The Franklin Effect and The Law of Reciprocity


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My wife has a lot of friends. More friends than anyone else I know. I find it counterintuitive because she seems to demand a lot from her friends in the form of favors. But, she always reciprocates, meaning, it’s never one-sided. What amazes me the most is that my wife will ask someone she just met for a favor right out the gate and, of course, eventually reciprocate.  

These two habits my wife has forged have long intrigued me. I didn’t understand how or why they helped her in building strong relationships until I embarked on my obsessive study of daily habits many years ago. There are actually two psychological phenomenons at play, I discovered.

The Franklin Effect

The Franklin Effect is named after one of the most famous founding fathers in America –  Benjamin Franklin, who used it as a relationship-building tool. It has now become an accepted method for building strong relationships. Here’s how it works:

If you want to get someone to like you, either ask them for a small favor or perform a small favor for them. 

For some strange reason, human beings like doing small favors for each other. 

The Law of Reciprocity

The Law of Reciprocity states the following:

If you do a small favor for someone they will feel obligated to reciprocate.

The rich people in my Rich Habits study all seemed to have one thing in common – they had a lot of relationships. 88% had 200 or more relationships. Conversely, 95% of the poor people in my study had less than 200 relationships. When I dug deep into the reasons for this dichotomy, that’s when I discovered that the rich people in my study were using the Franklin Effect and the Law of Reciprocity for relationship building. As a result, these two tools became part of my arsenal of Rich Habits, which I obsessively write, talk about with the media and teach to millions around the world.

My wife, without knowing it, was employing both tools to build her enormous number of relationships. And many of the wealthy in my study, like my wife, were completely oblivious to their use of these two relationship-building tools. My wife had picked up these tools from her Dad and then turned them into lifelong habits. This is not uncommon. Most of the habits the wealthy had forged in life came from their parents as well.

Less than 5% are raised in families where parents teach their kids the Rich Habits. We are most definitely not all on equal footing when we step foot onto the adult stage. Those who have the Rich Habits have at their disposal certain habits or tools, like the Franklin Effect and the Law of Reciprocity, thanks mostly to their parents. This enables them to cut through their competition, like a hot knife through butter, accumulating millions of dollars along the way.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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