The Entrepreneurial G.A.P.
by Tim Staton
Ask almost any entrepreneur about their favorite charity and you are likely to hear “My family is my favorite charity”. Starting and running your own business requires an enormous amount of time, energy and money. There is no such thing as spare time or spare money and you can’t remember the last time you were able to get eight hours of sleep. To suggest that you need to squeeze in one more activity which will, no doubt, require even more of your scarce resources seems to be out of line. Not only am I suggesting it, but I am also convinced that you cannot make a better investment of your resources. But that return on investment extends beyond the obvious dollars and cents of tax deductions and marketing benefits and reaches into the realm of intangible benefits which can last long after the tax returns have been filed. A well thought out and consistent signature stewardship program has benefits which outweigh any financial incentive. Employee identification of and ownership of the mission of your company and a sense of belonging in the community shared by all participants are invaluable benefits to you as you give back to worthy causes.
Even if you did not start in the initial phase of business development to create a signature stewardship program, it is never too late. Start now and involve everyone you can in the process. Not only are your associates a wealth of information regarding the “goings on” in your community, there is no way to overestimate the benefit of their having a voice in the design of stewardship activities. Planning your stewardship activities doesn’t have to be expensive. Schedule regular planning meetings and set some guidelines for the type of activities that you want to support. There are numerous resources which will guide you through the “do’s and don’ts” and you should consult them to prevent some unforeseen challenges as you develop your guidelines but after that…turn them loose. There is a part of every human being which acknowledges the need to reach out in kindness to others and you will discover strengths that you never knew your associates possessed. The term signature stewardship identifies that the program you develop is a reflection of who you are and what you value as a group. Once you have identified your activities, encourage everyone to participate long enough to realize the nearly universal response to stewardship; being blessed more than being the blessing you intended.
Tim Staton is passionate about gratitude, appreciation and praise (G.A.P). He is an author, coach, public speaker and a fellow entrepreneur. Visit him at https://www.facebook.com/timstatondotcom