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Give More. Get More. Be More.

As we end the month of January and enter the month of Black History let’s all be reminded of what is important to our well being. ATM BOOF We have to find a way to follow the steps of the  six words in this title.  Giving is how we get, getting is how we become more. As entrepreneurs our vision was born out of risk, guts, failure, determination, sweat and success.

 

When you own your own business, you have complete responsibility for all of its operations. You have to look after your own best interest first and foremost. But the more generous you are with your time, energy, and expertise the easier it will be to accomplish your personal goals. The more you give, the more you get.

 

Helping People is the Key to Success

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

There’s a common misconception that in order to get ahead in business, you have to lie, cheat, steal, and otherwise step on a lot of other people on the way up. That may be true in the corporate world, but the opposite is true with most businesses. The more people a company helps, the more people will patronize that company and share it with their friends and colleagues.

 

“The easiest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want.” ~ Deepak Chopra

 

The more value you provide, the more you’re worth. So focus your effort on helping other people succeed.

 

People Tend to Return Favors

 

There are certain rules that we all follow. In Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini discusses something that he calls the rule of reciprocation. According to Cialdini, “The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.” I’m sure you’ve felt that powerful sense of obligation when someone goes out of their way to do something nice for you. You feel instinctively compelled to balance the scale with a return favor of your own.

 

This feeling of indebtedness goes back to the earliest stages of human society, when people began sharing resources and skills in order to thrive. Today, there’s not a single human society that doesn’t follow the rule of reciprocation (according to the research of sociologist Alvin Gouldner). How can you apply this in your life? Go above and beyond when working with others. Provide a service for free or promote them without asking for anything in return. When the time is right, those individuals will do whatever they can to return the favor.ATM Career Summit (1)

 

Giving opens up your Network

 

Nothing has contributed more to the growth of our success than our network. The larger and more powerful your network, the easier it will be for you to achieve success. But how do you begin making meaningful connections – especially with people who are higher-up on the food chain than you? One way is to make an introduction to someone in the form of a generous gift.

 

I can tell you a story about this method of networking that illustrates how it can be effective:

 

A couple of years ago, the website of an influential technology blogger was taken down by a hacker. The top-tier blogger was lamenting his site’s crash on Twitter when he received a message from one of his followers. The follower was a young programmer and he had decided to look at the website to see how it had been hacked. He presented the blogger with exact instructions for how to prevent another hacker from taking the site down in the future. That advice was worth thousands of dollars to the blogger, but the programmer didn’t ask for anything in return. Instead, he earned himself a high-profile connection. You can try the same thing to establish valuable new business relationships in your field.

 

Word Spreads Fast

 

Doing business is commonplace. It happens every day. Being given something is a little bit more exceptional. The exchange becomes a story that we’re more likely to share with friends and colleagues. A good story is also at the core of journalism. As you read this, thousands of magazine and newspaper writers are frantically searching for a story to meet tomorrow’s deadline. Every business would like that next article to be written about them. Periodicals have huge readerships, so being featured in one generates new leads and a burst of traffic to your website.

 

But offering a product or a service for a price isn’t much of a story. Giving away that product or service to a worthy cause, on the other hand, is much more newsworthy. When your business takes part in a charitable deed, you increase your chances of being featured in the press. So if you’re looking to raise your profile, try giving back to your local community. Not only will word spread about your business, the story will be about making it a positive impact.

 

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Karma

“No man who continues to add something to the material, intellectual and moral well-being of the place in which he lives is left long without proper reward.” ~ Booker T. Washington

 

Karma is an ancient Indian concept that links a person’s actions to their destiny. In western culture, it’s often understood as “what goes around comes around” or “you reap what you sow.” Some people seem to think of karma as a spiritual scoreboard that keeps track of our every deed. Everything we do, good or bad, is perfectly accounted for and dealt back to us in time. If this were true, then we could just give, give, give and then sit back and wait for karma to come calling with a heap of great stuff in return.

 

You may not believe in karma as an all-knowing spiritual force, but you have to recognize that events are not isolated. When something good happens, it tends to cause more good things to happen, which in turn cause even more good things to happen… and on and on and on. Unfortunately, the same is true of negative events. When you realize that events are interlinked, you begin to realize how important it is to be kind and compassionate in your daily life. If you’re always doing good actions, then your whole life will be surrounded by patterns of positive events. Even though you may not always see the benefit of your good actions, you will have good karma overall.

 

Giving Makes You Happy

 

When we’re happy, we’re more productive. As entrepreneurs, we’re the engine of our businesses, so it’s especially important that we stay happy and productive. One measurement of happiness is the level of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Natural methods of raising serotonin involve exercising regularly, eating certain foods (e.g. almonds), and performing acts of kindness. That’s right: making other people happier makes us happier.

 

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ~ Dalai Lama

 

Next time you’re feeling down on your business, try giving a little bit of time and energy to do something nice for somebody else.

 

It Makes the World a Better Place

 

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank

 

Up to this point, all my reasons have gone back to personal benefit. I’ve tried to explain how acting in the interest of others is really acting in self-interest. In other words, I’ve been appealing to that always-loud voice in our heads that asks, “What’s in it for me?” But the best reason to be a more giving entrepreneur isn’t selfish at all.  As entrepreneurs, we have a great deal of power. We have the resources of our businesses, our online platform, and we have our personal skill set. Together, that means the capability to bring big ideas together and turn them into realities.

 

The world needs entrepreneurs – and the more of us who are actively giving our time and expertise, the better place the world will be for everyone.

7 Ways To Make Our Youth More Financially Independent

Ideally, kids grow up to make good money decisions, working with funds without relying on anyone else. Getting them to this point takes work, ATM BOOF 1however. These methods can lay a solid foundation for your kids’ financial independence.

 

1)    Make your money tasks a routine part of your schedule.

Kids are masters of imitation. Whatever you do, they likely will copy. Set up a time at least once a week where they see you paying your debts, shopping for necessities (preferably with a list) and working on your budget. Approaching financial tasks with consistency in this way helps kids accept that money management is doable, normal and a regular responsibility, just like brushing their teeth or getting homework done.

 

2)    Give them responsibility over a portion of your budget.

Like adults, kids learn really well through experience—that is, they often achieve high success if they can complete tasks themselves hands on. Kids also tend to pay more attention to money if they have some degree of direct control over it. Letting your kids handle a small portion of the budget—this can mean they’re responsible for just tracking funds if younger or doing complete planning if older—makes them feel empowered, all while creating good financial transparency between you and them that fosters trust.

 

3)    Insist they wait a day to buy.

Kids are still developing impulse control and are still quite emotionally driven in their purchase decisions. A wait-one-day rule forces them to get past the initial feelings of gotta-have-it-now and really think about whether the planned transaction is worth it. Getting a handle on purchase impulse will become critical as an adult when the habit of buying in the moment (particularly on credit) can spell big debt disaster. You can change the day to a week or even a month if items are particularly pricey, but the basic concept that time won’t derail serious intent holds.

 

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4)    Let them spend.

Saving money is always laudable, but ultimately, it’s designed to be spent at some point. Different types of transactions—for example, an online purchase versus a garage sale buys—all have different processes and expectations associated with them, which your kids can learn only if they go through each type of task. Not only that, but spending can teach valuable lessons about quality. They might make a mistake and buy a cheap toy at a dollar store that breaks, for example, but they’ll learn from the experience not to purchase that item anymore. They also get a boost from knowing you trust them to follow through and make good choices with what they have, and they need the opportunity to prioritize which purchases are most important.

 

5)    Have them create savings goals.

Part of being financially independent involves having a game plan. Without one, it’s impossible to tell if you’re on track with your money, and overspending becomes easy. Even small savings goals, teach kids to have a more long-term view of their funds, curbing impulse. Goals also tie in with basic budgeting, such as setting aside $20 every month to be able to buy a laptop. When your kids reach the goals they have set, they can feel good about what they’ve accomplished.

 

6)    Let them open a savings or checking account.

Savings and checking accounts both are great for kids because they expose children to the basics of banking, such as how to make a deposit. They create a secure place for ATM Sasha BOOFkids to keep their money, as well, all while (generally) providing the opportunity to earn some interest. There is also convenient to consider, such as the ability to use a debit card to buy something online.

 

7)    Tell stories about entrepreneurs.

Money security doesn’t just come from meticulous spreadsheets or buying things on sale all the time. It also comes from being able to see what’s possible and taking some risks with investments, which entrepreneurs do better than anyone. Share stories about entrepreneurs so your kids know it’s okay to think outside the box financially and are inspired to come up with new, creative ways to earn or manage funds.

 

Conclusion

The simple reality is that, eventually, you’re not going to be around your kids 24/7. They’ll need to be comfortable working independently with money before they venture out on their own. These basic strategies can help them get there.

“A good financial plan is a road map that shows us exactly how the choices we make today will affect our future.” ~ Alex Von Tobel

Days of Giving

As we enter the giving season what better way to start it off by being one of many recipients for Wells Fargo GA Giving Days Celebration.ATM Wells Fargo Each organization received a contribution which honored not-for-profit groups that are doing great things in their perspective communities.  Here are the names of the honorees for Gwinnett County DAYS OF GIVING: One group from Suwanee received $1000 donations as part of Wells Fargo’s Days of Giving. (L-R): Buddy Curry with Kids & Pros, Keith Fenton with Annandale Village, Dao Malaythong with the Laotian American Society, Carol Hassell with the Georgia Piedmont Land Trust, Sharon Burton with the Herring Foundation of Hope, Scott Chatman with A Titus Man and Angie Taylor with Wells Fargo. Some 240 Atlanta area groups are receiving the contributions in October.

 

A Titus Man organization was grateful to have been chosen by Ms. Sharon  S. and the Wells Fargo Team. There’s no greater feeling than giving. Here are a few life lesson some successful leaders wish they had learned earlier the one that resonates to me the most is Giving Back.

ATM Wells Fargo 1 1) Surround yourself with Great people, Leaders in your field and be Fearless in pursuit of game-changing ideas

 

Scott Weiss: “Whatever vocation you decide on, track down the best people in the world at doing it and surround yourself with them. Aim high and be ridiculously persistent. Bill Ready: “Be Fearless. Don’t be afraid to pursue revolutionary ideas, and don’t hold back simply because you’re going up against seemingly unconquerable competitors in your market space. At Braintree, many of our competitors are huge, established companies in the market with market caps in the billions–but we’re not afraid of going after them.”

 

2) Money will never define you; You define your money

Suze Orman – “When you are starting out in your 20s, it is natural to think about all that you will have and do once you start making money, and making more money. That gives money way too much power over your life. It’s not about how much you make, but the life that you make with the money you have.”

In the end, we have to accept these are all material possessions and we can’t take any of them with us when we leave this world. However, people will always remember your character and how you treated them, so spend some time developing priceless attributes as integrity, honesty, empathy, kindness…etc.

 

3) Giving Back

Bill Gates: “Ideally people can start to mix in some philanthropy like Mark Zuckerberg has early in his career. I have enjoyed talking to some of the entrepreneurs about this and I am impressed and how early they are thinking about giving back – much earlier than I did”.

Those of us who are blessed with so much more, should be thankful and seek to help the less fortunate. Giving not only benefits the receiver but also the giver as well.The fulfillment you get from helping someone else is incomparable. It’s also a universal law. The more you give, is the more you receive.

 

Which life lesson resonates the most with you?