Whenever I think of creating something badass, I always think two things – how can I get other people involved and what can I give first. I don’t focus on money at all, and it always shows up. Pat Flynn actually inspired me to turn this up a notch – To really focus on giving something high value away free and don’t be attached to outcomes. Turns out there is a damn law about this – The law of detachment!
I first experimented with this new way of thinking with my first blog yougotdunkedon.com
It was just a challenge to myself to see how I would do building a blog. I used this article to start, but I had no idea of what to blog about. Around that time I was browsing through different people’s Photobucket accounts and I saw one full of people getting dunked on, and I thought it was awesome – and it became a blog idea. I found out where the photos came from and realized they posted photos of NBA games every day, so there’d always be a stream of content.
So I would post those photos on my blog and go to Youtube to try to find a video that matched it. I did this for a while and nothing happened. I was on a forum and I would have my blog linked when I posted on a forum and occasionally I would get messages like “this site is great!”. Those kept me going when I felt nothing was really happening and barely anyone was visiting.
Then I started reaching out to other sports blogs that actually had activity – comments / traffic / high page ranks. I explained my situation to them and asked how they got their websites off the ground. It didn’t take long before someone responded. His advice to me was to email other sports bloggers to build relationships and see if they wanted to exchange links, so I did. I emailed 80 others sports blogs and about 20 linked back – including Yahoo’s basketball blog Ball Don’t Lie.
Well…that made it rank high in the search engines. Traffic went up and eventually an advertiser offered me a deal to have his website banner on YouGotDunkedOn.com in exchange for some money. This blew my mind. I had actually made money like this? It made some appearances on TV which also blew my mind (traffic spiked way up those days).
This was a time stuck in my memory where I saw giving really work wonders.
Me and 3 other friends who were roommates decided to go out to the apartment’s pool. We had just moved in, and one of my friends had an idea to just go out to the pool with a big cooler full of cold beer. When we did this we met so many people in those apartments. That was a wild night, but a great memory. Then we exchanged numbers and partied together later again with lots of those residents and went over each others houses and had many more great experiences after that. All because we put ourselves out there at the pool and also gave out those beers without expecting anything back.
Amazon Self Publishing
When I wanted to start my self publishing business, one strategy was to give away a free book in exchange for readers signing up on my email list. This worked really well. I’ve given away the same freebie book for years and continue to give my books away for free. I’ve given them all away for free at some point, and they all bring in a little money every month still. I’ve actually consciously put this on pause, but if I wanted it to continue to grow, my first step would be to give away more for free ironically.
Addiction and Recovery
Stepping in a 12-step program for food addiction was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I’ve learned lessons that I’ll always use. One is prioritizing service. I would (and still do) talk to a sponsor every morning. Sometimes I would tell him/her I was feeling pretty down or sad or angry. They would usually tell me to think about what I had to be grateful for…get out of “poor me” thinking and find a way to serve so that I can get out of my own head, put things in perspective and help someone else. I find the more I give in these rooms of recovery, the more I get back – but I don’t concern myself with getting back! I try to just prioritize giving the gift that was graciously given to me.
Giving without being attached to outcomes
It’s taken me a while to learn, and it’s so counterintuitive when you’re feeling scarce and not getting your needs met, but the more I explore just giving without expecting anything, the more things just work!
Giving works great in social situations. Giving works great in business and finances. It works great in intimate relationships.
Have you been having “poor me” thinking? Feeling sorry for yourself? Serve – It might feel very weird….there might be hella resistance to doing it…Ya might just not want to do it…but another thing my sponsor used to tell me is “sometimes the thing we don’t want to do is the thing we need to do the most”. I’ll leave ya with that.