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It’s Not How Much You Make, It’s How Much You Give

written by John Chow on October 21, 2007

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Many people ask me how much I make on the Internet. My blog income recap is always one of the most popular posts of the month. I guess I can’t really blame people for asking. Most of us equate success with how much money you make. However, I think the true measure of success is not how much you make, it’s how much you give.

You Can’t Take It With You

While it’s great to have a bunch of fancy toys, you have to keep in mind that you can’t take it with you when your time comes and God isn’t going to judge you based on how many fancy cars you drove.

My first responsibility is to my wife and family. After they’re taken care of, I feel we have a duty to help others in need. I used to like accumulating toys (I still do) but now I find much more fulfillment and pleasure in matching donations to worthy causes.

How would you like to be remember; as someone with a lot of toys or as someone who made a difference in the world? You can say what you want about Bill Gates but when he goes, he will be known as one of the greatest humanitarians who’ve ever lived. The true measure of a man is not how much he makes, it’s how much he gives.

You Have To Give In Order To Get

I’m really fortunate that the Internet has not only provided me with a way to provide for my family, it has also provided me with the means to make a difference in peoples’ lives. Don’t get me wrong, I like buying fancy sport cars as much as the next guy. However, in order to have those fancy things, you have to give first.

This is something many people have a hard time understanding but it is a universal truth. The best way to explain the concept is with this guote:

If you want to live with masses, serve the classes.
If you want to live with the classes, serve the masses.

If You Want To Live with The Classes, Serve The Masses

If you look at any successful businesses, you’ll see that they serve a lot of people. The more they serve, the richer they get. Google serves millions of web surfers everyday. Walmart serves more customers than any store in the world. They’re among the richest companies in the world. The rich got rich because they serve the masses. The masses being their customers, employees, shareholders, etc. The poor are poor because they serve the classes (their boss). The more you serve, the richer you become.

You attract what you give out. If you give out negative vibes, you’ll get negative vibes back. If you want people to smile at you, just smile at them. If you want love, give your love. If you want money, give your money. It will all come back to you in greater amounts than you gave. When you donate to worthwhile causes, you are serving the masses. You serve enough of the masses, you will live with the classes.

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{ 83 comments }

aspkin October 21, 2007 at 10:05 pm

Wow, I really liked that post. It truly makes sense the more people you help, the more you’re rewarded. Nice John, I liked it a lot.

David Wilkinson October 22, 2007 at 12:15 am

Totally. Fantastic blog post, John… It’s a great change from the same old, same old. :)

Michael @ tech October 22, 2007 at 3:19 am

But I reckon that this is nothing new. He sure did mention it before. :lol:

Jonk - Unblock MSN Messenger October 22, 2007 at 1:08 pm

So what, the more he talks about it the better. This is a fantastic concept.

Karthik October 22, 2007 at 4:42 am

Evil genius turning into an innocent angel?! :twisted:

One Buck Wiki October 22, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Nah, just using the Buddist ways for evilness. :evil:

Shaun Carter October 21, 2007 at 10:37 pm

Great topic to post about John. It’s great to know you encourage giving with a post like this and the many fundraising drives you post on this blog. Even though I may not have much personally, I know there are always people out there with less and are in more dire circumstances than I… that’s what motivates me to give.

indyank October 21, 2007 at 10:40 pm

John,
The red fonted flashing ad on the top right of your posts is a real distraction, while reading your posts…it is also not that good for eyes…

maybe you are experimenting with it to find whether it really makes people to click the ad…i will be interested in reading your success/failure with those flashy ads..but my eyes surely don’t like them…not sure about others here…

Ben Barden October 22, 2007 at 12:11 am

I agree. Advertisers could argue that they want their ads to be noticed, but ads that flash on and off very quickly make it very difficult to read the page content. Also, couldn’t that ad potentially trigger an epileptic fit?

Domtan October 21, 2007 at 10:41 pm

Nicely put John. Beneath the evil jokes and posts, the creamy halo raises to the top every now and then.

whydowork October 21, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Great post and a great example to your readers :smile:

Lewis Empire October 21, 2007 at 10:42 pm

Hey John, This is a great extension to your previous posts and the donation to the mission. I knew you weren’t completely evil…(but don’t tell anyone I said that!)

I think it’s great to contribute money to a charitable organization. It’s also important to help by sharing your time as a volunteer. There are many organizations who have enough money to support themselves but they need people to sort food, read to seniors, help with animals and mentor children.

The important thing is that giving back is being talked about these days. On your site, that means at least 11,714 (RSS feed as of today) people will be thinking about it today. Thanks!

Lewis

Blog Contests October 21, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Good post John

Lewis Empire October 21, 2007 at 10:45 pm

OK. I need to know how you rigged the RSS text into a johnchow.com feed link…genius.

How about a post on the topic? RSS

Domtan October 22, 2007 at 8:53 am

It’s a plugin. Search for “Link A Dink” in Google.

constructicle boy October 21, 2007 at 10:47 pm

yes john.this is really true.In the past,I thought that the more i make the better it is.but it is not true.Because in order to make money,you have to give.what you give is what u get.happens to everything around the world even for money making.so this is indeed a great philosophy and article

Nick Sullivan October 21, 2007 at 10:55 pm

Nice post John. Well I don’t totally agree with everything you said in this post, I agree with most.

As for the God judging though, that’s not a factor for me. The idea of God to me is ludicrous to say the least. It’s one of the most farcical, wishful thought beliefs in human history and ever since the genius Charles Darwin explained how we really got to this point, it should of died out. But too many are already brainwashed from the rubbish and most aren’t even aware that it derived from ancient egyptian myths and astrology. No matter how much religion is proved wrong on logic and real world proof, religious people will still blatently deny the truth because they want heaven to exist. How sad that science is treated to badly when it’s provided so much.

Anyway, good luck in the comp! looks like you will easily win unless Shoe does something big, quick.

lyricsreg October 21, 2007 at 11:09 pm

Now that’s a long and useless comment about something you should keep to your self.

Jeremy Steele October 21, 2007 at 11:23 pm

I forgot how the idea the Universe erupted from a giant fart and we evolved from something that crawled out of primordial soup are oh so believable as well.

Nick Sullivan October 22, 2007 at 6:24 pm

Now that’s just a stupid comment.
My comment and disagreement with religion is based on the fact that The Bible derived from ancient egyptian myth and astrology and has been re-written hundreds of times. Also the fact there is no proof in history to support anything in it and the fact historical events have proven it wrong eg. existance of dinasours, which religious people won’t accept either.

But Evolution is heavily supported in the scientific world, has real world proof, is logical, possible and makes sense. More than that, once over. It has proof, plenty of it, you must just be too ignorant to take that into consideration when making such inane comments.

And given that science has helped us survive, cure deases and advance in this world out of that and a big book of moral fairytales… I’d rather believe science.

Jeremy Steele October 22, 2007 at 6:46 pm

You go around calling religious people “brainwashed” and then say my comment is insane? Hah. At least I’m not the one personally attacking people and calling them “brainwashed” and “ignorant”.

Bedroom Furniture October 23, 2007 at 3:01 am

Hey I am an atheist as well and i do not believe in God or religion and so on, but i respect anyone else who does! Just because a person is religious does not make him ignorant? And one more thing: maybe we need more fairy tales in the world!

Etienne Teo October 21, 2007 at 11:02 pm

John is evil evil evil! haha, i guess the angel touch his heart on a sunday so he decided to post a nice story. :wink:

alek October 21, 2007 at 11:06 pm

Great post John – one can be “evil” but still be good … and you seem to be having a fun time doing both.

On a related note (and also charity related), you might enjoy my Controllable Halloween Decorations for Celiac Disease – this is something my kids have, so it’s personal for me.

With help from the HULK (now two of ‘em), Frankenstein, Pumkins, Homer Simpson, and other crazy stuff, over $18,000 raised for University of Maryland with … holiday lights – D’OH! ;-)

BTW, if the “master” has any suggestions to increase the awareness and $$$ for charity, please drop me a note.

A Blog about Nothing October 21, 2007 at 11:17 pm

Great post. Very sound Biblical concepts that God engineered into creation from the beginning. One must give to receive.

BillyWarhol October 21, 2007 at 11:34 pm

Spotted this Great Cause tonight on Profy John*

Hopefully yer Readers can Help out*

;)) :lol:

http://www.profy.com/2007/10/21/litliberation-tech-blogs/

Tim Ferris, a NYT’s Best Selling Author, just launched the largest online literacy and educational experiment every attempted. LitLiberation, in conjunction with DonorsChoose.org and RoomtoRead, have set a goal is to raise $1 million dollars in 30 days via mostly tech blogs.

The Need

Roughly one third of the children in developing countries are not enrolled in a school of any kind. Many districts even here in the U.S. are underfunded and many children are in need of everything from clothes to books. I don’t know about the rest of you, but essentially one third of humanity not receiving at least some type of education is both unacceptable and in my view a recipe for disaster. It is true, the world has so many needs and critical areas for development and answers, but educating young people seems to me to be the best long term cure for many of our ailments.

The Project

LitLiberation is engaging the tech community to raise $1 million dollars to help kids here and abroad by starting what Ferris calls “a scalable education revolution” – making it easy for anyone to fund specific projects in developing countries and in the U.S. As far as I know, this is the first time anyone can sign up and start a fundraiser – compete to raise money – and win world class prizes in the process. As an application of the people empowered Web, fund raising is perhaps the most important action we can all take to affect change and do good.

Peace*

Jonk - Unblock MSN Messenger October 22, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Wow that’s a sensational idea, massive congrats to Ferriss for doing this.

Education is a big key to helping nations climb out of poverty.

Neil Duckett October 22, 2007 at 12:35 am

Nice post John. Also worth noting you don’t need to be super rich to donate, even the smallest of donations can make the difference.

Robert MacEwan October 22, 2007 at 12:30 pm

I had been donating a portion of my salary to a nonprofit until finding out that the administrative staff were being paid well & only sitting around complaining of their boredom. The real workers in the organization appeared to be ignored in this area along with the consumers in need.

What I’m getting at is the difficulty in finding REAL need. Do they really need my assistance or are they poor mouthing to receive funds only to keep it for themselves in the form of salaries and bonuses. I find this extremely distasteful and unethical.

John what are your suggestions on this?

Jonk - Unblock MSN Messenger October 22, 2007 at 1:10 pm

Find a new charity to give to :)

Money Socket October 22, 2007 at 1:18 am

This post shows a lot of character John. I wrote about a similar topic once, I talked about my ultimate goal. Although I have many intermediate and long term goals in life, my ultimate goal is to establish a foundation to help children in need. Hopefully I will have enough invested by the time I start this so that the interest and ROI the foundation earns annually will be enough to do much work. Therefore the foundation can live on long after I’m gone. Call me strange, but I think things like that is what keeps you alive long after you’re physically gone. Great post, we all knew that whole “evil” thing was just for branding purposes :mrgreen:

Making The Money October 22, 2007 at 1:23 am

Yeah but how much do you make? (Joke)
It’s very important to give something back, it’s that whole karma/darma thing.

SEO Optimization October 22, 2007 at 1:57 am

Yeah true, how much do you make John? :P

It is the lifes rule, treat others as you would want to be treated, show respect if you want respect. Great post, hope it wakes up many people.

Mubin October 22, 2007 at 1:43 am

God Bless You John…

Moses Francis October 22, 2007 at 2:14 am

Great post, it’s definitely better to give than to receive :grin:

Michael @ tech October 22, 2007 at 3:22 am

And even better to do both :mrgreen:

WILLIAM WOO October 22, 2007 at 2:20 am

Hi John
I must compliment you on your kindness and generosity to share and give back to the Society. You are the 2nd Great Gurus that I have come across in these last ten days about “Giving” back to the Society. In the recently held “Internet Millionaire Incubator2″ in Singapore, the Millionaire Speaker/Trainer, Mr. John V. Childers has also requested all his students to first donate 10% from their first earnings as Speakers to Charity. One of my Course Instructors, Alvin has spoken highly of you.
I also equally shared the same philosophy; and as per Henry Ford’s saying “Coming together is a begining, staying together is progress, and working together is success”
May God Always Bless You and Your Family.
Best Wishes
WILLIAM WOO

warzone October 22, 2007 at 3:22 am

To me it seems like you are just trying to be a saint. Which is cool and all except its harder to give when what you make is pennies. I guess the moto if to live and let live. Because thats what keeps the world spinning round.

abasits October 22, 2007 at 3:26 am

Very well said, absolutely rite!…
its a give ‘n’ take, you spend on needy people and GOD will spent on you..,
-abs

Raymond October 22, 2007 at 3:32 am

You Make me think of the Law of Attraction, John. Like attracts like.
WYGIWYS. How very true?

Cheers,
Raymond
Law of Attraction Coach

Justin October 22, 2007 at 3:34 am

Nice posty John. It seems that money is the deciding factor with a lot of people starting a blog and then quitting it. They figure that since they see no real incoming cash flow that its not worth sticking with it. I guess people fail to see a long term goal and really think about giving value to their readers rather than cha ching in their pocket.

Bedroom Furniture October 22, 2007 at 3:34 am

I read that post about car condos yesteday and thought to myself what a really really rubbish, worthless way to spend money, and then i read this today; really refreshing!! Proves that a real ive human heart beats in here somewhere!

And without trying to sound all saintly, i agree with Moses Francis that it does feel great to give, it makes you feel all warm and happy and squishy inside and the world even seems a better place suddenly :smile:

Yeremi October 22, 2007 at 3:43 am

Makes sense. People just put the cart ahead of the horse. Find something you can give passionately. Give it passionately. Continue giving it passionately.(Its at this stage that the money comes.)

Michael October 22, 2007 at 3:58 am

Nice post. It isn’t something I would have expected from this blog. How i was wrong.

Clement October 22, 2007 at 5:07 am

Great post! I have never seen you writing like this before. Your post is in line with scripture that says “Blessed is the hand that giveth than the one that receiveth”.Looking forward to your next post.

Lance October 22, 2007 at 7:03 am

great post again John.!!

James October 22, 2007 at 7:09 am

Walmart doesn’t give they sell

Clement October 22, 2007 at 8:20 am

Maybe he should have said that their prices are good for the masses and in so doing they serve the masses.

Chris Jacobson October 22, 2007 at 8:23 am

Wal-Mart donates millions of dollar each year to local charities.

Shaun Carter October 22, 2007 at 9:19 am

Walmart donates about 2% of their annual net profit to non-profit organizations. It works out to less than a half percent of gross profit and less than 1/10% of gross sales.
http://walmartfacts.com/FactSheets/452007_Charitable_Giving.pdf

In the wal-mart I worked at the only donations the store gave were from money raised by customers and associates.

While yes it is great they donate at all, they could do much, much better considering they are one of the most profitable corporations on the planet.

Simon October 22, 2007 at 7:28 am

Great article. Great timing based on the recent digg article on how much techcrunch makes per year. A comment by someone even tossed out a figure on how much you make!
http://digg.com/tech_news/TechCrunch_makes_240K_Per_Month?t=10021249#c10021249

Home Recording October 22, 2007 at 7:33 am

Since I could not agree more, let me simply say, a wonderful article. A timely reminder too. Thanks.

liciece October 22, 2007 at 7:40 am

I have to say that this is the article that I like best in your blog.

JCYL October 22, 2007 at 7:52 am

excellent post mr chow! :smile:

great008 October 22, 2007 at 7:59 am

Great post John. We definitely attract into this world what we imagine. Keep up the good work.

squaretan October 22, 2007 at 8:15 am

Nice post! very touching and sweet of John Chow. The soft side of John Chow! :twisted: :twisted:

Domtan October 22, 2007 at 8:16 am

John,

this was one of the insightful post in recent times. If posts like these doesn’t up your RSS, nothing will!

Tom October 22, 2007 at 8:20 am

Rich people always say that! :twisted:

Kenneth October 22, 2007 at 9:17 am

Well said John, nice to know you are one of the good guys. Many people spend the majority of their time thinking about what they don’t have instead of what they do have. Practice the art of being happy and guess what… You will be.

Chad October 22, 2007 at 9:39 am

This is the best post I have seen on your blog. Most internet marketing types are making plenty of money and could really be donating to some great causes and making a different. There’s a lot more to life than just accumulating wealth for your own gain. Giving some back is where it’s at!

Q at $1 Million to My Name October 22, 2007 at 9:44 am

I work for a great not-for-profit — contact me if you want to help the most defenseless babies in the world

Bujes October 22, 2007 at 9:58 am

I don’t agree with you. It is important to take care for your family and friends, but I can’t give away money, because I don’t have money. You need to take care for yourself, than you can take care for another people.

But if you have too much money, of course it is nice to give it away.

Rudy October 22, 2007 at 11:03 am

It’s sort of a “reverse psychology”, Bujes. You won’t know how much you get until you start giving it away. Religous and non-religious people have all attest to this. Maybe it has something to do with feeling good when giving, and the happiness you bring to other people’s lives.
Also, when it’s a percentage, no matter how much money you have, you will still have some reserved for yourself. I also means adjusting your lifestyle, and knowing what’s more important for you.

welcometomyisland October 22, 2007 at 8:04 pm

It is important to take care of your family, I do agree with you there.

But I think no matter how much money you have, you can always take care of other people. How you manage $50 dollars can be a reflection of how you would manage $50,000. At what point can you give money? How much money does it take to feel comfortable enough to give money away? There is always one person making $12,000 a year that thinks they can’t afford to help someone else out. Then there is also always one person making $60,000 a year that thinks they can’t afford to help someone else out. How much money does it require to be able to give every now and then? It doesn’t matter if you can’t give much, the point is, you are giving.

I think there are very, very few people out there that think they have “too much money.”

Teddy Wong October 22, 2007 at 10:41 am

Exactly, I remember T. Harv Eker, who is the author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, also said one of the similar points.

Marguerite Jasmin October 22, 2007 at 10:45 am

The best post I’ve read on Johnchow.com , so far.

Jimson Lee October 22, 2007 at 10:57 am

Hi John,
I’ve been reading your blog since May 2007 and I have to admit this is by far the most insightful post I’ve read.
As a Track & Field Coach, I spend hundreds of volunteer hours every year (and you know the weather in North Van & Burnaby Mtn is not the warmest or driest) helping young kids stay off the streets and excel in sports. Winning a medal at track meets is just bonus, IMHO.
Thanks, and keep up the good “work”!

Chris - IncomeMark October 22, 2007 at 11:56 am

Yea, I am the same way. I now give 10% of my net earnings to American Red Cross, World Wildlife Foundation, and Greenpeace at the end of the year. Imagine if everyone did the same. :) :) :)

James Wilcox October 22, 2007 at 12:06 pm

These are the same principles you find in Robert Kiyosaki’s teachings as well as the infamous “the Secret”, but John is right. You can’t really appreciate all the things you might accumulate if you don’t first understand that you couldn’t get there were it not for “the masses”. That is, all those people that clicked on your ads or subscribed to your feeds or listened to your podcasts and as a result brought money to you.
I’m not rich yet by any means but I give every chance I get. $15 here, $20 there…it really does make a difference and it makes you feel better knowing you are helping your fellow human beings out…it reminds you that you are part of a global community and not just isolated in your part of the world.

Steve Tylock October 22, 2007 at 12:27 pm

This is part of the beginnings of the next economic revolution – “Give First Economics”.

David Lithman October 22, 2007 at 12:36 pm

It’s all about Kharma.

randy bragg October 22, 2007 at 1:07 pm

Nice to see you have a heart John, If you are looking for the next donation I have one that is worthy, my church is planning a trip to the Congo to help a school that needs tables, chairs, school books, and a playground. Have to say John you have my attention, the love for your family and for others shows me more than someone looking for RSS readers. Good luck and God bless…

Hugo Santos October 22, 2007 at 1:09 pm

I praize you for your gnerosity. sometimes who gives some has not much to give because they have few possibilitys, and who can give more does not give anything… i say again good gesture

Mike October 22, 2007 at 4:42 pm

It’s true. At least you have your priorities sorted out and aren’t just money grabbing. There are plenty of people out there that are making heaps of money and not giving any of it to charities or other worth causes.

For this I applaud you.

Mike

Chun Ei October 22, 2007 at 7:11 pm

You are so kind and generous…Ya that’s true from what Mike said. Not many wealthy peoples out there are willing to donate to charity. Keep up the good work John! We all are supporting you… :)

Dan October 22, 2007 at 7:40 pm

OMG, lots of comments here, really a good post, thanks for info John :mrgreen:

Joe October 22, 2007 at 8:00 pm

nice, John on ethics I like the change…

Dandruff October 22, 2007 at 9:24 pm

Rocking Post !!
‘My first responsibility to my wife and family. After they’re taken care of, I feel we have a duty to help others in need’ .
I really appreciate that you have been enriched with such good thoughts.

indyank October 23, 2007 at 12:45 am

Oh you thought that he is only enriched now…he can be evil in making money but when it comes to family, john always seemed to be good towards them…is this because of his asian origin?

Lincoln October 23, 2007 at 11:05 pm

This is the best post I’ve seen so far by John. :mrgreen: One thing probloggers never seem to emphasize is being good stewards of what God gives us. In the end He alone gives us power to gain wealth, and to borrow a Spider-man phrase, with great power comes great responsibility. :cool:

Tyler Cruz October 31, 2007 at 11:34 am

I’m just testing something, which is why I’m commenting on an old post.

(www.johnchow.com)
(http://www.johnchow.com)
http://www.johnchow.com
johnchow.com
http://www.johnchow.com

Tyler Cruz October 31, 2007 at 11:35 am

I’m just testing something, which is why I’m commenting on an old post.

(www.johnchow.com)
(http://www.johnchow.com)

Tyler Cruz October 31, 2007 at 11:36 am

And just one more: http://www.johnchow.com

Sorry for the disturbance. I was just trying to figure out why Wordpress wasn’t linking some comments, but if the above URL works, then it’s because of how it parses…