On several occasions, I’ve wondered if forming a non-profit might be the better path for Retirepreneur.
Each time, I’d run side-by-side comparisons – Non-Profit vs For-Profit. Each time, it was close, but I continued to favor the For-Profit path, as it’s more aligned with my goals, dreams and aspirations.
Still, Retirepreneur behaves an awful lot like a Non-Profit…
- We host free workshops to help the age 50+ crowd explore best ways to segue from full-time job to part-time freelance endeavors in retirement.
- We share insights one-on-one with those who knock on our door and ask for help.
- We publish a wealth of free content to help this crowd advance – articles, podcasts, videos, etc.
Truth be told, Retirepreneur is as much a ministry as it is a business.
Happily, Retirepreneur revenue is starting to pick up, largely through speaking gigs and sponsorship. Best of all, it enables us to help more.
More people are discovering us and several have graciously introduced us to other organizations championing the Modern Elder movement. Yep, we’re blessed with a generous community and we’re working hard to pay it forward.
Keep in mind, this didn’t happen overnight. It’s easily been two years in the making, as we doubled-down giving. As I look back, it’s only now that I’m connecting the dots.
Giving Without Expectations of Reciprocation
Giving comes second nature to me – it’s how I was raised. Throughout my career, I’ve done my best to help others in need. I was also fortunate enough to work for companies who followed the Golden Rule and then some.
Giving without any expectation of reciprocation is what creates a dynamic, go-giving network. Be as generous as possible and you’ll be amazed at what comes back to you – not instantly, but over time.
“For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assisi
Another wonderful byproduct of giving generously of your time and talents – you’re graced with unexpected gems along the way. Sometimes, the biggest “aha” moments come from the least likely of places, so stay alert.
With that said, there are takers out there, too. You know, the self-absorbed types who only show up when they need something. Then they’re off in a flash. They usually talk too much and listen/ask too little.
Go-giver types are curious about others, often flipping conversations away from themselves and to the person they’re engaging. They’re also keen observers who ask all kinds of great questions to reveal needs they might help address.
Expressing Gratitude Can Move Mountains
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
There’s plenty of research on the power of gratitude, both on the giving and receiving end. Did you know that grateful people are healthier than grumblers? Expressing gratitude lifts our spirits, as it diffuses toxic emotions like envy, frustration, or regret and fuels a stronger resolve to make a difference in this world.
Those more appreciative folks are also viewed as friendlier, more trustworthy and more likeable. What’s not to like about that?
The Busyness Barrier to Full-Throttle Thankfulness
In today’s rush-and-hurry world, sometimes we’re so busy that we forget to thank. Or we’re so hyper-focused on what still needs to be tackled, we miss these remarkable acts of kindness happening daily.
I’m a work-in-progress on taming this busyness monster. This year, I started keeping a Gratitude Journal. After all, you can’t be thankful for what you don’t notice. Each week, I’m scheduling time to stop and take notice of all the wonderful things happening around me, so I can thank people in more meaningful ways.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
I’m also reflecting on mentors who’ve helped me throughout my career. I’ve called a few to thank them, often for gifts shared many years ago. The best part about these conversations is when I share a story about something they did that had a huge impact on me, they’re surprised (and pleased) to learn how a simple kind act blossomed into something much bigger.
While a generic “thank you” is soon forgotten, when you layer in a story, it’s not only remembered – it comes to life and sparks all kinds of positive emotions.
The Gratitude Train: It’s a Fun Ride That Never Ends
As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope this post inspires ideas to step up your own thankfulness.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!
PS: “Some gifts are more than just a gift.” Here’s one more gem to enjoy.