The Symbiotic Relationship Between Giving and Success
We spend countless amounts of time and money trying to be successful. I even co-authored a book with the late Steven Covey, "Success Simplified". Everyone wants to be successful. The type or level of success depends on your input. That secret formula is the journey so many people take to get to their vision of success. As a long-time entrepreneur and performance consultant, I've found only mediocre success when I focused solely on my own success. When I have focused on the success of others, I caught lightning in a bottle.
The topic of Giving is one my all-time favorite. I've blogged about it, produced podcasts and audio talks about giving. More important than all of that, I've actually participated in Giving! Sometimes people get caught up in the pageantry of giving but fail to actually give in a meaningful way. I will continue to challenge myself and others around me - can you do more? If you cannot give financially, can you give your time to help an organization save money on vendors? Can you assist in simple ways that go a long way to an organization? Giving requires you to relinquish some of your "more".
Think - Care - Help
It is really as simple as you endeavoring to think, care, and help. There are so many creative ways to give; and it's frankly up to us to figure out how we maximize our giving moments.
Through the years I have felt so enriched by the ecosystem of giving. As I've shared before, I come from a family that taught me by words AND action about giving. I was taught these guiding principles:
- Everyone is climbing and building from somewhere
- No one rises alone
- Your time, talent, and treasure is given to you to give to others
- Happiness and joy comes from rising with others by serving and giving
It became part of my DNA early and often. My parents built their lives and our family because of their own hard work, education, and thanks to those that helped them along the way. No matter where you start, we're always trying to climb. My mom and dad put themselves through school. They both bought their own vehicles. They paid for their own home. With all of that building and rising someone assisted along the way - through others' time, talents, and treasures. Through all of that rising, parents never forgot to help others achieve their success.
The greatest achievement is helping others build.
Giving to organizations has allowed me to be a part of others' building. I like to multiply successes; and by giving, I'm able to do just that. When you transition from the "BIG ME" to "little me"; while growing the "little we" to the "BIG WE", life becomes fulfilling.
My parents built our lives with giving as a priority. As I became a mom, my goal was to be at least half of the AMAZING level of parent that my parents were to me and my brother. The first time I included my daughter with a giving moment was November 2004. My daughter was two years old and I decided to make 50 meals in my kitchen and go pass them out to the homeless in Dallas, TX. With my daughter in her booster seat, I loaded up the SUV along with a couple of other friends and we went to find homeless people to bless with a meal. She was young, I didn't know how she would receive it, but there was no way I was going to exclude her from the event. Fast-forward 3 years after that, I had organized and distributed 15 more giving events, fed over 1,000 people; and expanded the giving to include shoe drives, fans for the elderly on a fixed income, and blankets for the homeless in the winter. Yes I did it all from my SUV, with my daughter in tow. I was able to add friends to the event who said they wanted to do something like that...but they just never knew how to get started. We definitely "got started" and those moments inspired many of my friends to implement their own giving campaigns and events.
Giving is contagious if you get close enough to it
As we interacted with the people in Dallas, TX we were feeding and clothing, we learned so much about the problem facing them and the city. Those interactions armed us with insight and the fire to lend a community hand beyond being the meal for the day. Giving on the front lines allowed us an opportunity to be part of the solution. Bringing your children onto the front lines of giving plants a seed that is necessary for all of our futures.
The Moment I Realized Giving Was in Her DNA Also
I have always felt like my daughter got it. Giving has always been important in our family. The night we were visiting with a college coach in our home as part of the basketball recruiting process, I was floored (in a good way). My daughter had been attending IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL (a top Sports Prep Boarding School) since 2016. This meant I missed many day-to-day moments during her time in high school. Those lessons of giving were planted early, but did they take root in her high school days when I wasn't there to motivate the giving?
Liz shared a story with the coach about a time she helped one of her teammates go home to Mali (on the continent of Africa) to see her family that she hadn't seen in two years. She realized her teammate was homesick and financially unable to go home. With the help of the power of social giving, my daughter inspired people to donate to a plane ticket for Christmas. The ticket was $5,200 and I was astonished listening to my daughter's conviction about the fundraising effort and details. I had an out of body experience while I admired her ability to care and give.
THE LESSON: Planting the seeds of Giving early will take root in some of the most amazing ways.
I upped the ante when I elected to financially give to organizations that were near and dear to me. There's no exact science to giving. I have always looked for organizations that would help as many people as possible by solving social problems that have created inequalities in education, health, and ability. I wrote the checks, and became a donor to many organizations - treasure is important. No matter if the dollar amount is $3.00 or $30,000, there's a place for your funds that an organization can apply to make a difference in others' lives. Give as much as you can - allow the gift to bless others.
The New Definition of Success
We are more than an individual success. Imagine if we all existed in silos. What type of world would that be? Giving means we're sharing the successes and failures of life. Giving means we allow ourselves an opportunity to grow with others versus alone. Life can be hard, but life alone is impossible. When you define success in terms of your community, then you expand what it means to be successful, and you challenge yourself to solve larger problems. No matter if we're talking Oprah Winfrey or Jennifer Thibeaux, achieving real success means you've achieved success for others.
All of the giving events and campaigns I've been involved with over the years has led to me organizing and formalizing the activities. It has helped me inspire others to give (and remember that's a big goal for me personally). I like to celebrate those who give, and who share with others how they can do the same. To become really good at giving, means you place the organization/person you're giving to as the number one priority. When you can become selfless, you will be a valuable giver in the ecosystem of giving. "Show Me the Give" has been the mantra for over a decade.
From the Giving Pages of Thibeaux.org
Giving is an integral part of the formula of living for Jennifer Thibeaux and The Thibeaux Company. Recognizing that our time, talent, and treasure can help make a difference in the lives of many is the driving force. In 2013, Thibeaux formalized her Giving Efforts into a campaign of giving to inspire others. So often people say, "I would like to do something like that", but then never take action. This Giving Campaign was founded for the purpose to encourage, educate, and to help everyone figure out how to get into the Spirit of Giving.
We are proud to announce the following Six (6) Organizations we are committed to actively supporting and promoting throughout this year.
The Aggie Network (Century Club)
The Association of Former Students: www.AggieNetwork.com
Giving Opportunities: www.AggieNetwork.com/GIVING/
Call the Aggie Network: +1 (979) 845-7514
General Info about Texas A&M University: www.TAMU.edu
The American Heart Association (AHA)
The Brigance Brigade
How You Can Help: HERE
The March of Dimes
Ways to Give: HERE
The Special Olympics
Ways to Give: HERE
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
Ways to Give: HERE
Don't let the "Giving Tuesday 2019" be your only day. Allow it to be a kick off to the next one year of giving. Let's check in next year and talk about all that has happened in your life and the lives of others! We would love to hear your thoughts about your experiences with Giving.
#Shock the World
Jennifer "drJ" Thibeaux is an American author, publisher, speaker, and entrepreneur. Leading The Thibeaux Company®, drJ hopes to impact human performance in a variety of industries. Working with executives and key influencers in Fortune 100 companies, drJ has developed a keen sense of performance in action. Earning business and education advanced degrees, drJ continues to insert intelligence into the performance conversation. Hosting and appearing on a variety of radio shows, podcasts, and other broadcast mediums, drJ has no "stop" in sight. To find out more about Jennifer "drJ" Thibeaux or products and projects from The Thibeaux Company®, be sure to visit www.Thibeaux.org