I came across this graphic on Pinterest and it inspired a longer blog.
When people invest in you, it is important that you return the investment, either to them or to someone else. This is what it looks like when someone invests in you:
If someone makes time in their schedule to speak to or support you, that is an investment. You can return the investment by doing some research about the person, showing up on time to the meeting and making great use of the time you spend by being prepared with specific questions, requests and a clear agenda for why you are meeting.
When someone makes a referral of you, your product or your services, they are spending “money” out of their valuable reputation account to help you out. A referral indicates that someone trusts you. One way to return the investment here is to do a great job, so that they can earn some “credit” in their reputation account.
Connections are a little different. This type of investment is similar to a referral, except that there may not be a clear or specific reason why this person is connecting you to someone else. This type of investment could be very helpful for you, or not. The key is to follow-through.
(4) Emotional Support
There are some people that are uber optimistic. These people make an investment in you by being positive and counteracting any negative energy or vibes you may have. There are also those people who make an investment by being honest with a little “truth” serum. They give you a kick in the pants when needed too. The best way to return this investment is to change your behavior (if needed), or let them know how much they helped you!
(5) Basic Needs
There are some people that will give you rides when needed. Provide you with employment opportunities, or even in some cases provide you with permanent or temporary housing. These types of investments are not to be taken for granted. When people bring paid opportunities to our door, we often give them a cut of the paid opportunity as a “thank you.” Additionally, when paid opportunities come our way that we are not interested in or available for, we usually refer those people who have provided such opportunities to us in the past.
Sometimes investments look like cold-hard cash. Sometimes people will give you money to support your dreams or your ambitions. Other types of investments are sometimes just as (in some cases more) valuable than cash, and should be received with the same gratitude and value. Make a list of the last five people that have made an investment in you, and send them a “thank you” text, call them on the phone, shoot them an e-mail or head to Walgreens and purchase a card and mail it to them! Unless someone is morally or legally obligated to invest in you, your “investors” should be treated with care!