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.
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.