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Community Service – Help your business while helping others…

February 15, 2010

In today’s world, people often think they don’t have time for one more thing in their lives.  We struggle to find the balance between work and family and can’t fathom being able to give more than we already do.  So how can you possibly fit in Community Service when you can’t even fit in time to workout?!?  My encouragement to you is to do a simple Cost/Benefit analysis and ask what you can gain by “giving back”. 

First, let’s define what community service is.  According to the University of Maryland, “Community service is a way for groups and individuals to have a positive impact in the community and make a difference in the lives of others.  It means contributing your time, energy, and abilities to work for, on behalf of, and with, other people.  It is a way to address issues that concern you by taking constructive action.  Community service is also fun and is an excellent way for group members to work together.”  So given that definition, we can quickly see the some of the costs involved – “contributing your time, energy, and abilities”.  Hopefully most of us are only short on the first 2 items…  But now let’s look at the benefits according to this definition – you can have a “positive impact in the community”, you can “make a difference in the lives of others”, and hopefully, you can “have some fun (and ) … work together” with others.  This is where I see the opportunity to help your business – making connections with people you might otherwise never cross paths with.

Community Service can be an opportunity to not only first give back to the community you live in, but also to help you make connections with others.  By making an effort to meet people and create connections, you may find many side benefits.  By fostering these connections and turning them into real relationships, you will be able to have a new network of friends and acquaintances that may branch out in ways you would never expect.

Microsoft has even written a white-paper touting the importance of building connections.  They state that “The world is becoming more interconnected and organizations that want to succeed in this new environment need to become more connected as well”.  So what better way to get connected with others than to start close to home in your own community? 

So, in closing, my hope for you is that you will try it out and see that giving back to others is a truly rewarding experience and will help you become a better individual, thus helping you become a better business person in the end.


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