Pay It Forward with the Five Minute Favour

A couple of weeks ago I came across a book by Adam Grant called Give and Take. Over the years many people have talked about hard work, passion and talent as key individual drivers to success, but in this book, Adam Grant talks about helping others as a key to success.

The book Give and Take refers to a variety of research and ideas to help people succeed and build relationships. According to Grant there are three types of people – the taker, the matcher and the giver. Simply, they are –

  • Takers – are always trying to get as much as possible from others,
  • Matchers – who if they did you a favour, would expect one back (and vice versa), and
  • Givers – go out of their way to support and help you, with no strings attached.

One person who is described in the book as a huge giver is Adam Rifkin (co-founder of PandaWhale and 106miles and has been referred to as Fortune’s Best Networker). Adam’s idea of the “Five Minute Favour” is the habit that resonated with me the most, because of its simplicity and ease of implementation.

What is the Five Minute Favour?

It is simple – do something for someone else (without expecting anything in return in five minutes.

Yes – it can take five minutes or less to do something simple to help out a colleague, family member, friend or stranger. Some ways you could do a five minute favour include –

  • Write an e-mail to introduce two people who have similar interests or clients
  • Share or comment on a social media site (i.e. Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter or Instagram)
  • Offer feedback or give a testimonial on a product or service
  • Join a community group – i.e. a sporting club, choir or art group and offer them your support
  • Send a gift or write a card to a friend or client to thank them for their support, help or business

What would you add to the above suggestions to help each other through the value of giving or paying it forward?


If you are ready to reclaim your courage and take the next step towards freedom and opening your heartwhy not join our Toolkit?


Reference –

Grant, A. (2013). Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success. USA: Penguin.


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