Pay It Forward

By John Teng

Giving back isn’t just a nice sentiment; it is essential to life. It has been proven that the more we give, the more we get back. This is true in every area of our lives, including business. In order to achieve our dreams, it is vital that we learn to give back to others. Find ways to contribute to others’ lives in a tangible and meaningful way. This means different things to different people

Giving Your Time

As you grow in your business, do not forget to invest in others’ dreams as well. Give your time in helping others fulfill their own dreams. Become a mentor to another entrepreneur. Or if you have a special skill, share it with someone. Sometimes the most important thing we can give is our time. In a world where no one has the time to get it all done, finding some to give away can be a precious gift.

Giving Your Energy

Energy is not always easy to give away –especially when you are exhausted! But, it is an important thing to share. Doing something tangible to help someone is one way to use your energy to benefit the community. Volunteer at a soup kitchen; clean a park; help clean out an elderly person’s garage.

Get the people in your office to pitch in and find a project to work on together. It will help foster relationships within the office as well as give you all a way to pay it forward.

Whether you find things to do as an individual; a family; or business, look for ways to use your energies to benefit others.

Giving Your Resources

It is easy to write a check to local charities or organizations that you feel passionate about. But have you considered ways in which you can use your resources in a more tangible way? Maybe you have some empty warehouse space that a local group could use? When the economy tightened, one businessman found himself with several empty warehouses. He reached out to a local food pantry and sure enough they needed extra space to store incoming donations. Suddenly those warehouses were being used for a good cause.

Another thing to consider: you talents. Are you a dentist that can offer a free clinic once a month? Or maybe you are physical therapist who can donate one afternoon a month to work with elderly stroke victims at no charge.

Think about all of the different resources you have both personally and in your business, and find ways to share them. There is a lot of need out there and if people like you and me would just take a little time to think of ways to share our own resources, many of those needs could be filled.

Take time on a regular basis to look for ways to serve others. In business that may mean helping a struggling employee find a ride to work. Or helping a young student to get an internship to learn the business. Or maybe it means using some of the resources your company has available to make someone else’s life easier.

When service is a commitment made by your entire company, the benefits are great. Paying it forward has a unique way of coming right back at you, often giving you a competitive edge. But be real about it. If you are not authentic, your business will not thrive. But if you serve with authentic enthusiasm and real passion, then you will soon discover that you get more than you could ever give.

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