If I make X each month, then I’ll give X to charity.
This is what I used to believe; that I had to make enough in order to give enough.
But this ‘if this then that’ thinking messed with me.
In my first few years of business, it didn’t even occur to me that I could use my business to ‘do good’. Yes, I wanted to make a difference to my clients but that was as far as I took my thinking. And in my early years of business, I just wanted to sell enough to make a good income and create a career that could fit around my young family.
As I started to write about True Profit Business and research how money, creativity and impact work together, I got interested in how business could genuinely do good, and not just as a thinly disguised marketing stint. However, I still stopped from taking any real action by my ‘if this then that’ thinking.
I just couldn’t get excited about giving a percentage of profits so any thoughts about wanting to contribute didn’t make it past the idea stage.
Then in 2019, I had a real shift. Thanks to the work of Alisoun Mackenzie and a deep dive into how to incorporate impact into my business at her Give To Profit conference, I came away realising that I had my giving statement all wrong.
Giving didn’t have to start when I had made ‘enough’.
Giving could start from where I was; right here, right now.
And what really got me excited into taking action was the idea that giving could become far more than a meaningless transaction.
Fast forward eighteen months and I am proud to give you my latest Impact Report.
Since May 2019, we have made $691.64 in donations, which has created 10,820 impacts broken down across these projects:
- 4770 days of literacy and business training for women in Uganda
- $156 to support wildlife affected by Australian bushfires
- 5880 days of access to personal hygiene to girls in need
- 14 days of business training program to women in Zambia
We support a new project every four months, which is voted for by our members in Momentum at the start of our new planning cycles. Each project has been selected to support the two United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that I believe will support my vision for the future:
- Gender Equality – the empowerment of women around the world to not only be safe but to have choices in how they live, work, contribute and lead.
- Responsible Consumption and Production – supporting businesses that choose to do good, be good and treat our planet with the respect that it deserves.
We make a donation every four months based on how many weekly Accountability Reports are submitted by our Momentum members.
No more waiting to see if there is enough profit in the pot at the end of the year. Just a simple count of reports at the end of each 90 Day plan which, thanks to the organisation www.B1G1.com, embeds our giving into our processes.
I love the fact that our giving is now based on activity, rather than sales, which has breathed life into our business impact for me. Plus there’s nothing like using an additional emotional reason to help keep our members motivated to post weekly Accountability Reports, which in turn helps keep me committed to my giving goals throughout the year!
Now this way of using client activity is not the holy grail of impact. There are lots of ways of how you could incorporate raising funds and supporting projects into your business.
What this process does is give me a business model that works for me, rather than have me working hard trying to work it. And that’s what I believe is key; having a process that excites you and inspires you to take action, rather than have an idea that never makes it past your to-do list.
If you are inspired by how you can create more impact with your business, get in touch. I’d love to know more about what you want to do and if I can help in any way.
Until next time, do less, be more and play bigger.
About the author
Karen Skidmore is a midlife leadership & business coach for entrepreneurs scaling their purpose & profit. Business Books Awards finalist 2020 & podcaster, Karen uniquely combines the being-ness and doing-ness of business to help you grow, without burning out.
The first step in discovering the True Profit in your business is to take the True Profit Test.