Hey Guys,

#2 back writing to you from Gate D of the Phoenix International Airport.

In this flurry of holiday season travelers I had to plop myself down in a chair and write because I just had an experience I’d like to share with you.

As any of you in the United States know, all of our major metropolitan cities locate their international airports in the ghettos of town.

You can’t very well have jumbo jets screaming over million dollars estates can you?

So before I go to the airport today I need to fill my car up with gas.  As I’m pumping I see a man coming in my direction.  My first thought is… “Homeless dude wanting some change.”

I started cringing inside because I hate this marketing tactic.  Yes, homeless people asking you for money is a marketing tactic.  And an effective one too for the few people who have the balls to do it congruently.


Because out of the people who pass, you’re guaranteed to encounter the poor souls who submit to the powers of other people’s opinions of them.

When a homeless person is able to look this person in the eye and ask them clearly and concisely for money, they’re gonna get it.

These people cave because they fear this homeless person they might not ever see again will think they’re an asshole for not giving them any money.

Have you ever cared for a moment, maybe a couple of moments what a homeless person thought of you?  I have.  I’ve given money, bought food and given rides because of it.

And when I got hit up too many times in row I’d lie and say I didn’t have any money.  Why should I feel guilty?  Why did I feel like I had to lie?  Why didn’t I just look the person in the eye and say no?

Because I lent value to their 35 second impression of me.  This person would only remember me for less than a minute.  After this time their memory of me would fade to nothing.  Especially if they were blasted at time of their request.

I still give money to homeless people once in a while but not nearly as much as I used to.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d been betraying myself all those years by giving when and where I didn’t want to.  Giving out of fear, rather than on purpose depleted my self esteem.

And guess what?

This fear of what other people thought of me surfaced in every other part of my life.  Because of this I never stated my preferences and was living a lie.  I spouted lies to give people the impression I was something I wasn’t.

And while being fake, both the person I was attempting to mislead… and I knew the deal.  We both kept a silent agreement that they were in control because they could see through my paper machete front.  If they could get something from me the relationship lasted long.  If not, I was ditched and dissed as soon as I was found useless.

My cup was always empty and I was looking to others to fill it.

If you’ve ever felt like this before and overcome it you know that one of the major steps to clearing this issue up was to address your beliefs and values.  The way we give meaning to our experience shapes our experience.

Throughout my years of reading personal development material one of the best pieces of advice I heard was from Jack Canfield of “Chicken Soup For the Soul” fame.  The advice  was to state your preferences.  Be radically honest.

This Christmas one of my brothers gifts to me consisted of a T-shirt, a DVD with a homemade bracelet package revolving around the “Invisible Children” theme.

I had never heard of “invisible children” till I opened my gift.  If you haven’t either here’s what I gathered from my dad and my brother in a 3 minute discussion about it.

If I remember right, a group of Americans went to Uganda to shoot a documentary and ended up stumbling upon a trend going on there where the military were forcing very young children to strap on machine guns and go to war for their cause.

That’s about all I know.  It’s about all I care to know.

I love kids.  And I believe anyone who mistreats them should be horrifically tortured for weeks on end.  But for me to walk around with this bracelet and t-shirt on would be false advertising.

I’m not a fan of charities.

I’m honest with myself and you in my admitting I’m not willing to do anything of substance for anyone but kids in my reach.  And I don’t even feel good just writing a check.  I have serious trust issues with charities so it’d have to be something I felt would 100% benefit the kids.

If I really cared about what happens to children in Africa, Russia, or in Mexico, anywhere but my very own backyard I’d be engaged in the trenches doing what needed to be done.

For me, giving money to people who claim they’re gonna put an end to another country’s wrong doings is totally out of the question.

It’s my personal opinion that 99 % of charities are poorly managed.  They spend more money than is necessary on administrative expenses.  Their marketing dollar is usually squandered on horrid advertising which leads to very little money getting where it’s meant to go.

Don’t even get me started on the swindles.

So unless I’m actually on the front line for a cause I blank it out.  Most people on earth do.  Most don’t admit it verbally but they do so with their actions.

It’s like the Andrew Carnegie quote “The older I get the less I pay attention to what people say and the more I watch what they do.”

I have zero interest in giving unless I see, feel and touch what I’m impacting.  Dan Kennedy has been a pivotal person in my life in helping me to see there’s an empowering way to do this.  A win-win strategy where both the giver and the receiver benefit.

In his Wealth Attraction book and seminar he talks about setting up a giving account.  This money can only be used for donations to whatever cause you wish.  Dan loves the idea of spending his over tipping excellent service.

People busting their ass with a pleasing demeanor makes your life easier and pleasuable.  Why not reinforce this amazing behavior and mindset?  The ripple effect can be stunning.

If you’ve worked for tips before you know this to be true.  Someone appreciating your adding value to their life makes both of you feel awesome.

Whenever I get the opportunity to do this I’m over-joyed.  Jim Rohn talks about engineering this kind of experience by greasing the skids before you get the service to ensure you’re taken care of.

What Way Of Giving Back Feels Best To You?

I love helping people but not out of obligation or guilt.  Recently I gave a friend all the precious metal I had collected to sell so he could get himself out of a tight jam.  And I did this with no contract or agreement.  I don’t even care if he pays me back.

Why?  Because he didn’t try to guilt me into helping him.

Now coming full circle to the man coming at me when I was pumping my gas before going to the airport today.

My mind went into defense mode because I was preparing to shoot this guys request down.  But when I could see the man’s clothing I could tell he wasn’t homeless.  And what came next surprised me.

When the hockey jersyed, pony tailed Mexican got about 20 feet away from me he asked “You wanna buy some weed?”

I had to do a double take.  As he got closer I asked him “What?”

He said, “You wanna buy some weed?”  Then he pulls out his baggie and shows it to me.  This was awesome.

I told him “Nah, man.”

He said “I’m just trying to put some cash together.  Hey, man I’ll give you a dime for five bucks.”

I told him “Nah man.  I don’t party anymore.”

He said “You know anyone else who wants to buy some weed?”

I said “No.”

He said, “Do you have any kind of change you can help me out with then?”

He never told me why he needed money and I suspect it was so he could supplement his weed high with a beer, but he didn’t need to say.  He brought down my defenses by proposing first to add value to my life.

Does your marketing land on people and feel like you’re trying to get something from them rather than give something?

If it does you’ll get the “Oh, yuck…” response.

This man presented his proposition to me at the wrong time of my life but never the less, I liked his direct approach.  I loved how he was up front with me and didn’t try and make feel guilty because he was a vet or had imaginary kids to feed or supposedly hadn’t eaten for days.

So, I gave him five bucks.  His eyes bulged out as he looked at the money in his hand.  He thanked me profusely and walked away.  I enjoy interactions with straight up people and it felt good rewarding this man for his honesty.

If the way you give back isn’t fulfilling on the deepest level I suggest you re-evaluate why you’re giving where you do and seek a cause or method that’s a sure fire 100% guaranteed win-win for you and the person or animals you’re helping out.

It’s my opinion that no one gives for totally selfless reasons.  At bare minimum we always get a feeling from our giving.  Why not have that be an empowering feeling?

I instantly started feeling better about myself when I stopped giving out of guilt and obligation.  If you haven’t already, maybe you will too.

Happy holidays!!!  I’ll talk to you again soon.

Wishing you a speedy and spectacular success,

Note Taking Nerd #2