Rule# 67: Do Good by Doing Good
This is an unusual rule and blog posting because unlike my other posts it has been inspired by questions that I am struggling with more than answers to life challenges. So this rule may be redefined over time, and you may be big part how it it’s defined.
I have found if you strive in life to accumulate possessions, the pursuit rapidly becomes shallow and empty.
Don’t get me wrong I like things. Cars, motorcycles, homes, vacations…conspicuous consumption has never been a challenge for me. And I like money.
There’s a line in the movie ” The Wedding Singer” that defines my thoughts on money….”I’m a big fan of money. I like it, I use it, I have a little. I keep it in a jar on top of my refrigerator. I’d like to put more in that jar. ..”
But although I’m definitely a fan of money, I found it disappointing in providing happiness. Its sort of like being an fan of the Philadelphia Eagles, short moments of happiness at wins, followed by long periods of sadness.
What I have learned that when you spread money around by investment into charities and businesses the returns are felt in sustainable happiness. Wealth, true wealth comes from creation of good things – it is much easier and far more rewarding to get rich while engaged in good things than just engaging.
I think its important that you begin the habit of tying your work in helping others as soon as you possibly can- tiding both your time and money to project in the service of others is a habit worth developing.
Yes, it can be tied to church, because good churches are great at identifying those with needs and connecting them with people with ability. But, it can be as simple as picking up a extra couple of can goods for a food bank with your weekly shopping- being engaged in the process of giving gives your life purpose
And it builds you financial wealth. And I’m talking about real bottom-line dollars, not just good feeling and warm glows of happiness.
It builds wealth because companies with good purposes attract good people who want more than a job, they want to be with a company that is trying to do something special. A good committed team will make you rich.
Good attracts Good.
In a cynical world good people find “good works” attractive and want to be near people that do them. It builds trust, and trust yields better business relationship and ultimately makes your more money. Doing good work is good for business.
Bobbi and I have strived to select one or two charities a year to help through our own efforts and the efforts of our companies. We have found having this philosophy have attracted other investors/ partners whom share this same desire to do something meaningful with the work of the company. It attracts customers and quickly builds trust with the company as we are established as a positive company.
I’ve struggled with the concept doing this charity work while knowing it was making us more successful- Its sort of using charity work to build a positive brand. I’m not sure if it makes what we do less worthy, because we do it knowing it will help our businesses.
It is not a quid pro quo thing, but rather a understanding of the idea of positive actions produce positive results. It isn’t an expectation of re-payment but more the idea that positive Karma is good business.
The best advice in business I ever received was when I was 22 and working for Gerry Stafford at Hanover. He has in his 60’s and ending his career, and is advice was:
” show up on time, do what your suppose to do, be happy about it and try to make people you work with feel happy about working with you”
Not rock science, but its simplicity is overlooked by many people, the idea of being happy doing what your doing is the key success.
Doing good things for others when you are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with a particular project clears your mind and often leads you to a see a solution you have never seen before. The clarity of thought that comes to you while engaged in working on someone else’s problem is amazing. Solution appear where you never expected them to be, while engaged in entirely unrelated activity.
Nothing kills your chances in business as much as being a victim or being consumed by your own business difficulties. It creates a negative energy, that while it may attract attention, it is all the wrong type of attention. Positive focus on other people’s problems is the solution to breaking the cycle of negativity. Charitable works connected directly to business success is a powerful way of breaking the negativity- and making your business career much more positive.
You will encounter challenges to your efforts as other see hidden motivation or negative in the good things that you try to do. And occasionally people that you are trying to help will disappoint you by not using the money as you had intended or act as if you efforts are all only self serving.
I encountered one challenge yesterday with the Kickstarter project I have connected to this blog which was designed use a book to help raise money for Autism advocacy and research. I initially proposed using Autism Speaks, one of the largest national Autism focused charities.
Unfortunately I’ve learned from several emails that Autism Speaks may have strayed from its original purpose and may be pursuing projects which have much more negative aspects than positive ones. I’m not sure if these allegations are real or not, but a minimum they are troubling.
I’ve decided to not focus on the negative energy but to focus on the positive experience of using a blog to develop a book to help raise money for an important cause. And open up the discussion to you my readers for advice as to which Autism Charities have the best positive energy. I’m not excluding Autism Speaks, but rather looking for positive experiences with them or other organizations.
Matthew ( my son) has done some initial research that pointed to Doug Flutie’s charity based in New England- its small but seems to have great ratings. He’s continuing to give me good p0stive suggestions.
I’m asking for that positive guidance from you in the form of emails or comments. I promise I will listen and use the information to guide us to the right charity. I know many of you can share negative stories about Autism Speaks, but I can find all that negative information on a simple Google search. What I need is to understand who’s doing it right, in the right way.
Help me to make this rule better defined by your approach and your comments. I appreciate all you interest, and promised to keep focused on the positive.