From my earliest days in the personal development business, prospecting for leads was never a problem I experienced. It wasn’t until I heard others in the industry explain how they’d had difficulty in this area that I reflected back on my own career and became aware of why I never had this problem.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his essay Compensation, described the law of cause and effect as “the law of laws.” Jane Willhite, chairperson at Personal Success Institute Seminars, has a motto, “Givers gain.” Giving has brought me plenty of business, and the return has always been out of proportion to what I gave. But you must understand, you don’t give to get business. If giving is calculated, it is very much likely trading.

Many years ago, I got a telephone call from Ben Hughes, a regional manager with the London Life Insurance Company in Canada. He said, “Bob, we have a sales campaign coming up. I’m holding a big meeting for all our agents. I wonder if you could come and speak for us.” I asked him the date of the meeting and, since I was available on that date, I said, “Sure, I’d be glad to.”

He then said, “Bob, we don’t have a budget … so you won’t be getting paid for this.” I smiled to myself and told Ben that you always get paid for what you do, and not to worry about it, I’d do the meeting.

After I finished speaking to his people, he told me I’d done a good job and asked me to speak at “the conference.” I didn’t really know what he was talking about, but it turned out he was the president of the Life Underwriters Association for the province of Ontario, and the conference he referred me to was going to put me in front of 3,000 insurance agents. At the time, it was the largest gathering of insurance agents in the world.

That was the lead-in to my conducting seminars for the entire Metropolitan Prudential Insurance Agency, clear across America. Which led in turn to Great Eastern in Asia—and I could go on and on. Several million dollars in business came to me because I went and did a man a favor without worrying about what I was going to get in return.

If you focus on doing the best job you can do at what you do, you will never have to wonder where business is going to come from. The Universe is friendly and orderly, and it will reward you abundantly—if you gain an understanding of the laws by which it operates and bring your business into harmony with those laws.

Emerson was right: the law of cause and effect is the law of laws. And so is Jane Willhite: givers do gain. Leads and future business will come back to you, pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

BOB PROCTOR is publisher of Networking Times.