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The Business of Giving Back

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Help your business by developing the mindset of being a social entrepreneur.

businessofgivingbackThere are many worthy causes out there, but, no company — no matter how large and profitable — can help them all. Focusing on giving back is only part of the formula for creating a successful business model. The business of giving back is the aim of a new type of businessperson called the social entrepreneur.

These individuals are experiencing space and time in a digital arena experienced through a monitor or screen. They are the children of technology, and the daughters and sons of the boom. It is impossible to compare technology from different eras, so how would such an influence attempt to affect the social culture and its rewired consumer nature?

These young adults, known as the Millennials, are a new species of consumer. According to a study by Cone Communications and Echo Research, 82 percent of shoppers consider corporate social responsibility when deciding what products or services to buy and where to shop. In addition to this fact, more consumers are toting around a very curious app called Buycott.

This free app allows consumers to scan product barcodes while grocery shopping. The app then lists whether or not that product funds and conflicts with any causes the consumer may be against. What consumers were previously unaware of in reference to certain products can now be revealed. By avoiding certain products, the consumer is consciously making purchases from businesses that do not conflict with that consumer’s personal ethics and morals. Simply, it’s a very effective way for sellers and buyers alike to weigh their personal scales of business ethics and humane justice against personal monetary transactions.

Ultimately though, a business’ success is tied directly to the health of the communities in which they do business and to the people they know. Another aspect of that success is that the company is also an integral part of those communities.

For example, my husband has dedicated his life toward alleviating the physical suffering of others as a doctor and a healer, but he gives thanks for his own health and for his education by dedicating a part of his life and time to helping those who do not have access to or the ability to pay for healthcare. His passion is for healing others, and it is a passion we share — but through different approaches. He gives of himself and his knowledge for the sake of others.

In contrast, my skills are not exactly designed for saving the world (only the economy). However, I use my financial successes to support those who need healing in a different way. I am very passionate about children. In 2013, I wrote a book titled Sell Your Business For More Than It’s Worth. Before I knew what would become of it, I decided to donate a percentage of all proceeds to the Eric Trump Foundation for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. I will always go above and beyond for children, because it breaks my heart when I learn of a child who has been forced to face life’s hardships without any chance to experience or even believe in at least one magical aspect of life and living.

Another way to give back is to pay attention in your daily life. I learned that my banker had lost her fiancé in a very tragic way. They had been saving up to go to Disney World and to get married. When he unexpectedly passed away, their savings were expended on his funeral expenses. It cut me very deeply. I decided to send her to Disney World in honor of their relationship and in respect of their efforts. Life is unpredictable. My heart ached for her, and, because I was in a position that enabled me to help, I was impelled to express my condolences through my hard-earned finances. I work hard, and so does she. And because we are human, it our responsibility to be there for one another when we are able.

However, it’s important to focus on being an entrepreneur first and get that right. Then, focus on the social aspect. The reason non-profits never prosper is because they don’t plan on it. If you take the option of starting a for-profit business that gives back a large part of what it brings in — versus a charity — you’re going to help a lot more people. That’s because you’ll have the realistic business logic of a for-profit business versus dealing with government and structural financial hindrances placed upon non-profit operations, which are ultimately hard to trust or follow in exactly what way their fiscal structure is moderated and distributed.

Ultimately, it is truly a rare sight when a product or business spreads by word of mouth. The effective mindset goes like this: products before people and then people before profits. This combination is the design of a social entrepreneurial mind. It combines the for-profit business model with non-profit sensibilities, and many young entrepreneurs believe it is an answer to creating a sustainable economy that fosters growth and good will at the same time. The business of giving is a business plan in itself. It is the art of strategic giving through the application of savvy business tactics, compassion and empathetic associations. Love your neighbor as yourself. That’s as simple as it gets.
Food For Thought

· During bad times, boost your bottom line through community engagement. It’s when discounts guarantee a company can count on its community.

· Incorporate your giving plan into your business plan.

· Do not think you need to work for a non-profit to make a difference.

· Maintain corporate social responsibility by researching who you pay, what you sell or how you serve others.

· Buyers will Buycott you. The Millennial generation is a whole new type of human species.

· Develop the mindset of quality first, then product/service, then people and finally, profit. Focus on being an entrepreneur, and, if you survive that, then I bet you’ll be able to help the world survive itself instead of you struggling to survive within it.

· Create a unique company culture that attracts high-caliber talent and morale in employees. You are a reflection of your work.