Entrepreneurs Give Back: Why We Got Into Business In the First Place
This blog is like an onion; it’s designed to make you cry, but not in a finger-slammed-in-the-car-door kind of way.
This blog is meant to inspire those feel-good tears that happen when your dog comes home after getting lost in the woods.
OK, maybe this blog won’t go that far, but I want to discuss something very personal to all of us: why we all got into business in the first place.
If you’re anything like me, you wanted to make a positive impact in some form or another. You wanted to use your respective talent to improve other peoples’ lives. Am I on the right track here?
I’m of the opinion that we’ve got a responsibility to all of our clients. But the question is, how far do our responsibilities as entrepreneurs stretch?
My point: I’d like to give back to the community.
And I’m not talking about Internet Marketing and SEO; I’m talking about spending time and resources helping others offline. (Yes, I find it hard to believe, but there’s a whole world out there beyond the Internet. Are there cat memes and hilarious YouTube videos in the Redwood Forests?)
Recently, the Mouse and Man team joined our client Squeegee Pros to wash some windows. We wrote a blog about said experience. The team headed down to the Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte to make the place squeaky clean…
No thought of reward.
No monetary compensation.
The Squeegee Pros team was paid in feel-goods, and we were happy to help with the social media campaign that supported the event. But here’s the big question at hand: how do entrepreneurs become bleeding heart do-gooders?
One really good example is Fiberon Decking, online casino a company we’ve been working with for a while. In fact, the composite decking company is matching donations that people make to a list of charities longer than my forearm.
Think I’m kidding? Here’s the list of charities:
UNICEF, the Boot Campaign, the American Humane Society, Music for Relief, Haiti h2o, Curer JM, the American Cancer Society, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Artists for Peace and Justice, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Autism Speaks, the Ronald McDonald House, March of Dimes, the Pat Tillman Foundation, and Research Down Syndrome.
My reaction to Fiberon’s massive do-good undertaking?
Holy crap. How does Mouse and Man do something as mind-shreddingly awesome as that?
I think the key is to start small. When it comes to an entrepreneur’s guide to giving back, it’s best to start with your talents. And it doesn’t have to be money that you give; it can be time and elbow grease.
Start with helping the elderly lady across the street clear her gutters. Play Monopoly with nursing home residents. Be the freaking nicest person you can be to everyone you encounter. I think that’s a good start.
Plus, when you’re an entrepreneur, there are people who look up to you. And when you give time, when you take action for the greater good, that’s when others will follow your example.
I’d love to know how you give back to your communities. What do you and your business do to spread kindness in a world that’s so desperate for it? Tell me how you’re a bleeding hear do-gooder in the comments below. I just may follow your example.