If your business is not expanding to the quick and exciting tempo of the times, you must examine the contribution you're giving."

This quote comes from one of my earliest mentors, Earl Nightingale, and I can assure you, he wasn't talking about the contribution to your IRA or SEP accounts! Earl was referring to the service you provide to your prospects and clients. If you ever find yourself unhappy with your income or feel that your business isn't growing quickly enough, it's time to sit down and really think about the kind of service you provide every day.

Whatever rewards you seek, you must first earn in the form of service to others. That's not opinion, it's simple, unquestionable law. Over the ages, many have referred to this law of giving and receiving as the "Law of Laws." If you don't grasp how this fundamental law applies to your life, you will continue to struggle with your business. In fact, this is such an absolute law of life that the ignorance of it will result in struggle in more facets than purely the business sphere.

In his beautiful book, Working With the Law, Raymond Holliwell writes, "A mindset of giving is the first law of creation."

It is, after all, a "giving" thought that begins the creative process, which then leads to action and fulfillment of that thought. The polar opposite of giving—the mindset of "getting"—puts a bone—jarring stop to that creative, energetic flow in your life. And when you stop the creative process, all action and fulfillment of that creative process comes to a dead stop as well!

I have noticed that some people seem to prefer thinking of this law in reverse: they figure, once they begin to receive, then they can give. But this makes no sense. Have you ever sat in front of an empty fireplace and said, "Give me some heat—and then I'll give you some wood"? We all recognize this as a ridiculous proposition. Obviously, in order to feel heat, you must first gather and cut the wood, then lay it in the fireplace and actually light it. Just as the wood must be put in before you feel the warmth (and by the way, the greater the amount of wood, the greater the warmth), so, too, must be your attitude toward giving.

Ask for what you need. Then, start giving.

Give your thought, your word, your service and your deed.

Give with the thought of building all that warmth and heat by way of exceptional service for someone else.

You will be surprised at how quickly your own life fills with that same warmth!

BOB PROCTOR is Publisher of Networking Times.