Is it possible to turbo charge your brand using generosity to provide the energy? A bigger and better brand will have lots of benefits for you while you’re making the world a better place.
In a highly competitive business like law very few players can have a strong personal brand based only on competence.
I believe that being known to be generous by many people is a special kind character branding.
This came to mind recently when a client described a very senior lawyer they knew primarily in terms of how generous this lawyer is known to be. He said there are lots of good lawyers, equally senior, but this guy stands out because he’s always ready to help.
I’m not suggesting that you or anyone else is not generous. We all are to some degree.
I am suggesting that ramping up your efforts to be famously generous is an opportunity to build your brand, to separate yourself from the herd and get a larger market share or better margins or both.
One of the things that makes this idea so appealing is that you are surrounded by opportunities to be generous. And more land on your desk every day.
What gets in the way of being more generous?
It’s a no brainer to want to be known to be generous. But lots gets in the way of actually being more generous.
“Being generous often consists of simply extending a hand. That’s hard to do if you are grasping tightly to your righteousness, your belief system, your superiority, your assumptions about others, your definition of normal.” Patti Digh
Not to mention that time and money are not unlimited.
There is another impediment to being more generous. It is the risk of rejection. It is often a bit of an intimate act to be generous. You could be rejected if your outreach is deemed to be an incursion into someone’s private space. That’s a kind of distress that is easily avoided. Or you yourself might reject a generous impulse for fear of getting too engulfed in a relationship.
I’d love to coach someone to become more generous. The coaching way to overcome the hurdles is to create a long list generous acts first and then ‘just do it’ starting with small gestures, maybe visible random acts of kindness, and then working up to spectacular contributions to the greater good, maybe donating a kidney. Easy to coach. Harder to find the right formula. I realize I’m advocating self-serving behaviour. But it’s a good kind.
Benefits of being more generous
Research has documented a relationship between kindness and optimism. And proven a relationship between kindness and happiness. So there is surely an uplifting that comes from being kind and generous. And it is probably addictive. Like anything that produces endorphins, little bursts of optimism and happiness, will grow on you.
Generous acts are often uncommon acts and in that way are memorable. That’s a big benefit for the marketing lawyer. People exposed to your generosity will remember it, not just those who benefit directly. And you’ll have your own lingering memories that will keep you pumped up.
And if you get to pro-level you’ll start to believe that what you give to the world will find a way to come back to you. Not the same thing you donated but something else that will give you a rush of some sort.
How to be more generous
It is simple enough to find out what to do to be more generous. Just Google ‘20 ways to be more generous’ and lists will magically appear to give you lots of ideas.
But what to do about Patty Digh’s admonition.
“Being generous often consists of simply extending a hand. That’s hard to do if you are grasping tightly to your righteousness, your belief system, your superiority, your assumptions about others, your definition of normal.”
What can you do to let go of a little bit of righteousness, alter a belief, jettison a certain superiority, correct an assumption and hurdle your wall of normality?
Here are some ‘Just Do It’ ideas to get you started
1. Believe that the universe is growing. And when you invest in it with your generosity something good will come back to you.
2. Believe that every little bit helps. A random act of kindness, like picking up a wayward piece of trash, qualifies for the benefits of being generous.
3. Trust unconditionally. Your job is to be generous. That’s all you control. Your generosity can influence others and you have to choose to trust that it will.
4. Generosity isn’t only about money. Time, mindful attention and sharing are three other ways to be generous. And often charismatic, by the way.
5. Remember life is short and you don’t have enough time left to plant all the good seeds you can.
Start now. What can you do right now that’s uncharacteristically generous to get started?
Jerome Shore is an Executive Coach in Toronto, Canada. Clients to look to Jerome for help with Marketing, Leadership and Stress Management. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-416-787-5555.