Give and Take in Business

by | Jan 24, 2024 | Entrepreneurship

Rahul from Toronto writes: Rebecca, I’m part of group of aspiring entrepreneurs who help each other with their startup ideas. Because people see me as a good writer, they constantly sending me drafts of their work and I gladly edit them. But when I ask for help with market research or my value proposition, topics in which they are more educated than I, the assistance is lukewarm. I tend to be “a pleaser” and hope by giving, I will receive. When this doesn’t happen, I get resentful. I want to stay in this group and continue to share my expertise, but how do I get the help I need to succeed?     

Rahul, by offering your editing skills, you have the opportunity to build strong and healthy relationships with these people who may help you in the future. To avoid burnout, resentment and for the sake of your venture, you must accept the importance of reciprocity.

While giving is crucial, it’s equally important to recognize your own needs and advocate for yourself. There is no merit in being a “doormat.”  Are you using “pleaser” language, verbally or non-verbally, that invite constant requests? Are you too available to the takers?

Perhaps you can reiterate the importance of win-win collaboration to your group. Before you accept another editing request, clarify some specific questions for which you need direction. If your requests are too open-ended or mentally overwhelming, even the givers in the group will retreat.

In the intricate dance of business, success is often found in the ability to be a giver and a taker Ultimately, finding harmony in embracing both roles can lead to a more well-rounded and successful approach to business. I suggest you read Give and Take – Adam Grant

Need help harmonizing “give and take?” Contact me at Visit





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Who is Rebecca Shafir? Speech/language pathologist, author, voice and executive function coach
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