Most people are familiar with the saying, “Give and you shall receive.” Many have seen this principle operating in their lives. It’s simply one manifestation of the Law of Cause and Effect.

Sometimes this law proves itself almost immediately; other times, it takes years. Sometimes the result comes directly from the cause, and other times indirectly. Some people seem to experience the results of this law more tangibly and in ways easier to understand than do others. But we all know intuitively that this law works.

Why does this law work? Why do we receive so abundantly when we give?

Give More in Value

In his 1910 book, The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace D. Wattles set down certain rules that will help you become prosperous if you follow them. When he talks about being rich, he’s talking specifically about financial riches, not the many other excellent interpretations, such as personal fulfillment, happiness, health and so forth. But he also makes the point (which I heartily subscribe to) that if you become wealthy the right way, then those other important aspects of your life will become just as healthy as your finances.

Here is one of Mr. Wattles’s rules to becoming rich:

Always give more in use value than what you take in cash value. You cannot give a person more in cash value than you take from them, but you can give them more in use value than the cash value of the thing you take from them.

What does this mean? On the surface, he’s saying that when you sell a product or service, although you’d go broke if your product or service cost you more than you took in financially, you can actually provide a product or service that adds more value to those customers’ lives than the cash value they paid for it, while making a profit at the same time.

He describes this in terms of his own book (which back in 1910 must have sold for a fraction of today’s $12 price tag):

The paper, ink and other material in this book may not be worth the money you paid for it. But, if the ideas in this book bring you thousands of dollars, you have not been wronged by those who sold it to you. They have given you a great use value for a small cash value.

Wattles was discussing this principle in terms of a direct sale. However, we’re talking about the value you give, not in selling your products or services, but simply in the relationship you’re beginning with a new networking partner. Given that, let’s take a deeper look at what Mr. Wattles wrote.

Give People Increase

Taking the passage above that says, “You cannot give a person more in cash value than you take from them, but you can give them more in use value than the cash value of the thing you take from them,” let’s rephrase and condense it:

Give someone more in use value than what you take from them.

This simply means, always do your best to add to the other person’s life and success, without concern—especially at the beginning—for what you are receiving from the relationship.

There’s an excellent reason why this attitude will help you accomplish much and reach great financial heights. Again, according to Mr. Wattles:

People are built with a desire for increase in their lives.

His statement makes perfect sense. After all, human technology has advanced considerably since the beginning of recorded history. This is so because human beings desire increase, whether in their health, wealth, convenience, artistic sense, spiritual lives, or in any other way imaginable.

This is why, when you have a product, service, or skill that can help people increase an aspect of their lives, you can make a lot of money.

A few quick examples: Percy L. Spencer, the inventor of the microwave oven, satisfied the desire for more convenience. Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies, tapped into people’s desire for more pleasure, as did a man by the name of Candido Jacuzzi. There are many, many more examples on a local level—from the person who helps people satisfy their desire for an increase in their financial security by helping them invest in the right financial growth products, to the computer troubleshooter who helps his customers satisfy their desire for increase in the work they can accomplish on their computers.

When people sense that just by being associated with you, their lives will experience significant increase, they will naturally want to advance the relationship. And they will do so by doing their best to give back to you.

To me, this passage from near the end of Mr. Wattles’s book is one of the most profound statements of all time; it is also key to understanding the way of the successful networker:

No matter what your profession, if you can give increase of life to others and make them sensible [i.e., “aware”] of this gift, they will be attracted to you, and you will get rich .

This article, the first of a series of four, is adapted from Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts into Sales, 3rd Edition.

BOB BURG is a faculty member of Networking University,
and is the author of the newly revised and expanded

Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts into Sales,
which has sold over 150,000 copies. He is also a frequent speaker at
network marketing conferences and conventions.