I’ve never met a millionaire who wasn’t a giver. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet give more to charities in a single year than the average millionaire does in a lifetime. It’s undeniable that giving plays a vital role in any successful enterprise.

When we talk about giving, most people think about money, but there’s so much more to being charitable than dollars and cents.

I believe the most valuable commodity in the world today is time. We never have enough of it and no one wants to waste it. Yet unless we learn to give it, we’ll never have it. It’s called the law of reciprocity: we reap exactly what we sow. Successful businesses are built on relationships, and growing relationships takes time. People do business with those they know, like and trust—and it’s impossible to know, like or trust someone who hasn’t given you their time.

Network marketing is different from most businesses because your business partners can quit any time they feel like it. They can throw in the towel and walk away, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But how many people walk away from a trusting relationship that’s been nurtured over time?

When others feel comfortable enough to share their dreams with you, they will feel confident enough to share their lives. But no one will share their heart with someone who didn’t give them time. I tell my team that building a network marketing business takes a considerable amount of time listening. Our company president says, “God gave us one mouth and two ears so that we would listen more than talk.” There will be times you think you can’t afford to give so much time, but I say you can’t afford not to.

Have you ever wondered why some network marketing leaders have business partners who stay with them for life, and other network marketers see their people drop off like flies? I believe the answer is simple: we all wear an invisible sign that says, “Make me feel important.”

It’s easy to walk away from a business that never made you feel good about yourself, but no one wants to leave a friend who genuinely listens and cares from the heart. This kind of friendship makes you feel special, important and valuable. This relationship becomes priceless.

The next time you’re tempted to cut short a conversation or neglect to return a call, stop and think what it could cost you. No amount of time “saved” is worth a friendship lost. Learn to give your time freely. After all, when it comes to building your organization, you’re not spending time with your prospect or business partner, you’re investing in your future.


Dr. BARBARA BEATY is a top earner and leader
in network marketing. She resides in Palm Springs,
California and was featured in the March-April 2009
issue of
Networking Times.