It’s that time of the year where CPAs and accountants sit with their clients and say, “Hey, Mr. and Mrs. Entrepreneur, you should consider giving some money back to charity because it benefits you when it comes down to taxes.” As much as you want to give to charity because it can benefit you tax wise, today I want to share with you other reasons why you should give back to the community as an entrepreneur.
First, there are two ways you give back to the community. One is money, one is your time.
Why Give Back to The Community as an Entrepreneur
So why should you consider giving back to the community? There's really very simple five points, on why as an entrepreneur you should give back to the community.
In my opinion, the most important reason to give back to the community as an entrepreneur, is the law of reciprocity. I truly believe that the more you give, the more you get in return. This isn’t giving with the expectation that you’ll receive. I just feel that good things happen to me, the more I give.
I don’t know how I’ll get the thing in return. Maybe someday someone's going to do something for my son, my daughter, my family, somebody close to me that is going to benefit me, but I believe in the law of reciprocity.
The second benefit of giving is that every time I participate in giving back to the community, I build so many new relationships.
#3: Learn New Skills
Another part of giving back to charity is that when you do, you learn new skills.
The fourth thing that happens when you give back to the community is that it changes your heart.
It’s hard for me to put this one in words. But when you give, your heart goes in the mode of giving back, and it becomes more gentle. It gets you in the mode of understanding everybody else’s position in a different way.
The fifth point is simple. Self Esteem. You feel like you're making a difference. It keeps you grounded. You feel like the world needs you. You realize how incredible of a life you have as an entrepreneur.
How to Give Back to the Community as an Entrepreneur
Now, the question that a lot of people ask is, "Pat, how do I give back? What do I do?"
Here are 11 ways to give back to the community as an entrepreneur.
But First. . . Don't Lend Money to Friends and Family
Earlier today I was having a conversation over lunch, where I was asked, "Hey, what do you do when your family starts asking you for all this money, and they want to borrow money and all this other stuff?"
I said, "I don't believe in lending money to people, especially friends and family. Because I believe it's the fastest way to create an enemy.”
If you lend money, they love you, but it’s guaranteed that they’re most likely going to come back and later on do what? Ask you for more money. At some point, you have to say no. And then they won’t be happy.
Second, if you loan money to friends and family, they typically start avoiding you at family gatherings, and you feel uncomfortable, like you’re a bill collector.
So I like to give money. Let me explain to you what I mean by this.
If somebody asks me, "Pat, can you lend me $5,000?" I'll generally say, "No, I won't lend you $5,000, but I'll give you $300. You don't ever have to give it back." So, they don't like me, they don't hate me. It's a very neutral position. But I gave some money and I’m good to go.
So just a word of advice; don’t lend money to friends and family. Give money instead.
My number one point on how to give to the community is to teach a new skill set. Give back to the community by teaching something you’re very, very good at.
It can be any valuable skill, such as how to get ready for a job interview, how to put together a resume, how to do social media, or how to play a musical instrument. You could give free soccer lessons to kids. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just somehow, some way, teach a skill set because skill sets last and give people freedom.
Number two is volunteer your time at a hospital or school. It's a very easy thing to do.
Many times I’ve gone to schools and spoke to troubled kids. Some were prisoners, and wearing ankle bracelets. Or there were 13-year-old girls that were pregnant. Or drug dealers. They put me through a six month program where I went every other week and talked with them about the biggest things they were struggling with.
This was a way for them to know that somebody out there at least cared about them.
The reason why that's very important is because when I was 13 years old, and my parents got a divorce, and I was a troubled kid, I was recruited by a basketball league in Echo Park called New Century Basketball association. They got together all the troubled kids and we played basketball together.
There was a man named Vladimir that was like an older brother to me. He gave me direction and hope to know that somebody believed in me. That played a very big role in my life and had a big impact on me.
One of the simplest ways to do this is by volunteering at hospitals or schools.
Listen in here for some thoughts on how to give back to the community by organizing a food drive.
#4: Coach Kids
I call my brother-in-law a saint. I’ve never met a man like him. He’s so gentle with kids. One way he gives back to the community is by coaching kids.
If you have a good tolerance for kids and you played high school sports, and you know practice tactics because you were part of it, give back by coaching kids.
Listen in here for some thoughts on how to give back to the community by raising money for a charity or foundation.
Another way to give back to the community is to visit elderly homes. Sometimes in elderly homes, people just want someone to talk to them.
Here’s my favorite question to ask when visiting elderly homes. "What invention was completely crazy when it happened in your lifetime?" Asking that question will lead to the most random conversations. You will also learn from them. For instance, if they say, “I’m a Great Depression baby,” ask them what it was like growing up during the Depression.
#7: Give Money
The next one is very simple; give money. You can give money to a different types of things. It could be for research, or a local community that’s building a park for kids, or anything else. Just go and contribute to them.
This is a simple one. Find out about new local businesses that are just trying to get going, and help them. It could be a restaurant, coffee shop, or a gym that’s not a traditional, big gym.
If you have a good experience with them, tell the world about it. Post a link to it on your Facebook Page or on Twitter and say why you like it. And tag the business. They’ll be grateful you did.
Others will also see that you’re supporting local businesses and be interested in what you’re doing.
#9: Going Big
I’m a big fan of going big. Why? Because the more money you make, the more money you can give back. So you’ve got to go big.
Don't let anybody fool you and tell you that it's not important to make big money. If you're a good person, and you have a good heart, a giving heart, I want you to make tens of millions of dollars, because you’ll give lots of money away.
And by the way, if you're reading this, and you say, I'll give money once I start making money,” the truth is, no you won't. If you're stingy with $10, you're going to be stingy with $100,000 or with $10 million.
All that money does is make you more of what you are right now. If you're a jerk, you're a rich jerk. If you give a lot right now, you'll give a lot more when you make more money. It just makes you more of what you are today. Not much changes. You just become more of what you are today. So go big, make a lot of money, and figure out ways you can contribute to society.
#10: Give Away Books
Another way to give back to the community is to give away books. I’ve given away thousands of books because books can impact people’s lives.
Go figure out a way someone impacted your life, and give away books to help people in that same way. Maybe you don't like the fact that your parents went through a divorce. Go buy 50 copies of the Five Love Languages and give it away to people around you that mean a lot to you, that you know are going through a tough time in their marriage. Or maybe someone has a problem with depression. Give away a book on that topic that helped you. You’ll be amazed how big of an impact you can make in people’s lives by giving some books away.
#11: Surprise a Family
And last but not least, surprise someone. I don’t care how you surprise them, just surprise them. Surprise people in your family by making a meal for them. Surprise someone by finding out what gifts their kids want and give them to them.
This is a very good season to surprise people, and make people feel good. Believe me, you will enjoy yourself more if you go out there and give back to the community during this season.
If you have some ways you give back that are different than what I said, please post your comment on the bottom and if you have not subscribed to my YouTube channel, please do so by clicking on the subscribe button below.