Best Kept Secret to Investing in your Success

December 19, 2008


The natural answer to investing in yourself is education, time, networking, preparation, amongst many other answers. All of which are important to your success. But, I’d argue that the best thing you can do to invest in your success is to give. What the heck, you say?? There are a ton of successful people that don’t give and right now is not the time to give when I’m focused on building my business. I’m arguing that a rhythm of giving will ensure you the best chance of success.

Why is Giving the Best Investment in your Success?

Giving does several things for you as you are building your business. Here are a few reasons why:

1) Giving makes you more effective as a leader. Your employees, customers, investors will sense you have a genuine commitment to their interests as well as yours.

2) It gives you more meaning to your work. Your success not only means success for you and your team, it also means you are making the world a better place. Your legacy of leaving the world a better place becomes much more real as you give. Clarity on the bigger picture gives you good perspective and frames smarter decision-making.

3) Money becomes a tool and a means to an end rather than something that controls you. For most people, money becomes so important that it clouds judgment with regards to ethics, it breaks or makes relationships, and can devastate lives (winning the lotto or going broke). The less focus on money, I’d argue the more you are able to control money (and not let it control you) the more you are able to generate more income. Very non-intuitive, but true.

4) You become much more comfortable investing and taking advantage of opportunities. You can usually tell at a poker table who is most uncomfortable with money, they are the ones who care too much about the money. They are most unable to spot good bets to make or to call unusually large bets. Don’t start giving away your chips at a poker table, but if you give in real life, you’ll be more ready to play and make better decisions:)

5) Karma or something like it. People and opportunities will come back to you as you give and sometimes with more intensity than you ever anticipated.
Where should you give?

It’s not as important where you give, but your rhythm of giving. Having a commitment to giving in good and tough times will ensure your best chance of success. I’d even go as far as saying that giving to people who can never possibly pay you back will yield the most return. So, whether it be a shelter, United Way, your local food bank, underprivileged children scholarships, global hunger, or whatever it might be – pick one and be consistent. I choose to give to a very poor community in Central America to provide technology and leadership education in order to bridge the employment gap. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned and how it has impacted both my personal and professional life for the better.

Still Doubt?

Many of you are still scratching your head as whether or not giving will lead to success. I can’t guarantee that it will make you rich, just like there are plenty of “successful” people who have never given a cent. What I can assure you is that you will have a better chance of success by giving and you’ll enjoy life more. So, if you’ve never given before, no need to give much, just start giving a little consistently and report back if your life has changed – I’d be very surprised if it didn’t!

Where are you giving? What are your stories? Share below.

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Comment by Anne-Marie
2009-01-06 13:06:39

We’ve donated consistently since starting Bramble Berry in 1998 and it’s still my favorite part of the business – choosing the donations for the year. It’s nice to have a motivation bigger than just making money for the sake of keeping it all. I like to enhance my community through our business success. It just feels right.

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 22:24:42

Anne-Marie – great to see you online and appreciate you visiting. It sure makes a lot of sense to invest in the community you are a part of.

Comment by Sequester McKinney
2009-01-06 20:25:04

Hi Andy,

I am a devout Christian and I tithe off of my gross income every time I receive income. All the points you spoke of in your post are backed up by scripture. One scripture in fact is Acts 20:35 and it goes like this, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” In fact the only way we can truly experience a full life is to give from that which we have been blessed to receive. I really enjoyed your post and look forward to many more bits of wisdom. God bless you in the New Year as we continue to give.

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 22:26:11

Hi Sequester – thanks for visiting and appreciate your comment!

Comment by Vik Dulat
2009-01-06 21:33:15

I have volunteered to teach kids how to play basketball and also teach English to exchange students from different countries.

There is a sense of pride and fulfillment when you give back. I always give and I expect nothing in returning. I believe in karma. So sooner or later, it will come back to me.

Comment by Andy
2009-01-06 22:27:00

Totally agree – thanks for your thoughts!

Comment by jtGraphic
2009-01-07 00:37:53

Finally, giving can be a great source of recognition in a community. A large donation to a charity or support group can really bolster either your image or your companies image. Look at what Bill Gates is doing right now and how that’s helping his image – although I think everyone still hates Windows Vista?

Comment by Andy
2009-01-07 23:43:05

jt – absolutely, i think his legacy may be bigger than microsoft especially in the developing world.

Comment by TheAwristocrat Subscribed to comments via email
2009-01-07 10:59:18

Well myself personally have not reached a point in my life that I feel that I can give back and still be finanicaly sound. That is just me and not the business I work for. This business gives back in many different ways, what we do is actually supply people with a chance to give back by selling things that can be used in fundraisers. I know it may not seem just, but we still live in a world where good deeds don’t pay the bills and buy food so we still charge for this service but we do it at low prices.

Comment by Andy
2009-01-07 23:46:19

thanks for the comment and sharing your story. i’d encourage you to consider a rhythm of giving even if it’s not money, perhaps just time with a organization you feel passionate about. i’ve found that also provides a foundation of success in the long-term as well. again, not necessarily monetarily, but in life.

Comment by Article Spinning
2009-01-23 11:53:06

That is true, Andy. If one doesn’t have the money to give, then giving one’s time is worth it too. Thanks.

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Comment by Richard Subscribed to comments via email
2009-01-07 20:23:06

I give money to the Global Fund for Tuberculosis, HIV and malaria. It’s an automatic payment every month.

It was very gratifying doing the research and deciding where to give the money. However from a selfish perspective I wonder if personally I’d get more out of it if I chose a different charity each month.

Any thoughts on that?

Comment by Andy
2009-01-07 23:50:42

richard – thanks for the post. first of all, i think it’s great you’ve already built a rhythm of giving. personally, i think it’s up to you if you choose a different charity each month. for myself, i want to give consistently to areas i’m passionate about for the long-term because most non-profits don’t have very steady givers. i do think there are certain times when one-time giving goes a long ways and those are the natural disasters and relief funds. great stuff – do post again about what you decided to do.

Comment by Alexander
2009-01-12 03:26:07

I’m earning a few bucks with adsense on my blogs and I give in charity a fixed percentuage of my Adsense check every month. Most of the times I use because I love to leverage that money: If i lend $100 and get it paid back let’s say in 1 year, after that year I can lend that $100 again to somebody else and relend it again, once it has been repaid.

On this way the $100 I lended at the beginning, provides it’s value multiple times over the years, helping multiple persons.


Comment by Denise Subscribed to comments via email
2009-04-16 21:06:56

I try to give at least twice a month. I’m a dog person so I give food and toys to the local human society each month. And every other Sunday we donate at least $20 to the local soup kitchen called the Backdoor Mission.

Great Post….

Comment by Bill
2010-03-25 09:36:35

It is strange, but when you give it does something positive to you. Not only are you helping the charity/organization but it helps you to realize that there is something more to life than just amassing money for yourself. Tony Robbins, the motivational speaker says by giving 10% away it actually helps you to gain more money somehow, some kind of trigger in your brain teaching you to earn even more.

Comment by Stephen Dave
2010-09-29 10:43:50

I love the feeling I get when I give. I am a firm believer in karma and ever since I started giving my life just supremely better. I don’t know if is just because I feel better or if there are mystical entities at work :) Oh and I give the local pet shelters in my area. I am a dog lover :)

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