How Giving In The Right Way Can Transform Your Business

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Neil Patel is known as one of the world’s top Internet marketers. He made his first million by age 21. He later co-founded two successful multi-million dollar web analytics companies, Crazy Egg &KISSmetrics, and is a successful angel and real estate investor.

Behind-the-scenes, every year, he spends 1,000+ hours (40+ free, 1-on-1 calls per week) and hundreds of thousands of his own dollars (staff to support his giving) helping aspiring entrepreneurs without the expectation of receiving anything immediately in return.

The Catch

When you learned about how much Neil is giving, you asked yourself, “What’s the catch? What’s in it for him? Is he a full-time philanthropist now?”

There is a catch, but it’s not what you think.

Neil isn’t a selfless martyr. One of the reasons he is a very successful Internet marketer is because he is ruthless when it comes to one thing; measuring what works and doesn’t work; and then acting accordingly.

The Business Case For Giving

Professionally, Neil’s blog, which he started 7 years ago, has 400,000+ unique visitors per month.  He doesn’t have the exact numbers, but he knows that the people that he helps one-on-one disproportionately comment on his blog and share it with their networks. Talking to people helps him identify new content he should write, which leads to better content and ultimately more people sharing his writing.

Neil’s blog has generated new clients for his analytics companies, and it has built his brand enough to charge consulting clients up to $1,250 per hour.  In his own words, “The money my companies and I make from my giving is much more than I spend!”

The Personal Case For Giving

Neil’s strategy is much more than a cause marketing strategy; It is way of living life.

After becoming wealthy, he quickly learned that buying flashy things like fancy cars and big homes would not buy him happiness or a meaningful life. He did realize that giving to others just like others gave to him was very personally fulfilling. As Neil gave more, he found that he enjoyed it more and more, not less and less.

In other words, once he reached a certain point financially, each incremental unit of time spent giving was more fulfilling than purely creating more wealth.

The Counter-Intuitive Reciprocity Style That Leads to Success

“What goes around comes around,” is a proverb as old as the oldest religious traditions, but also a statement that risks sounding airy-fairy. However, new, hard research from Wharton professor and the New York Times bestselling author of Give & TakeDr. Adam Grant, provides profound insight into the link between reciprocity style and career success.

His data shows that givers appear at the top of most industries; ahead of both Takers and Matchers (those who give equally to what specific people give to them).

However, before you commit to a full-time giving, you should know an important caveat that appeared in his research; givers also appear at the bottom of many industries.

What’s the difference between givers at the top (otherish givers) and givers at the bottom (selfless givers)?


  • Who They Give To: Givers & Matchers
  • Self-Interest Awareness: Yes


  • Who They Give To: Takers
  • Self-Interest Awareness: No

Selfless givers suffer from “a form of pathological altruism”. They help others to their own detriment; exhausting themselves in the process. Otherish givers feel better personally and receive more rewards professionally the more they give.

Author: Michael Simmons, Forbes