Generosity is a principle that is often lost in today’s fast-paced, divided, selfish, dog-eat-dog world. Stories on the news often leave us wary and skeptical of scammers and thieves, while we might hear friends tell tales of being taken advantage of after they’ve given and given.
It honestly breaks my heart when I hear stories like this, and while I’ve fallen victim to it myself, it won’t stop me from giving.
I believe that whatever I give away will always be returned to me. I believe in paying forward, paying for value, and giving to those less fortunate. Do you?
How do business owners adopt a generosity value, shift their perspective toward giving, or implement better charitable habits within their team? We have a challenge for you.
Here are 6 ways to up your generosity game…
Everything we do takes time. Sleep, Relationships, Households, Parenting, Workouts, Meals, Working and Business - everything.
So, you can imagine where we spend our time is a direct reflection on what our priorities are or what we value. In that respect, the time we spend can be generously given not only to charities, but to family members, friends or partnerships, to work and business relationships, or even to projects that will impact those around you.
Maybe there is a young person or new entrepreneur in your industry who could use mentoring. Maybe your grandmother would value a special visit. Or perhaps a co-worker or team member needs a lunch or coffee date.
Can you imagine how spending time with people could change our world?
Challenge: Carve out 30-60 minutes each week to invest in a meaningful relationship or project, or to connect with someone to show them you care.
This one may be obvious, but financial generosity can be one of the easiest ways to impact a life or community. In my work and home I’ve found that as much as I can give, it always comes back to me. Some may call it karma, but I was raised on the principle that you can never out-give God.
Whether it is to a non-profit doing good in the world, or it’s a friend or family member in need, watching how much of a difference an investment can make in someone or something we care about can ultimately impact you, too.
In business, this also means paying people what they are worth and the value they bring, giving raises or bonuses when appropriate, and doing the right thing even when it means giving a refund or a discount.
Challenge 1 (personal): Review your budget carefully and see where there is overlap. Even $10 each month can be invested in an organization that is doing something good for others.
Challenge 2 (business): Take a look at what you’re paying people on your team and carefully consider if they need to earn more based off of the work they do for you.
The people in our lives crave connection, whether they are introverts or extraverts. When we notice an opportunity to solve a problem or fill a need by connecting our partners, clients or friends with someone who can help them, we become a resource and we can build greater trust.
For businesses, this looks like sharing your team, partners or your network freely with clients or associates.
But be warned, before just throwing out a name and contact card it’s wise to be certain you know the quality and integrity of the person you’re referring. Your referral is a reflection on you, too.
Challenge: Become a connector. The next time you’re having a meal or coffee with someone, listen for opportunities to share a contact that can support or fill a need.
What you know is valuable and yes, that is usually why we get paid to do what we do. But sometimes there is opportunity to be generous with our knowledge and share our experience or expertise without being compensated for it.
Only you can determine how much is appropriate to share, but I’ve found that offering free input can establish credibility and trust, which establishes the foundation of your reputation and can also forge strong relationships.
(It can also help you determine if the person you’re being generous with is trustworthy and generous, too and whether they should be part of your life or business.)
Challenge: Watch for an opportunity to share what you know with a group or a person who needs what you have to offer.
Being generous doesn’t stop or end with monetary compensation or gifts. There is value in recognizing and remembering others and being kind. Birthdays and anniversaries, whether private or business-related, have meaningful significance and everyone likes to be remembered.
Challenge: Start keeping birthdays and anniversaries on your calendar and when a special day comes up, send a note to show that person they are remembered.
A simple ‘thank you’ is often enough to recognize another who has given, served, referred or connected you. Sending a hand-written thank you card, or a no-strings-attached referral bonus for work you closed based on a connection they gave you can go a long way in establishing trust and showing genuine appreciation.
Challenge: Set aside 15-30 minutes each week to sit down and send a thank you card to someone you have connected with.
One Final Challenge…
The thing about generosity is that it has ripple effects. When you pay it forward, it isn’t just the person on the direct receiving end that is impacted. Your gift will be paid forward to, in one way or many, and you are affected, too.
Let me encourage you to take an inventory of the family, friends, community, and important partnerships you have in your life and consider where you can up the game in any of these areas. You won’t just be touching the lives of those around you, you’ll be increasing your own gratitude, not to mention improving your health and your life in general as well.
What do you have to lose?
To giving generously,
2019 Articles from Jamie:
- How To Self-Start When Motivation Is Low [January]
- 4 Team Building Areas Solopreneurs Need to Understand [February]
- Small Business Communication: What Every Entrepreneur Should Keep in Mind When Communicating [March]
- Always Remember Your Why, Entrepreneur [April]
- 40 Self-Care Ideas To Keep You Balanced [May]
- The Impact of Branding (it's not just about a logo) [June]
- The Customer Experience: What Good Customer Service Really Looks Like [July]
- Small Business Organization: Where Should An Entrepreneur Start? [August]
- Business Planning Happens in Various Ways [September]
- Having High Standards in Business Starts With People [October]
- Are You a Giver? 6 Ways to Up Your Generosity Game [November]
- How Personal Priorities Impact Your Entrepreneurial Life [December]