Today, we’re changing things up a little bit. It’s gonna get personal … but this isn’t about me. Actually, it’s WAY beyond me and I hope you’ll read this with that in mind, but the only way to have this work is to be open, transparent and vulnerable with each other.
My hope is that this post will touch, move and inspire you.
As you know, I’m Australian. Over here, we have a very strong culture of what’s known as Tall Poppy Syndrome.
The way it works, is that when someone rises to greatness – Australians (and I think it happens in Britain too?) have a tendency to try chop them down and keep them humble (?!?) – rather than encouraging them towards bigger, better, greater things.
It’s not always done verbally and publicly, sometimes it can be as simple as a disapproving glare – when we mention something even slightly ‘braggy’. Or you notice those friends you used to hang around with start dropping off, making excuses to not be around – because your way of seeing things doesn’t fit in with the way they are used to seeing/knowing you.
As a result of that, we often talk less about inspirational things – for fear that people are going to think we’re being egotistical, that we’re somehow saying it to brag or make them feel smaller.
Today I’m making a step forward to put that rubbish thinking aside – and share personally with some things I’m doing with my children, to bring inspiration to other people’s lives – and i truly hope you can be inspired to not just read, get a bunch of warm fuzzies and continue with your day, but be motivated to action too.
Post a comment, share something you’ve done or something someone has done for you that just surprised you in a way that was memorable.
When we share these experiences a few things happen:
- It helps someone in a spot of real need, that part is pretty obvious
- It creates a place for magic. This happens even more-so when it costs you something and pushes your thinking outside of our own tendency for selfish thought, and outwards to someone else in need.
- It surprises people in a way that creates positive memories. A day that may have very well sucked can be changed in a heartbeat with a simple thoughtful act of kindness.
- It raises other people’s ideas to what’s possible (aka. your kids/grandkids who model themselves after you)
- It inspires others to think beyond themselves. The ripple effect of this is just… amazing.
- It builds a space for abundance in your own life, where before you thought that $10 or $100 was better in your pocket – now, you notice you’ve been able to give, create magic in someone’s life…. and a week, month or year later you’ll find you’re remembering the joy you brought to that person – not what you went without to make it happen. Our brains are so wonderfully wired, yeah?
- It triggers the butterfly effect far beyond anything we can imagine or may ever know
Some of the things my kids & I have done
It’s so funny… my brain keeps wanting to come and preface this with a justification, something to tell you I’m not saying this for the ego value… I’m so pre-programmed to think ‘Oh no! they’re going to think I think I’m THE SH*T’ and that I’m rubbing it in their faces… ‘.
To be honest, maybe you ARE thinking that – maybe you’re not… (well, NOW you might be hahaha), but I’m going to share these anyway and I hope you’ll share your stories too – or if you’ve not done anything you can share, just post whatever ideas come to mind for things you could do, or want to do if you had the ability to make anything happen in the life of someone you care about, or someone you don’t even know.
Today I’m ‘shushing’ that Australian part of my brain and just sharing, because as I mentioned at the start… this has an impact bigger than my small little world and as a community I want you to be a part of it!
So, my kids and I have had some fun with this over the years. Here are a few things we’ve done:
- Double swipe. If we’re eating out in a cafe for lunch, my kids and I will often just pick a random couple or family, or dad/kid combo and when we’re paying for our bill also get the cashier to pay out their bill too. We’ve never hung around to see their faces, but I’m imagining some pretty big smiles!
- Shampoo/Lotion giveaway. This is a habit I’ve gotten into which was inspired by one of my friends, Wendy Gorman. We were chatting about practical ways we can help the homeless and she mentioned that when she is traveling in a hotel that has all of those little bottles in the bathroom, she takes them when she leaves and gives them to homeless folks. Such a cool/simple idea that we’ve started doing it too.
- Chocolates, flowers & giftcards. On mothers day, my kids and I like to just go wandering around, they know I like to window shop (i.e. just wander around malls, without the intention to buy… just to look at pretty things). So this one mothers day we went to a mall and found the hard working mothers who had given up a part of their day to work, to put food on their families tables … and surprised them with small gifts, a little box of chocolates or flowers and in a couple of places some small gift cards. Just to brighten up their day.
- $50 for fresh bread. One Easter we were driving past a guy who was selling bread by the side of the road. My son had the idea that instead of spending our money on a bunch of chocolate we could just give that $50 to this man and told him that we were buying $50 worth of bread but it’s not for us. The next 10 people who stopped to get a loaf, we wanted him to give it to them for free.
When you start doing it with your kids, or grandkids there’s an AWESOME effect that you’ll see happening… they start looking for new ways we can surprise people – it’s built into their brains to LOOK for opportunities.
It’s amazing how something as simple as a $10-$20 purchase can be so damn memorable!
And… if you don’t have a spare $10 to spend on someone else – don’t let that keep you stuck. Have a look at Liz Woodward’s story below – she made a HUGE impact and didn’t spend a cent!
You have the power to change lives! Forever!
We’re shaking things up a little, breaking out of the norm by announcing something I’ve been wanting to do forever… with our very first ‘Pay It Forward Friday’
If you’re not inspired enough yet, I want to share a story with you that blew my mind when I first heard it. You see, Michael Che, the Saturday Night Live Head Writer, wasn’t always a stand-up comedian or a comedy writer. When he was younger he was an artist, one that would put his designs on T-Shirts that he sold on the street in New York.
As a guest on Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, Che shared the fact that while he was selling T-Shirts on the street, one day Tommy Hilfiger stopped by to buy a shirt, brought by his son who thought he might like Che’s art. The fashion designer invited Che to his office. There, he offered Michael Che $1,000 cash, saying, ‘someone gave me a chance, and I’m gonna give you a chance’. How awesome is that? A fashion titan gave a youngster $1,000 cash because at some point someone did the same for him when he was starting out.
I know $1,000 is pocket change for Tommy Hilfiger, but not for everyone, and that’s why I want to tell you another story, this time one that involves a small, sweet gesture.
Small Gestures Count, Too
Liz Woodward from Mount Laurel, New Jersey, was just finishing her shift at 4:00 AM when two firefighters walked into the diner where she worked. She knew they didn’t have an easy night so she decided to cover the check for them. Instead of giving them an actual check, she wrote on the small piece of paper:
‘Your breakfast in on me today. Thank you for all that you do; for serving others and for running into the places everyone else runs away from. No matter your role, you are courageous, brave, and strong. Thank you for being bold and badass every day! Fueled by Fire and Driven by Courage – what an example you are. Get some rest, Liz’
You’d think that this is where it ends, but there’s more, so much more. One of the firefighters took a picture of the note and posted it on Facebook. The reaction was massive – thousands of likes, hundreds of shares, articles in mainstream media. But he also received a message from someone who told him that Liz – the generous young woman at the diner – was trying to raise money for her father for months, who was quadriplegic, so he decided that he was going to share this new info too. In just a month, people donated $80,000 for her father’s fundraising campaign. And that’s not all, the three were invited to Ellen’s show, where Liz received another donation – $20,000.
There’s power in small gestures. And I agree with what Liz said at one time, sometimes all it takes is a kind gesture. This is what I want to ask your help with and what Pay It Forward Friday is all about. We’re a community of smart, generous people, and I truly believe we could use our collective power to make others’ lives better.
Pay It Forward Friday
On the first Friday of every month, Wildfire Concepts will do something as a pay it forward gesture. And I would LOVE to have you on our side in this cause. There are many ways you can get involved, but I’ll list just two of them that are related to this post:
1) Let us know what you need and what you can offer
In the comments section below, post a comment that would state: A. what you could use the most right now in your life or online business and B. what you have that you could give to someone else.
Please use this format (A. -, B. -) to make it a bit easier for me to collect all the answers.
Don’t feel shy and don’t feel obliged to contribute with more than you can spare.
2) Inspire others with your experience
Let us know if you’ve ever been a part of a pay it forward movement or if you’ve ever done a gesture that could be seen as such. What did you do? How did you do it? How did it feel? Please let us know in the comments, I’m sure there are many people who would love to get involved with us or on their own but don’t know what exactly they could do.
Now, if you want to take part in our Pay It Forward Friday without getting directly involved, that’s fine too, although we’d love to know what you plan on doing. Some things that people from around are doing that might inspire you are:
- When getting coffee, pay in advance for the person behind you, so they’d have a nice surprise; they can just take the gift or do the same and pay it for the person behind them. Suspended Coffees promotes something very similar.
- Pay the grocery bill for the person in front of you at the supermarket, like this kind lady.
- Buy coffee or tea for law enforcement agents or any other type of worker who has to spend the night on the street;
- Run a $5-$10 campaign on Facebook to drive traffic to the blog of someone you know or don’t know;
- Include a banner for a small business in the footer of your newsletter for free.
I’m convinced that all of our small gestures can lead to positive change and I want to hear your thoughts on this topic so please put the comments section to good use. Type your ideas, thoughts, suggestions. I can’t wait to know if you’re on board!
What a beautiful way to start my Friday, reading your inspirational story, Cindy.
May bright blessings come your way.
My head is starting to spin, thinking about positive ways I can pay it forward and help someone out today.
Thanks Robert! Please DO share your ideas – when you get specific with your words and ideas they can inspire action.
Let me know what crosses your path – I’m sure it will be a-freaking-mazing…
Anything you can do, from helping someone at the grocery store with their bags, to buying a giftcard, or metrocard topup for someone you don’t know… it changes that person’s world! Thank you for being here and being a part of it!
This is truly the best way to get quality engagement. I;m excited about the possibilities,.
Thanks for being here Loretta! I’d love to hear any of your stories too – or ideas you have … to inspire myself and others to do more. Those small things that can make a huge deal for others in ways that they will NEVER forget – we have the power to actually change people’s lives.
That gesture that might not be HUGE for you financially, just something small – can be the thing that changes the mindset of that person which is more powerful than you could possibly imagine!
I agree with Robert , Great Blog! Larry
Прекрасно! Добрые дела- это здорово!!! Мои добрые дела не такие глобальные… Я оплачивала проезд в автобусе человеку, потому, что у него не было денег. В магазине старушке добавила денег на продукты, потому, что не хватало… Помогала в больнице людям, когда смотрела маму после ампутации ног… и много еще всяких дел… Знаю одно. Если человеку помогаешь от души и не ждешь награды, Бог сам тебе даст то, чего тебе не достает.
Translated (using Google translate):
Perfectly! Good deeds, it’s great! My good deeds are not so global … I paid for the bus ride to a person, because he did not have money. In the store the old woman added money for food, because she did not have enough … Helped people in the hospital when she looked at my mother after amputation of her legs … and many more things … I know one thing. If you help a person from the heart and do not expect a reward, God himself will give you what you lack.
Thanks for sharing! it sounds like you are a person who is always on the lookout for ways to touch people’s lives. I can’t even imagine the strength you must have needed to be there for your mother, but using that energy for helping people … amazing! – and it’s great to have you here!
This is great I produce animated videos and part of that is taking a photo of say a dog and making it talk. I’m in the process of doing some free of charge for my local SPCA to put on their FB page for pets that need to be adopted. I figure this is a good way to help animals and humans.
I LOVE that! ’cause in helping those cute animals, you’re also helping people – the ripple effect there is huge!
Last night I had a wonderful time with a young man who works in a home for troubled teens. We discussed their challenges, and then counseling and ministry practices from the examples of Jesus in the Bible. This wonderful young man really wants to make a difference in the lives of his charges, to help them prepare for a successful and fulfilling future. It was my privilege to invest some hours in his life, I did not even count it as effort on my part, because we had such a great time talking and sharing ideas.
Being an ear for someone – giving them your time can often be the most valuable of all!
Especially the younger generation, because this world really is theirs for the taking. You can potentially be the fire moving him towards changing the lives of thousands, maybe even millions! What a gift! Thanks for sharing!
Friday is special
I have ever thought when I felt my head is loaded with works and works, holidays is the solution but after taking the holiday it’s still happen empty. then I conclude holidays is not always the solution for this,, haha lol.
But when I do this.. my mind battery was recharged lol
I shared 2.5% (sometimes more) of profit each month in friday to orphanage and decrepit. Even order rice box (and ask them to deliver to the orphanage) or giving to them as pocket money. I believe and conscious that there are people’s piece of what we have that we should give and cash. And this may be what sometimes inhibits the smoothness of our other lives, business, health, family, etc.. 🙂
Great to see you here Ikhlas! I’ve loved working with you in the past and now I know why – ’cause you understand… it’s just money, you can get (and give) more – and using it as a resource to feed orphans? Well… that’s pretty damn special. The things I really love seeing is when people do great things like this for orphans at times OTHER THAN Christmas/holidays etc. Just to brighten up their day, with such a huge gap between Christmases they can be forgotten for a chunk of the year.
We have had awful snow in the UK recently. We have been taking hot food, wood for fires and clothing to the homeless who live on the beach nearby. Once others saw us doing so, they began to do the same which was lovely. Pay it forward actions spreads like ripples on a pond. 🙂
Yes! Ripples is the perfect way to describe it – they start intentional and just grow bigger/wider and cover more ground. I love it!
Wonderful!! Really loved the post Cindy.
I love the idea and personally enjoy paying it forward. I work overnights in a convenience store, and see many patrons grabbing a cup of coffee, tea or cappuccino on their way to work.
Recently a winter storm caused a widespread power outage in the state(Maine) where I live. I knew many more people would be stopping for a hot beverage that morning than normal and decided to ask each person that came in, “Do you have electricity?”
If they answered no, I personally bought their beverage of choice that morning even though I have a “Comp Beverage” button available to use. Why? I felt it unfair to my employer to foot the bill for something I wanted to do for other people. It cost me about $50 to do it, but the smiles and thank yous MORE than rewarded my small investment in the happiness of others that cold morning.
That’s beautiful! What I find so fascinating about all of these experiences is that … at the end of the day, it cost you about $50 – but can you think of something… some kind of purchase that you’ve made, in the last 12 months that cost about $50 that brought you nearly as much value? I doubt it!
We’re constantly being marketed to about how we need more ‘stuff’, and don’t get me wrong… I love stuff… lol, but going for biggest impact, for memorable joy and fulfilment – what you did counts big time. Your post has inspired me to do more of that, thanks for sharing!
Hey there Cindy! I’ve been following your blog and getting your emails…very nice! I like one of your system [Covert Commissions] and I’ve decided that I’ll start small with the 2 Commission Systems next week! And I hope it goes well for me?
Anyhow back to this blog actually this is one of your blogs post that got my attention!!! Friday I help a friend by sending her some cash for weekend shopping and some stuff for her young one…hopefully she has a nice weekend!
Hey Elijah! That’s so sweet of you to help your friend, I’m sure it makes a world of difference for her! <3
Thanks for following the emails too - we're bringing some VERY cool stuff in to Covert Commissions soon. I've just gotten back from a mastermind in New Zealand and my head is buzzing with new ideas for things to implement! Let me know how things go and if you come up with any ideas for making it better too 🙂
What an awesome post Cindy! I am absolutely positive, that this post alone will change a lot of people’s lives. People should try to live their lives sharing and giving instead of keep on taking. As far as I’m concern, you are one of the few GOOD people in the IM. May you be blessed with all the good things in life!
That’s adorable Andrey, thanks for your encouragement! I’m hoping we can build a ‘family’ with the same mindset – helping each other grow, become better people and more powerful businessmen and women. People who have greater influence and the ability to experience more freedom in your life, CHOOSING your direction instead of just being pushed around. Thanks for being a part of that!
I don’t have a financial way to help as I’ve been disabled for 20 years with major medical problems, but my brain still works, so I try and help as many as I can with their computer problems. I also help with web development support, it keeps my mind going and it helps me to feel like I can still contribute in some small way.
Big high fives to you Mike – even in the midst of the challenges, you find ways to give. You are in a pretty unique position that’s for sure, being online we can reach farther than most – with more opportunity to dedicate your time to really mastering skills that can change the world <3 Keep it up mate 😉
Thanks Cindy! Keep up the good work!
Long time ago I joined an internet program promising that for the first year the admin would promote my affiliate link.
I thought it was to good to be true but he kept his word and I made money. This was a great and inspiring experience .
Joining “Covert Commission” has been a deja VU experience for me. Once again a dedicated admin helps me make money THANKS A LOT.
Ha, I remember that program (not mentioning any names of course)… It’s a shame you can’t just throw money at something and get rich, yeah? haha. I can’t wait to see your results with Covert Commissions 🙂
I’ve just come back from a meetup with my core mastermind group (we do an annual meeting… it’s AWESOME) and we had an idea to help you do even better with your missions – so keep an eye on your emails from me!
I’m super excited about it, but can’t say more than that for now … I know… oh, so… mysterious… haha.
Hi Cindy, your pay it forward Friday is such a breath of fresh air in the IM space. The tail puppy syndrome is not something unique for Australians, here in my little town in Denmark we had a famous writer, Aksel Sandemose, who wrote The Law of Jante.
You’re not to think you are anything special
You’re not to think you are as good as we are
You’re not to think you are smarter than we are
You’re not to convince yourself that you are better than we are
You’re not to think you know more than we do
You’re not to think you are more important than we are
You’re not to think you are good at anything
You’re not to laugh at us
You’re not to think anyone cares about you
You’re not to think you can teach us anything
The other day when i was at a store and ready to pay for my goods i’ve forgot my credit card at home (embarrassing) but the guy standing behind me said i will pay for you then you can pay me later. Thank you i said but it’s $246. It doesn’t matter i trust you, and he paid for me. Of course i paid him back, and he also got flowers and chocolate and a thank you letter.
Wow, thanks for confirming my ideas – I am not sure why we do this to each other as people – but I give you my word… stick around and i’ll be your biggest cheerleader <3 That poem sums up so much of what many people around us subconsciously think and live every day. Screw that! I vote WE be the change - and start owning our awesomeness. How the heck are we supposed to help others if we can't give ourselves permission to be.
I had a chat with a good friend of mine who lives in India and he mentioned a similar thing. He was sharing publicly something he had done for a group of orphans and his father told him off for saying it on social media... so, he just stopped sharing. After our talk, I hope he has the courage to realise that when we share it's not about US - it's about inspiring others, giving them ideas that can lead to greater/bigger opportunities.
I'm 100% serious when I say - we can change the world. In whatever way, generosity and thoughtfulness - one thing at a time - can and will have a massive impact 🙂
Also, how damn cool of that guy! I had a biker guy pay for my bill once - it was only about $15, i needed some basics... bread and milk... he said don't worry about paying him back, just look for a chance to help someone else in need another day. A guy, from a biker gang. Talk about feeling touched, moved and inspired!
Yes it’s the sum of little things that adds up and can change the world bit by bit
Hi Cindy – I did notice that you started writing these much longer blog posts and his one, in particular, was one that I really had some connection with – Very long story – maybe one day might write a book- yes it’s that long.
Wonderful post Thanks Cindy Have a Great Day
Thanks for the encouragement! It’s great to have you here – and hey, if you’ve got a story the only way to get it out is to start. Spend an hour writing out the bits you’d like to cover – it could be the beginning of something pretty damn awesome 🙂
A. I think more than anything I need to trust enough to ask for guidance on the areas I don’t know enough about. Stumbling through the “school of hard knocks” is a common problem for a lot of us.
B. While I’m learning the online world I have 40 plus years of experience in the insurance business and I can give most anyone clear concise advice about what they should (or shouldn’t) do in regards to life/health type insurance (although I’m not an expert outside of the US laws). I’ve given countless amounts of free advice over the decades.
I suppose some advice on an area of expertise is a small way of “paying it forward”, but more directly I’ve had a great time picking up a grocery or restaurant bill for a total stranger here or there for a long time.
One of the monthly meetings I never miss is a local faith-based business meeting “faith at work” http://www.navigatorsabq.org/ where we always pay for veterans and law enforcement. It’s a small way to say “thank you” for people that risk their lives for us.
Most people of faith have some familiarity with the concept of “tithing” – giving the first 10 percent of whatever you make – BUT – like a lot of people I have a hard time equating that to giving 10 percent to any singular organized cause. So I feel great about giving that “little extra” to anyone at anytime and believe I’m on very good authority that when I do it, I’m supposed to.
I think God honors the small stuff every bit as much as Bill Gates giving a hundred million for aids..
A $20 tip for a $10 breakfast at the restaurant or a (discreet) bag of groceries for a single parent you know needs it or picking up half of the $500 car repair for a struggling young couple when my favorite mechanic calls and says “these kids need some help, would you like to split it with me?”
It’s a selfish thing in some respects because I just love the way it makes me feel.
Good for you for making it part of your business. For what it’s worth I think that’s very cool.
Thanks for sharing! If there are any areas you’d like to learn more about please let me know – I’m really digging the opportunity to share what I can and find contact who know more if there are spots I’m fuzzy on. Great idea to ‘tithe’ outside of organised religion – that’s an excellent way to look at it.
Hi Cindy Donovan,
It’s your guts more, than the humble acts you did and inspire rather motivate others to do,that made you stand against the Austrailian and British and the World sysndrome of looking at such exposures as bragging. There are people doing such acts but making it public is rare for becoming a laughing stock rather than an inspirational force. This is what is called leadership quality. Well done indeed.
Thanks mate! I appreciate the encouragement and can’t wait to see more people speak up and inspire others too. Have you read some of the other comments?
Far out, there are some world changers in our midst 🙂
The most exciting bit? This is just the beginning!
Please stay in communication and let us know what kind of things you’re doing too, either now or for one of our future PIFF’s 🙂
This is beautiful and my way of life … I cannot pass a person in need as eye contact is heart contact. At my age and current circumstance I have tons of needs but I still see many who suffer much more. The best thing I know is and experience I have had is when the homeless have told me ” your not scared of me ” and no I am not . They are US- just people , who have fallen on hard times without a net to catch them such as family . Best thing I know is giving to anyone while letting them keep their dignity which does sometimes require secret giving. Another really cool way to help is to get McDonald’s gift cards as they can be reloaded and you can put up to $50 dollars on them and every meal is available breakfast or lunch or dinner and it lasts a while for folks in need. I known not that heathy but better than no food at all and they do now have salads.
I agree, any food is better than no food – I wonder if people might have some ideas for healthier options 🙂 Isn’t eye contact so powerful! It’s something I personally struggle with, making the conscious choice to look people in the eye and give them my full focus. Thanks for the reminder about just how validating it can be.
i am gratefull i found shopabot and the potential that it provides, im also gratefull last nights webinar was recorded because i,m in the uk and didnt stay awake for it all
Hehe, that’s two awesome things to be grateful for 🙂 I hope you got a great sleep and had a fired up day!
It’s a great Idea with the potential of becoming a worldwide network, I always say that the largest tree today was once
a shrub that could be crushed by human feet but because it was given a chance to establish itself,
it became what it is today, I’m in with you! (A, a double portion of your networking knowledge )and ( B, a percentage of
my monthly income,
Brilliant Richard! I’m excited to have you engaged! 🙂 Welcome to the ride!
I know I’m a little late in reading this, but better late than never I guess. This is such an awesome idea and it reminds me of the movie about paying it forward staring Kevin Spacey. I really like the idea of adding another business’ banner or link to my website or newsletter. I actually did that a few times for Red Nose Day which I created a Facebook Donations page, but was somewhat disappointed when nobody donated. However, that doesn’t stop me from daily helpful gestures whenever I see someone in need, and the feeling of satisfaction you get from doing something selfless is awesome!! Thanks for the added inspiration which I get from you all the time and I wish there were lots more people like you in the world. It would awesome if I could get my Internet Marketing promotions to take off and start making some real passive income so I could start paying it forward in more ways for more people like you do. Keep doing what you’re doing because it’s obviously working for you.
I love it Bryan! Funny thing is, I think there are a lot of people who do this kind of thing – or would like to do a lot more of it, but they either don’t speak up that they’re doing it – or… they are embarrassed or feel like they need to be humble, or whatever… I say, let’s talk about it more and inspire each other to change the world, one small action at a time!
Thanks for dropping by! 🙂