The Miser and His Gold, Or Why You Need To Give Your Ideas Away To Build Your Professional Network

Greg Roche
9 min readJun 21, 2020
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Once upon a time, there was a Miser who used to hide his gold at the foot of a tree in his garden; but every week he used to go and dig it up and gloat over his gains. A robber, who had noticed this, went and dug up the gold and decamped with it. When the Miser next came to gloat over his treasures, he found nothing but the empty hole. He tore his hair and raised such an outcry that all the neighbors came around him, and he told them how he used to come and visit his gold. “Did you ever take any of it out?” asked one of them.

“Nay,” said he, “I only came to look at it.”

“Then come again and look at the hole,” said a neighbor; “it will do you just as much good.”

Wealth unused might as well not exist.

When I work with people to help them improve their networks, I often hear them tell me they don’t like to network because they hate asking for help from other people. They feel like they are taking advantage of other people or inconveniencing them.

In many cases, when people are networking, they are asking someone to help them find a new job. They envision themselves asking people in their network to give their resume to someone or to introduce them to the person who is making the final hiring decision.

They are hesitant to ask for help because they put themselves in the other person’s shoes and know if someone was asking for their help, they would feel uncomfortable, even burdened by the ask.

When someone asks us to do something for them, it can often feel like we are doing all the work for them. We resent being asked to do one more thing. We feel taken advantage of. We find excuses not to help them.

When we need help we remember that feeling and don’t want to saddle people with our problems.


When someone asks you for help, who are you more likely to help? Someone who has helped you in the past or someone who hasn’t?

Greg Roche

I teach introverts to be better networkers. Get my networking tips every Saturday at