The Simple Power of a Favor

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From time to time, we write about things that have nothing to do with investing…

IMG_3788The Simple Power of a Favor
Favors are magic. They solve problems and open doors. They demonstrate loyalty and concern. They strengthen relationships. Simple favors can mean so much for the receiver, but they can also pay huge dividends for the sender.

Last week a friend of mine, Luke Jenkins, currently studying at West Point, asked me to write a guest column for his new favors-based bartering platform OweYaa.com. I think favors are underrated so I wanted to share what I wrote about with the Osbon on the Money readers.value-of-favor-300x177

What is a favor?
Favors are all about going above and beyond without anything expected in return. A favor makes a strong and clear statement: Our relationship is important to me. I’m on your side. It makes me happy to help you.

Favors: the next generation of networking
Think about how many business cards you have exchanged with others throughout your career. Chances are you never heard from most of those people, and never did anything with the cards that you collected. Instead of giving out cards, consider giving out favors. Do something nice for people you meet – share a contact, lend your expertise, offer an idea.

Don’t worry about keeping score. Some favors will be returned. Others will not. But if you consistently share a little time or energy – even the name of an honest mechanic – you’re sure to be rewarded, maybe months or years later.

Favor based activity

  • Sending an email on someone’s behalf takes just a few minutes but could make all the difference for her next big business deal. It’s something that will be remembered and appreciated. It may even lead to a returned favor somewhere down the road.
  • Lending tools for a DIY project is another example. Or introduce a jobseeker to someone ready to hire. Or send a copy of an inspirational book. It doesn’t matter what it is; these small offerings can make a big impression.

Favors are a severely under-appreciated form of transaction. Where money is cold, a favor is warm, thoughtful and unique. Money is only worth the number stamped on the bill; a favor can have unlimited value.

More than money
At Osbon Capital, we’re in the money business and appreciate all it can do, but we’re also huge believers in doing favors. We welcome the opportunity to do something for people we know and those we meet. It’s a good feeling for us, and the favors always seem to come back to us…many times over.

So do yourself a favor – make a habit of doing favors for others.
Max Osbon – mosbon@osboncapital.com

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