A few months ago, my friend Al suggested that I tweet about his friend Terry. She was a survivor of trafficking and was a member of an amazing organization called “Thistle Farm.” She was trying to win a trip to Barista Camp. (This is photo of Terry!)


I knew that would be a huge opportunity for her and decided to help. In addition to tweeting though, I felt like a blog post might push her over the edge. But here’s what I also understood, in everything you do, you should create value.

I knew that if I wrote a post that had a valuable lesson in it, a post that actually served the audience while I was asking for help, more people would read it and retweet it. The typical approach would have been to just write a heartfelt , “Please help Terry” post. That’s how most people approach fundraisers. But although there’s emotion in there, there’s not as much value.

So I wrote a very honest post about how I learned over time that a blog is not for you. It’s for other people. Great blogs serve the reader, not the writer. (You can read the post here to get a sense of what I did.)

And the post got retweeted a lot more than it would have if I just made an ask.

There are plenty of times in life when you need to make an ask, before you do, ask yourself, “How do I create value for other people?”

In everything you do, aim to create value. Things that have value get shared.

And Terry? Well, she won. She had an amazing experience at camp!