Accepting gifts. A lesson I need to learn.

As an entrepreneur, I have gone through and continue to go through ups-and-downs.

When I have an up, I am surprisingly giving of time, money, coffees etc.

When I have a down, I am also giving, but only of time – I no longer have money for coffees.

As a result of this happening in my life, I have developed some habits which make me a real arse!

Imagine, you really like me (god forbid!). We’re having a meeting and we grab a coffee (or in my case a water). You offer to buy me a coffee, and I make up some excuse that I don’t want it, need it etc. When, really, I could do with a coffee. You struggle to try to convince me to let you buy me a coffee and eventually…lose. What did I do there?

I took away your opportunity to do something good.

For so long, I have thought what I was doing was a good thing. Until, a great friend and mentor of mine, Alan Froggatt, pointed this out to me.

Good people enjoy doing favours, because we think that one day they will allow us to ask for a favour. But, as Alan puts it, I am “stopping the circle of gratitude” by not receiving.

My reluctance to accept gifts is problematic. So why do I do it?

The true and honest answer has been that I didn’t want to be tied to the favour. When I am in a down, I feel I have no way to repay the “debt”. But that is no good – it’s damaging to my friendships and relationships. But, it’s a fear.

So, from now on, I will accept that I need to change. I will be open to receiving gifts and to owing favours.

By the way, I’d like you to take responsibility in kicking my arse when I forget this lesson, and buy me a coffee ;)

I would like to thank Alan Froggatt, once again, for opening my eyes to this! He has changed my life in many ways this year, and I encourage you to say hi to him on Twitter.

4 Comments to “Accepting gifts. A lesson I need to learn.”

Yup it’s been very difficult to buy you anything in the past! Even after I’ve bought you a drink you don’t seem happy :p
It certainly makes sense. Even if people aren’t interested in the reciprocation, it’s nice to do things for others.

August 9, 2011 Reply

This is exactly what I mean. I’m sorry for seeming unhappy Sam. It’s a clean slate and feel free to kick my arse (before 16 Sept ;)

August 9, 2011 Reply

I’ll give Dave a pack of playing cards and let him do the arse kicking ;)
It’s all good :)

August 9, 2011 Reply

Awesome :P

August 10, 2011 Reply

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