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Reaping What You Sow by Tanya Smith

Aug 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Career Coaching

I watched an interesting, yet common, phenomenon today. I attended a networking event where the speaker was a well-known business strategist & speaker. He had a great message – one that touched every person in the room whether they owned a business, or worked for someone else. It was clear that he knew what he was talking about. He put his heart & soul into giving to every person in the room. I felt a little smarter when he was done – that’s a good sign.

Afterwards he had a table set up in the back with products and order forms, like most speakers do these days. He referenced a discount that would be extended for all attendees of the day’s event – probably around 30%, if I remember correctly.

That wasn’t the important thing though.

You see, the actual leader of this particular networking group is a firm believer that members should all sow into the lives of the visitors/guest speakers who come to share their time & value with us. So she reminded the group that we “don’t do discounts”, we pay full price for speakers’ products – just as we’d want someone to do for us and our businesses.

I had to leave a little early, while the raffles & prizes were being given away. There was a small group of attendees at the product table. As I stepped towards the table to select my purchase, I overheard a member say, “What was that discount again? Lord knows I need that right now the way my business is running in this economy.” At first, I nodded my head as if to agree, but then I remembered the reminder we’d just heard from the leader and my thought turned to, “What if it were me? Wouldn’t I hope that people would pay full value for my hard work? Don’t I provide quality that warrants the price I offer?”

Later on I thought about this statement from the member and it hit me – the reason why she was not successful is that she was reaping what she sowed. Instead of sowing full value into the other person’s business, she tapped into scarcity mentality “I have nothing so I’ll give nothing”. Instead, she should have said, “I will seed into this business, so that my business too will grow.”

If you think about it, this happens all the time. The last time you barely made your monthly bills, consider what you tithed or gave to charity. When you yelled at your child for making bad grades, think about how much time you spent helping them with homework. You didn’t get the job interview; what did you do beforehand to really understand the job, or even to prepare your branding statement for the conversation?

My coaching question then is: “What are you sowing that’s causing you to get the results you’re currently experiencing?”

You might have to read this one twice. Next time you reap less than desired results, consider what you sow.


Tanya Smith, the Career Transformation Coach, helps mid-career professional women liberate themselves so they can enjoy waking up daily to work they love. Sign up for her monthly updates & more articles through and become a fan for exclusive previews on Facebook at faith-based career coaching resources at

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