Pay it forward – when my friend Jussi socially complimented me
This story is about pay it forward. There is a super strong pay it forward culture in the Silicon Valley. I think we can all learn from it. My friend Jussi has his own style: he likes to socially compliment people. And not just a humble quiet thank you, but an over the top thank you with the glitter and the horns blowing and a parade and what not. He likes to make a scene on his Facebook wall when he compliments someone.
What is Pay it Forward?
Pay it forward is a good deed that goes forward from one person to another. Someone helps you out, you pay it forward by helping out the next person.
When I first started as an entrepreneur and entered the Finnish growth entrepreneur scene (Boardman2020), I had my first experiences of the pay it forward culture. I’d never experienced such a strong sense of togetherness that I did in a group of other growth entrepreneurs – whom I didn’t even know yet! There was always someone who gave me a free advice or if they could not help, they introduced me to the next person who could help. And the advice and tips I got were advice that could have easily cost me a lot of money – legal advice, advice about financing my start up, advice about how to formulate official documentation, where to apply for grants..
These people helped me out, because they had received similar support from their peer entrepreneurs when they started. This support generated a pay it forward within myself and I started to help out budding entrepreneurs myself. It wasn’t long after that – maybe a year, when I was invited to the board of Boardman 2020. It’s a voluntary group of business people and entrepreneurs who pay it forward by running a huge network of growth entrepreneurs (covering these days thousands of people and about 150 very active VIP members). In addition to irregularly still sparring especially young women interested in entrepreneurship, I invest a lot of my time aside my business for this network – in order to develop and sustain an atmosphere and solid ground for entrepreneurship in Finland.
Anyone can pay it forward
I wanted to share Jussi’s Facebook post from yesterday as an example how everyone can pay it forward. Because pay it forward can be something so little as to thank someone or boost someone. Jussi’s Facebook post did not only make me tremendously touched and happy, but it quickly raised a conversation about complimenting and thanking other people, how important it is and how we really should all do it more.
It is easy to get upset and moan about our misadventures. I do it too. Everyone does it. It’s ok. But what if against every moan we make, we also make the effort to share a couple of compliments or thank you’s to keep the balance.
Thank you Jussi for your compliment. It really felt good. You are a great man. I’m lucky to know you. Now it’s my turn to pay it forward.
Below a copy of Jussi’s Facebook post – in Finnish. What a great reason for you to learn Finnish!