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Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage. It’s as simple as that. I truly believe that when I go and make time to do an interview for a podcast or blog (even though my handlers think it’s stupid), that I then have leverage with that content producer. It’s a funny statement, and I know it feels kind of dark. I mean I am so happy that my generosity is viewed in a nice way and contributes to me having a nice reputation, but I’ve said it before: I’m not Mother Teresa. I just think it’s a smart thing to do. I’m extremely good at building that emotional capital.
Now do I cash-in on that leverage? Sometimes. I actually prefer not to. I’m very “Old-school, Eastern European”, so I don’t like to ask for favors. I actually hate that I have a book coming out this winter, and I have to use this leverage to go in for the sale.
That brings me to the other half of the equation, which I think is huge, and that is having zero expectation for others. The reason that I’m able to give so easily and create that leverage is that I never assume that someone will reciprocate and come through for me.
Both of those sides have to be in play in order for this system to work. If things get out of balance, one way or another, someone’s going to end up feeling bad. It’s emotional. It’s taxing. My dad, for example, is just the greatest dude, but boy does he ever get let down by people. I’m just not like that, and that allows me to play through and keep giving. What I love best about this is that it allows me to be extremely happy 99.99% of the time. Lack of expectation and generosity are two very lucky traits I have, and they’re something that I implore more of you to focus on.