How to Create Good Business Karma

I define Business Karma as creating good energy around your business: do good, make good.

Now, there is plenty of conversation about creating good Business Karma through social programs and employee relations. Ways you give back, treat your employees, and take care of your customers are all incredibly important, and that cannot be understated.

But today, I want to focus on one change that will improve your Business Karma: having and using a referral network.

Chances are you’re not always going to be the right fit for a job, press opportunity, or speaking engagement. And for those of you who are balling in your business (congrats, by the way), there may be opportunities you just have to say “no” to.

But chances are also that you know someone who is a great fit for any business you have to turn away. NEVER (ever) miss an opportunity to share the love.

Here’s an example:

A few months ago I emailed a graphic designer I thought would be a great fit for a client. Here was her short and sweet response:

Thanks so much for the kind words.
I am currently booked through the end of the year and not taking on new clients.
I am focusing on building my personal portfolio, and not looking for new partnerships.


To her credit this was short, sweet and to the point. And, hey – it was a response rather than silence. But I’ll be honest (and this may be due a little to my own ego), her original email left me a bit put off. I read it: “Thanks for being a fan of my work, I have no interest in helping you.”

I get it; she is busy. But in the midst of the straightforward communication, I just wanted her to tack on:

Here are a few links of other designers that may be a fit for your opportunity.



Here’s the jam: If you’re not the person to take on someone’s job, help them get a little closer to where they want to go. It’s like leaving a place better than you found it. And if someone comes to you holding a wad of cash, wanting to give you work you can’t take – POINT THAT OPPORTUNITY TO SOMEONE YOU KNOW.

Of course, potential clients I wouldn’t wish on any one have approached me. So if you’re already feeling like the request is a little wonky, you can always refer them to organizations like PRSA (for publicist), AIGA (designers), Etsy or Custom Made (for craftsmen) – places where they may be able to search and find the resource that may be the perfect fit.

Lifting up your network and helping them succeed is good business Karma. Do it, and I promise good things will come back to you!

How To'sNicole Delger