Welcome to KellerINK’s latest column – these monthly articles are aimed at helping you achieve greater success by highlighting the groundbreaking research that informs our award-winning books and drives Keller Williams’ industry-leading coaching and training.
We all hope to achieve success and accomplish an aim or a purpose, in our professional and personal lives. When we introduced the foundational model of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, the pyramid showed how an agent progresses through the four different stages on the path to receiving a million dollars. But, success doesn’t necessarily just mean selling a ton of houses, stepping out of the listing business, and making a ton of money.
Success requires us to recognize our purpose, and for many of us, that purpose is larger than ourselves. That’s why we top-graded the MREA pyramid. In order to really define success, we have to include helping others beyond ourselves in the definition. As a result, sitting at the top of the new pyramid is Give a Million.
We may feel like what we can contribute isn’t enough or that we can’t make a difference. And, if we haven’t yet made a habit out of giving, we may not know how wonderful it makes us feel when we do something for others because we simply haven’t experienced it yet. But you don’t have to say goodbye to a large percentage of your income in order to have a tremendous effect on yourself or those around you. You just have to get started.
How to Give a Million
When it comes to giving a million, the key is to think big and start small. Picture what you’d do if you had unlimited time, money, and resources. Then, walk backward from that ultimate act of giving and see how you can make a difference on a smaller, just as meaningful, level.
1. Give your gratitude
One of the simplest ways to start your giving journey is by giving thanks. Let people know you appreciate them and see the impact it has. Studies show that receiving gratitude from others increases motivation and engagement. For instance, in one study, researchers asked students to provide feedback on another student’s cover letter. One group of participants was sent a personal response and thank you from the student for their feedback, and the other group simply received a message that the student received the feedback and asked for more help. It turns out that the group that was thanked was more than twice as likely to help again when asked.
To put it simply, thanking people is a powerful motivator. We want to know that our efforts have been valued – and when we hear those simple words, “thank you,” we feel that we have made a difference and are motivated to help again.
2. Give your time
Time is precious. No matter how hard we may try, we never get more than 24 hours in a day. It is truly a limited resource. Think about your big why – the thing that drives you out of bed each day – and brainstorm ways to donate time that are in alignment with it. Maybe there is a charity event you could help to organize at your local market center. Perhaps you could volunteer to mentor, coach, or teach agents that are just starting out in your area or donate a few hours each month to a charity that could use the bandwidth. There are countless ways to help others and make a big difference without having to outlay a cent.
3. Give your money
If you feel comfortable giving money, there are ways to do it without breaking the bank. One of the easiest ways to give is to make it automatic. Whether it’s a deduction from every paycheck or a set amount taken from every transaction you make, it’s a way to do something good for others without having to even think about it. Another option is to establish an account from which you can give to various charities and events that arise. Place a specific amount of money into this philanthropy-only fund and tap into it when the need arises. This way, when you are asked to buy goodies, contribute to a 5K, or donate to a co-worker’s charity, you can say yes without having to think about it.
4. Give your leadership
Being a great leader goes beyond your day-to-day business. It involves making an impact for the people around you, who are both directly connected to you and beyond. If charity is important to you, make it a point to weave it into your business culture. Hire people whose personal values align with this core value of your company. Expect your teammates to participate in the good work you do. And, live this core value yourself. Others will see how you walk the talk when it comes to philanthropy and respond in kind.
One way to do so is to be generous with your knowledge. There are a lot of worthy nonprofit and charitable organizations out there. Offer your expertise and leadership to a cause that speaks to your own big why. Share your knowledge as a business owner in ways that help the charity to function at a higher level.
Another way to give your leadership is to use your presence in the community to raise awareness to the organizations and causes that resonate with you. Whether it’s an annual food or diaper drive you spearhead, helping local community members in need, or any other cause that speaks to your big why, promoting your participation can go a long way toward building awareness and helping in exponential ways.
5. Give your wealth
Giving your wealth is different than giving your money. Giving your wealth means determining a way to use your business to finance a charitable cause. When you know what your big why is and you know what your business is capable of, you can merge the two to give in a way that maximizes the outcome. Whether you create your own foundation or charity or establish a way for your company to commit to volunteering on an ongoing basis, recognizing the importance of ongoing philanthropic efforts is key to creating a legacy within your business for giving wealth.
As you can see, there are a myriad of ways to give of yourself, your time, and your money to connect with your big why. When the craziness of the times can feel overwhelming, we guarantee that giving reminds us that there is good in the world – and all the ways, big and small, where we can make a positive difference for others. And even better, giving feels good!
Curious about the big ideas and models we’re developing that will help take your life and business to the next level? Look for the hashtag #KellerINKlings and follow KellerINK on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates, resources, and more.