Sometimes we just know we may never have a referral for someone who travels in our business circles.  Or maybe we are able to help someone with a particular business need with advice, a great referral, or personal reference, but we know that the likelihood of reciprocation is small.  In both situations, we can still benefit, and perhaps, we may benefit the most.  Maybe not monetarily or immediately, but in other less tangible ways.  I call these situations a great way to “pay it forward.”

We have the tendency to want to help other new, small business owners, maybe because we were there not too long ago.  We may provide advice or guidance, knowing it will save that owner time, money, and frustration.  But we also know that by doing so we may never have a business opportunity with them.   Yet most, when offered this tremendous gift of experience and wisdom will say, “Thank you, I don’t know how I can ever repay you.” This is a great opportunity to share another piece of wisdom.  You can simply say, “Pay it forward.”  Meaning, do the same for another small business owner.  Maybe not tomorrow, but down the road when their own road is smoother and growth is evident.  That may be the best foundation for referrals you could ask for.

Keep it personal.

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