Can a five minute favour change a life?

Can a five minute favour change a life?

There is a parable in the bible centred around the mustard seed. While the story has several meanings one of them is even though the mustard seed is the tiniest of seeds, it grows into a tree so large even birds come and perch on its branches.

The same can be true of even the smallest of favours. In fact, one taking less than five minutes can be the difference between success and failure.

Silicon Valley veteran, Adam Rifkin, has coined the term five minute favours as a mantra for the types of favours he’ll do for anybody. These include doing things like the following:

Five Minute Favour Examples

  1. Use a product and offer concise, vivid and helpful feedback.
  2. Introduce two people with a well-written email, citing a mutual interest.
  3. Read a summary and offer crisp and concrete feedback.
  4. Serve as a relevant reference for a person, product, or service.
  5. Share, comment or retweet something on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+ or other social places.
  6. Write a short, specific and laudatory note to recognize or recommend someone on LinkedIn, Yelp, or other social place.
  7. (Make up your own five minute favour!)

As told in Adam Grant’s best-selling book, Give and Take, Rifkin says upon graduating and working in Silicon Valley he witnessed the best and brightest doing five minute favours.

Don’t expect anything in return

Favours like this don’t require any sort of quid-pro-quo and if you’re making them you shouldn’t expect anything in return. Five minutes of your time can mean the world to the recipient.

Consider this in the coming weeks and the next time someone asks for a favour that will take less than five minutes, don’t even think twice.

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