  Ben B. on Twitter about something, I’m sure it was pants-related, and I decided that he was that random person, so I offered him a copy of the book, no strings attached.  After I assured him there were no pictures of me naked on a bearskin rug inside, he accepted.

It made me wish everyone did the same thing.  Why can’t more businesses act like Kirsten and give something away to someone with no strings attached?  It’s not like most places can’t afford to give away one book, one meal, one hour of time for free, just because.

I’ve made more connections on Twitter than I can count.  There are times that I get new work from those connections in ways I never thought of; a friend of a friend of a connection, someone’s relative, a random event that triggered my name coming up.  You never know where the next big thing is going to come from, and you don’t know what triggered it in the first place.

Perhaps it came from the person you helped out for free.