I was shocked the other day when I responded to an offer from my friend Joe Vitale.
It took me to his web site and a free article he had posted there.
But what shocked me was the copy above it.
It said (and I am paraphrasing): ?If you like my free articles, why not reciprocate by buying Joe his favorite gift, a gift certificate to Amazon.?
I haven?t fully processed this (to me) unsettling and bizarre request, so I can?t tell you yet whether I think it makes sense or is distasteful to me or wildly inappropriate.
I can?t imagine that anyone reading my free blog or newsletter or articles would feel a desire to reciprocate by buying me something ? and I don?t think they should.
But what if I am wrong?
Occasionally I have received gifts from people I have helped with my advice.
One baked me a cake. Several sent me gift certificates for fancy restaurants.
While I obviously like to eat (you?ve seen my photo), I don?t want these things.
If you are irresistibly compelled to do something nice for me, there?s nothing I like more than getting an e-mail or post from a reader telling me that they enjoyed and were helped by something I wrote.
If you feel absolutely compelled to spend money thanking me, I would much rather you make a donation to the American Cancer Society (ACS) in whatever amount you wish.
My father, whom I adored, died of cancer at 70, so the work of the ACS is particularly meaningful to me.
And given that one in three Americans gets cancer, and my wife has it now, our donations help fund research that may save our lives (or the lives of our kids or grandkids) some day.