The Case for Karma — Creating the Ties that Bond

One should, perform karma with nonchalance without expecting the benefits because sooner of later one shall definitely gets the fruits.” – Rig Veda

This weekend I was reminded of the power of karma.  I made the mistake of carrying ar0und some checks I needed to deposit in my wallet. I had gone to the bank when they were updating the ATM and being too impatient to wait…I stuck the checks in my wallet and went on my way. Only to have them fall out in a cab later that day. A woman found them and was able to track me down and return them. Thank you! I am hoping that woman gets some good karma back for taking the time to find me.

It reminded me of a conversation I was recently part of between older and younger professionals on networking and fundraising. One woman offered up this great piece of insight on karma…it creates the ties that bond. She believes that what goes around comes around. She made the point that as you evolve your network evolves. Sometimes you step off the track or you are pivoting yourself to start a new career. In these cases you can develop a bridge from people you know to people who can help you.

I had to create a vertical by connecting with people who weren’t necessarily relevant to where I wanted to go to get where I wanted to go.  Some of my best business contacts were from a line at nursery school. You never know. Your next investor could be married to someone you know. But it’s also possible to create them. You can create great relationships everywhere.  If people ask you for a favor, do it if you can, especially if it’s not difficult. Because they do need it and will remember it and then you will need something, not necessarily from them, but from someone else and if you can get in that system. It works.” – 40-something, entrepreneur, NYC

The same goes for job hunting as this women shares:

“Don’t forget to cultivate great relationships and friendships with recruiters. Because then anytime they have something they will think of you first. I got a series of jobs through a recruiter who became a friend. I decided I would treat her like a friend and not just like a business contact where is it more transactional in terms of  “I want this from you”.  And don’t just develop relationships that help you. Help others. I helped some younger women I worked with find other jobs. I think if you’re looking out for other people, then the karma tends to come back to you. I’m a big believer in Karma.” — 40-something, PR exec, New York, NY


You might not see an immediate value to the relationships that are in front of you in your twenties. One woman who has had her own business for twenty years and now teaches young professionals always tells her students to value what is front of them. “Look around you” she tells them.

“These are the people you are going to be doing business with in the future. You never know when your paths will meet again. Talk to them. Get to know them. Don’t minimize the potential in that. Don’t only look to people as a potential employer or someone you can work with now. Get to know them on some level.” – 40-something, entrepreneur, NYU professor, NYC

Relationships don’t always have an immediate ROI. A relationship that may not mean that much this minute may mean something 20 steps a head. And it’s pretty obvious when someone dismisses you because they are thinking, “What are you going to do for me?”. And if the tables turn someday they will likely remember that.

One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t know how it is going to work. Don’t do your karma, expecting a tangible payback. One of the best rewards is just the positive energy it gives you.

“It finally sunk into my head. Being a good person is it’s own reward. I used to get upset if I did something nice, say letting people in when driving or returning a lost wallet. I would feel sad if they didn’t say thank you. I realized I couldn’t rely on the other person. Doing these things makes the world a prettier place for me. It’s selfish in a way.” – 40-something, graphic designer, Chicago


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