Derek Sivers

Small gifts go a long way

2000-05-30

When I worked at Warner/Chappell, I was the least-important person in the company, just working in the library.

Since it’s the largest music publisher in the world, I dealt with hundreds of people. I can’t remember most of their names. But three times, and only three times, I got a surprise gift from one of our songwriters.

  1. James Mastro, from The Bongos, got me a cool little “Mother Mary” keychain when he toured Spain.
  2. Gerry DeVeaux, the multi-platinum dance writer, got me some funky plastic fish Christmas ornaments when he went to the Bahamas.
  3. And Jane Kelly Williams got me a red sweatshirt.

Can you believe I remember these details twenty years later? Believe it!

If any of these three people asked me for a favor, I’d be sure to help them out.

As you climb the ladder of success, giving a gift may go a long way and be remembered for years.

Get presents for the people you’ve met that are probably under-appreciated. Don’t waste gifts on the high-power people. They already receive too many.

Be generous. You’re going to see the same faces for years to come.