Most people know the fairy tale about the goose that laid golden eggs, but there is another fairy tale about a goose with golden feathers.
You can read the full tale here
The basic story is that 3 brothers wanted to chop some wood for the house. Each one went to the woods with food and drink from their mother but the first two came back injured. They had met a little old man in the forest who said he was hungry and thirsty and asked to share some of their food.
They replied that “If I give you my cake and wine I shall have none left for myself; you just go your own way”
The third brother went off with stale cake and bad wine but when he was asked to share, he still offered. He was rewarded with a goose with golden feathers that lead to him marrying the princess.
The parable of the fairy tale is two-fold:
(1) It never pays to be mean
(2) Even when you don’t have much, you can still share
A number of business people I have spoken with and observed, pass up countless opportunities to help others. The typical excuse is that they don’t have enough money as yet or they don’t have the time.
I was taught to make time for what was important to you and that money wasn’t the only thing you could give.
Reading blogs by entrepeneurs, angel investors, VCs and managers has been great for me, especially when combined with speaking events I have attended.
I have far more respect for those people than the ones who have achieved amazing success but could care less about sharing pointers with others.
Recently I was asked to endorse a book on entrepreneurship, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, written by Mike Michalowicz, a frequent contributor to CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. Even though I am sitting on tons of debt, haven’t completed raising capital and can’t even pay myself a salary, I felt that it was important to fly him to Jamaica to speak at the University of the West Indies about entrepreneurship.
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This is one way that I intend to give back and I don’t need to wait until I am a millionaire to start helping others. If one person walks away from this free event with more knowledge to benefit their business idea, it was worth every cent and what I gave up.
Luckily, I have secured a sponsor who is willing to cover all the costs, my former employer in Jamaica, which obviously places high value on supporting youth and entrepreneurship.
The event is a simple 2-hour lecture and discussion about entrepeneurship with Mike providing actionable advice. Jamaica rarely has speakers of this calibre from the USA coming to present and even rarer still are events related to entrepeneurship.
As a 27 year-old struggling entrepreneur, I value helping other entrepreneurs and inspiring young people enough to make the sacrifices necessary to make such events a reality.
There is no doubt that it will also help our venture and maybe even make it easier to raise money for it.
The most important thing though is converting a few more business people to my belief of helping others regardless of how much or how little money you have.
Are you helping others even when you have little to share like the third brother or are you being selfish like the first two brothers?