The Art of Giving Gifts

Today I attended the Art of Marketing conference in Toronto with my father-in-law.

I truly enjoyed the conference and it exceeded all of my expectations.

But there was something about the conference that made the day just a little extra special for me. During the conference I was given a totally unexpected gift…

A gift that nearly took me out of my seat.

A gift that will stick with me forever.

A gift that told me I’m on the right track (or getting closer to it), while my lizard brain is trying to tell me otherwise.

A gift that reminded me that I have gifts to give as well.

A gift that reminded me just how powerful a small gesture or act of kindness can be.

I’m not talking about a gift where some form of reciprocation was expected. That isn’t  really a gift, that’s a transaction. Many people give gifts with the expectation of receiving something in return. That’s a business deal.

Real gifts expect nothing in return.

Seth Godin

I wanted to share a little quote about gifts from my favorite author, and world-renowned marketer, Seth Godin, who I was fortunate enough to hear speak at today’s conference.

When done properly, gifts work like nothing else. A gift gladly accepted changes everything. The imbalance creates motion, motion that pushes us to a new equilibrium, motion that creates connection.

The key is that the gift must be freely and gladly accepted. Sending someone a gift over the transom isn’t a gift, it’s marketing. Gifts have to be truly given, not given in anticipation of a repayment. True gifts are part of being in a community (willingly paying taxes for a school you will never again send your grown kids to) and part of being an artist (because the giving motivates you to do ever better work).

Plus, giving a gift feels good.

He wasn’t kidding. I gladly accepted the gift, but more importantly, the gift changes everything. The gift increased the motion that Seth mentioned above. The imbalance was already there, and the ball was slowly rolling, but now it’s got momentum.

Don’t ever forget how much impact a small gift can have.

Please take a minute and read Seth’s entire post on gifts.

Thanks Seth….