Disclosure: If I'm not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on my part and will be corrected soon.

I just finished reading a post that my business partner, Shawn Collins had up on his blog, entitled Cynical Marketing, which really hit home.

In the post, Shawn talks about how there are some marketers out there that simply don’t get the fact that not everything they do has to revolve around making money. They forget that sometimes, it’s more important to just give back.

The timing of his post couldn’t be more relevant to me. You see, today I was approached by someone who read my post regarding me coming out of affiliate management retirement to help support breast cancer research and treatment – a cause that is very close to my heart.

This marketer had the chutzpah to ask me what my angle was and why on earth would I bust my ass to grow someone else’s company when there was absolutely nothing at stake for me.

Rather than chastising him for his ludicrous implications, I simply told him how I felt.

Giving is in my DNA and since affiliate marketing is what I do best, it seemed like a natural fit.

He followed up with a “you’re nuts.”

You know what, Mr. Cynical Marketer? Maybe I am.

But I keep very good company.

Aside from the folks that Shawn mentioned in his post that give back to the online marketing community without ever asking for a thing back (Haiko de Poel, Jr., Scott Jangro, Jim Kukral, Melanie Seery, Kellie Stevens), I can think of dozens of marketers (including Shawn, who neglected to name himself) who do the same.

Chris Brogan who takes the time to answer every single questions he’s asked on Twitter; Brian Clark who provides amazing free content on CopyBlogger.com everyday; Brian Littleton of ShareASale who takes the time to educate his merchants and affiliate marketers to both make the affiliate marketing industry better and push it forward; all of the folks that walked 60-miles with me to raise money for breast cancer research; Jeremy Schoemaker who provides dozens of case studies and tips to marketers to grow their businesses — the list goes on and on.

Now, it’s not to say that I’m averse to making money. I think I do a pretty good job at it. So do all of the people that I’ve mentioned above.

Maybe I’m just an idealist, but I believe that when one does well, there is an inherent responsibility to give back to the industries that have helped us get to where we are today and to help the less fortunate.

So, to all of the other idealists out there that give so much, with no strings attached – I salute you. Please keep doing what you’re doing. You ARE making a difference.

Luke 12:48 “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.

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Missy Ward

Co-Founder & President at Affiliate Summit, Inc.
Missy Ward has been in affiliate marketing since 1999. She is the Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, FeedFront Magazine, GeekCast.fm, itsaWAHMthing.com; the Co-Publisher of Revenews.com, Founder of AffiliateMarketersGiveBack.com and manages many of her own affiliate sites. If she's not making money through affiliate links on the post you're currently reading, it's an oversight on her part and it will be corrected soon.

Comment & Add Your Voice

1 Nicholas Chase November 19, 2009 at 8:09 am

Hi Missy,

Nice response to the cold-hearted marketer! He just did not understand how giving away from yourself has tremendous impact on others, and in due time you will see your business prosper!

Precisely because you thought about others first the blessings are returned.

I follow and read and interact with each of the people you mentioned in your post, in the hope that one day I can be as generous as they all demonstrate on a daily basis. I truly believe that if I can help others in their business, that I will be helped. Patience is the key to this.

My clock runs faster than some others clocks…but I am patient!

I just retweeted your post to my 1300+ followers..

Respectfully,

Nicholas Chase
http://www.twitter.com/nachase

Reply

2 Patrick March 6, 2009 at 3:03 am

Great post and great work you're doing for charity!
And agree, at the core of successful entrepreneurs is a desire to serve others, that's what gets us wanting to get out of bed every morning. Money is usually not the main motivation

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3 Karmen Reed February 19, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Thank you for this Missy! Now I know I'm not sabotaging my business every day. It definitely feels that the world is thinking in a different direction and the ones that give are the ones that will survive. Good mantra for this year: Make all you can, Save all you can, Give all you can.

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4 Katie Van Domelen February 18, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Just clicked through the link that Chris Brogan tweeted and I'm truly inspired by what you wrote. I'm going to subscribe to your blog and keep up with what you're doing – I think in the end it's the people who do things for the love of doing them (whether it's marketing or anything else) and for the purpose of bettering the world/society that really go places and are the ones who are revolutionizing what we do and how we do it. Keep on doing your thing, don't listen to people who want to bring you down to their level.

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5 Kellie February 18, 2009 at 8:17 pm

hehehehe I would have loved to have heard that convo. 🙂

We're all human beings first and marketers second. We may live and breath what we do, but we are still people first. Giving is part of being a human being in a part of society. Any of us, no matter who good our situation, will experience a time in our lives when we will need or greatly benefit from someone giving something to us. I've had so many that have given freely to me during my life in ways that have really gotten me through a tough spot or just enriched my life and made it better. Both giving and receiving are life enriching experiences that I would not want to miss out on.

A wonderful post Missy and you are a constant inspiration by your actions. I know you don't do the what you do in order to intentionally gain the secondary benfits of helping others. I know your chairty work is a personal passion. But you remind others of how important the act of giving is in so many ways and the value of "paying it forward". We are lucky to have you, and so many really great people, in this biz. As much as I intentionally roll around in the muck of the biz….the one consistent thing that allows me to keep my sanity is all of the really GOOD stuff I see by people in our biz as well. There really is a lot of that as well!

You keep rocking on with all the good stuff!

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6 Melanie Seery February 18, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Thank you Missy for including me in such a group. You're right, I think we all have an obligation to give back to others; not because we'll get something back, but because it is just right. Giving from the heart and doing something good with no strings attached is the greatest gift we can give. The reward, the simple knowledge that you made a difference and helped someone. Small steps from many result in great strides.

Missy, I admire all that you do and I know it comes from your heart, you do because you care. Thank you for doing all you do.

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7 Simone Icough February 18, 2009 at 7:03 pm

I agree that it is important to give back, I run a Scoliosis support group totally for free, I keep the blog anf website updated for them not me, this is my way of giving something back to the communities I can support. Giving back is a great way to do your "deed for the day" and help others around you, you never know when you might need it back 🙂

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8 wil reynolds February 17, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Missy you rock. I love this post keep doing the good work, I'll support ya any way I can.

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9 Tony - mma gear February 18, 2009 at 3:31 am

I agree, its important to give back and develop relationships genuinely… It helps you gain value in terms of trust, credibility, expertise… things that are not tangible like money but just as valuable.

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10 andrew wee February 18, 2009 at 2:18 am

Hi Missy,
I read that when you give, you're giving as much to yourself, as to the recipient of your gift.

Besides, it's good karma.

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11 Nicholas Chase February 18, 2009 at 12:31 am

Hi Missy,

Nice response to the cold-hearted marketer! He just did not understand how giving away from yourself has tremendous impact on others, and in due time you will see your business prosper!

Precisely because you thought about others first the blessings are returned.

I follow and read and interact with each of the people you mentioned in your post, in the hope that one day I can be as generous as they all demonstrate on a daily basis. I truly believe that if I can help others in their business, that I will be helped. Patience is the key to this.

My clock runs faster than some others clocks…but I am patient!

I just retweeted your post to my 1300+ followers..

Respectfully,

Nicholas Chase
http://www.twitter.com/nachase

Reply

12 Jill February 18, 2009 at 12:26 am

Hi Missy –
Great comments here. So many folk often forget the law of sowing and reaping (some call it Karma) when trying to build a business.

Long term business is built on relationships not sales. A quick sale may come – but the client will probably also go just as quick (as will the money be spent).

A great relationship built on trust will last. It is all about focus. Is your business focused on money? Or on people? I think the best focus is people and that is what you are saying Missy.

I also highly respect those you mentioned. I have even had a DM from Chris Brogan! He is certainly a relationship builder.

Those who's first goal is to make a different in other's lives WILL also find their own needs taken care of.

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13 hittjw February 17, 2009 at 11:28 pm

You are right Missy. Many of the marketing professionals I work with do pro bono work for their favorite charities or hold positions without pay in trade groups. My honorariums are usually given to my favorite charities for local speaking engagements — it's the difference between a long term prospective and a short one.

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14 Joe Sousa February 17, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Awesome stuff Missy. Seeing your (and others you have listed) great examples of your generosity of time, money, effort, etc. is a great encouragement for me and others to do likewise.

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15 Shawn Collins February 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Well said, Missy. I hope the world the meek inherit isn't overwhelmed with ebooks, sketchy offers, and selfish idiots.

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16 dan barker February 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm

heard someone say today: "ethical marketing is this: if your prospect knew exactly what you were doing & thinking – they wouldn't mind you doing it". Not directly related to this, but fits in nicely.

Reply

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