That Time I Gave Too Much

I recently gave too much. I didn’t think it was possible, but it happened.

Here’s the scenario: I offered a deal to a few loyal clients who’ve been with me since the very beginning of my business. They were with me before others were willing to take a chance on me. I want to show my gratitude by continuing to help them.

To do so, I offered to work with them at a heavily discounted rate. What happened next surprised me.

They were mystified by my offer.

“What’s in it for you?,” they asked.

I replied that I only wanted to help them. That I got so much out of helping them, and that I felt indebted to them.

One responded and said “but you have to understand: we want to repay you.

I didn’t expect to hear this. Not because I assumed they were ungrateful, but because I thought I could be helpful, so why wouldn’t they accept my help?

This confirms how much I learn while helping them. My drive to help others isn’t unusual – it’s the norm. Just as I want to help them, they want to repay me in some way.

This tells me two things:

  1. I’ve been selfless enough to throw the balance of the relationship out of whack.

  2. I need to offer a more balanced relationship at times.

To my friends, if you’re reading this: thank you.