Service To Others Is the Rent You Pay…

Muhammad Ali quote

Muhammad Ali died yesterday (June 3rd) at the age of 74 and I felt I had to do a post about the quote that I’ve been featuring in the bottom right corner of this blog ever since I made the first post here 3 years ago.

The quote – “Service to others is the rent you pay for the room here on earth” –  was first mentioned in a Time magazine article in 1978 and is usually said to be one of Muhammad Ali’s best quotes.

It is my favorite quote by anyone because I can identify with what he’s actually saying.

Naturally, I love to help people, not just online but in my everyday life. It gives me a sense of fulfillment and purpose whenever I can make a difference to someone.

My interpretation of the quote is that you can make life so much meaningful and worth living by helping others enjoy life and solving their problems instead of being selfish and caring only about what you want.

What Does this Have to do with Affiliate Marketing?

The reason I keep this quote on my website is to constantly remind me that “service” comes before “being served”.

Like how we say that you have to give in order to receive.

Affiliate marketers are not here to make sales. That is the job of the merchant or sales page that we’re sending our visitors off to.

The job of an affiliate marketer is to help visitors solve their problems. That is our “service to others”. This comes first before we can be rewarded.

When someone searches for a review, for example, I have to give them an honest review that helps them make a buying decision.

Being dishonest and recommending something that you know is a scam just so that you can earn a commission is not service. It’s selfish and the outcome is usually a damaged reputation and a short termed income.

Another way I give service is to personally  and punctually answer all comments and emails that I get on my websites. This further helps people to understand the content and finalize their buying decisions. My reward is a boost in trusts and even in search engine visibility.

You’re greatly rewarded when you perform “service to others” so this is why this quote means so much to me not just in my personal life but as an affiliate marketer.

R.I.P. Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was the greatest boxer and a cultural icon and he will be missed by everyone.

His service to me was this helpful quote that he left behind. May he rest in eternal peace.

What does this quote mean to you and how do you think it applies to marketing? Do you have a favorite Ali quote or a favorite quote that you apply to marketing? Comment below.


  1. Rest in piece to the great Muhammad Ali. Float like a butterfly sting like a bee! Its great that you have a why behind what you are doing within the Affiliate Marketing world. Its all about helping others to get what they want by giving them the quality information they need to make very import purchasing decisions in there life. Great article!

    • Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee!

      That’s actually the very first quote I know from Ali when I was a little boy. Might be his most famous.

      Its always good to have a “why” behind your affiliate marketing. I think this might be a “how” though since I can think of a bigger “why” that spurs me on everyday. This quote applies to everyone and not everyone is going to have the same “why”.

  2. Love the quote, never heard of this quote before. Didn’t really know what it meant at first but like your interpretation of it.
    I think the best way is to help others in life. It makes me so much happier than just thinking of myself.
    Really true when building my online business, enjoy helping other people solve their problems. And in turn this is what makes more money because you are genuinely helping people, which then people will trust you more, and buy from you. Rather than selling them a scam, you will never see customers again!
    Thanks for the information

    • I’m glad you love the quote. I wish more people would apply it to their online businesses.

      Even the gurus need to reminded that they shouldn’t think only of themselves when they sell their products. I think this concept is why Kyle and Carson are so successful with Wealthy Affiliate because they are truly servicing others with all they have to offer .

  3. Great Quote! And i must admit i have never heard it, till i read your post. But it makes so much sense. I personally believe the only way you succeed in business and life is by providing a service to someone. I worked for sometime as a business consultant, and i seen those people who are there ‘just for the money’ do not really make it far, if they do they fall… And then it takes them ‘a big wake up call’ to realise that they chased the wrong things. But it is life. We should not judge people. I personally admire people who have a dream, and go for it and who want to make a world a better place.
    My favourite quote is ‘He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.’ Can you relate to that?

    • That is a great quote Joana. I love it.

      It’s like being afraid to skip the stones across a stream because you’re afraid that you’ll fall into the water. You’ll never get to the other side with that attitude.

      There are so many ways in which I can relate to that quote. Personally, I know of one risk that I’m afraid to take right now that I should be taking and the result is that I’m not getting anywhere with what I want to do. So it’s very true. But that is just a small area of my life that’s affected. I know of plenty risks I took and ended up accomplishing things I wanted to accomplish so I can truly relate.

      I’m glad that you like the quote. People who just chase the money don’t even realize how much more they would have if they tried helping others instead.

  4. Hello,

    This is a really meaningful quote. Unfortunately many people (the vast majority actually) are doing work just for the money. They will never achieve anything good in life. They fail to understand that the real joy is in your journey, not in where it ends…

    Keep up the good work!

  5. Rest.In.Peace. Muhammad Ali

    This is incredible quote from such an extremely humble individual. Also, a far and away superior quote to motivate what you appreciate accomplishing for others. Some times when I am keeping in touch with help other people I overlook what it is I’m doing it until in the wake of understanding this quote Thank you for the awesome tribute to such an incredible individual.

    Yours Truly,


  6. I couldn’t agree more on what affiliate marketing is all about. Serving others depending on research and personal experience. the quote by M.A. should be adopted universally by the marketing industry. Anyways for me the best way to sell is when you’re giving an honest review about a product or a service clearly showcasing the goods and the bads.

    • You’re right. More people should take this quote into account when they do their marketing. The internet would be a better place and people wouldn’t be so afraid to get scammed or mislead when they come online to research something.

  7. Great quote from someone who certainly left his mark on the world. Even Jesus Christ became a servant, actually the ultimate one, but the service of others has a huge positive impact on both the served and the server, it is odd that more people don’t follow that advice! What will people remember us by after we are gone? A giving, generous person who was always willing to help or as someone who was wrapped up in self? I pray the former!!

    • “What will people remember us by after we are gone?”

      That’s a good question to ponder. Certainly if we follow the advice given in this quote we won’t have to worry too much about that. Another person I can think about other than Jesus is Mother Theresa. She was a servant and nothing was more important to her than touching peoples lives.

  8. This was a very interesting article to read, and it actually hit home. I like the fact that you used Mohammad Ali’s quote and based it on your affiliate marketing career.

    I also liked the fact that you mentioned the quote in terms that you like helping other people so you can have a life of purpose and fulfillment. About the hitting home part, I also like helping other people and let me tell you, there is no better feeling!

    Anyways back to the he affiliate marketing and the quote, it is so true that affiliate marketing is all about helping people find what they want, especially if it is something that has the potential to change lives. Yes, yes its about making money also, but thats only one part of the equation.

    If I help people with something I am PASSIONATE about, I feel so fulfilled and happy on the inside. I don’t know how people could scam other people, they don’t realize that they are going to make REAL money.

    Jay Gumbs this was a great article, there is literally nothing I found wrong with it. Keep helping others in life!:)

    Best and your success,


    • Thanks Omar.

      The making money part of the equation in affiliate marketing should not be anyone’s main goal. It should just be a side effect of the real goal – helping people find what they’re looking for. You do that and the money will surely follow.

  9. Very timely article. Although Ali was in his old age and it was a matter of time, I was pretty sad when I heard the news. He really was the GOAT. And his life struggles has shown the world of what hard work and dedication can do. Even with the fame and glory, he never forgot to give back. Truly a legend. R.I.P Mr. Ali

    • I agree. He’s someone you can look up to and model yourself after if you want to be successful.

  10. Muhammad Ali was known as an inspiring, controversial and polarizing figure both inside and outside the boxing ring. He will be missed by all. Like, Steve Jobbs once said, “if you have come to this world give a dent to this world before living.” Ali has given so many dents that would remain in this world for years.
    R.I.P Muhammad Ali

  11. Original quote is by Wilfred Grenfell (born in the 1800s), and is: “The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not ‘to have and to hold’ but ‘to give and serve.’ There can be no other meaning.”

    • This is great info. I did wonder if there was an earlier source but didn’t know where to look. Still the derivative quote in it’s present form is much simpler and popularized by the great Muhammad Ali. It’s good to know where he got it from.

      Thanks for sharing.

  12. That quote is not original with Ali. It was first written by Marian Wright Edelman. Someone on the internet falsely connected it with Ali years ago and it took off.

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