Altruism Is Good for BusinessI took a call today from a guy called Peter Brown who runs a drainage company - he had a question about one of the directories I run as he wanted to add his website to it. He mentioned that he ran his own directory (drainagecontractors.org.uk) for the benefit of other drainage companies. He figured it would just be good for the drainage industry in general if they networked more and they could all perhaps gain more business together - referring each other work (e.g. when one company was too busy, they could refer the prospective client to another drainage company close by). In essence, the directory was setup for the purpose of helping other companies - without any payment or direct return back to Peter. In fact, Peter asked me if I'd like my own online services to be mentioned on his site, and that he'd mention Puresilva whenever he had the chance. I countered back with my own favour, but he wasn't interested. We got onto the subject of altruism - essentially helping out another person without asking for something in return. I told him that it was especially rare in the business world to encounter altruism. After all, business is about surviving and we tend to be quite defensive with a "what's in it for me?" attitude. When a company offers another company something without asking for something in return, it's something you tend to remember. Perhaps it's no surprise that Peter is keeping very busy with his business.
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