I consider myself to be a festive person when it comes to the holiday season, but there is one thing that I believe we should practice year-round that only seems to be “trendy” during this time of year.
I’m sure many of you have started your holiday shopping, and maybe you are one of the Black Friday shopping enthusiast who camps out for the “gotta have, door-busting, great deal of the year.” If you’re that person, then I hope you battled the crowds and were able to find that deal you were dying to get your hands on. Black Friday is not what infuriates me about the holidays, and it’s not all the warm and fuzzy shoppers being polite, either. What tends to bother me is the people who only think to give during this time of the year. How does this relate to real estate investing, you may ask? It not only relates to real estate investing, but also business in general. Let’s look at a few concepts that are overlooked when it comes to being a giver.
Before starting, I must state that I’m a “giver.” This is one of 20 affirmations that I recite every morning. Let me stick a pin right here for a second: If you are not professing, claiming or speaking positive affirmations to yourself daily, you are missing out on a key component to success. One thing that I’ve learned is that the majority of out battles in life start within our minds.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting 40 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older, or 18% of the population. WOW! Many of our struggles are self-inflicted. Yes, these 40 million adults may have had some tragic, life-altering event that may have occurred, but regardless of our personal circumstances, life knocks us all down.
Sorry about the tangent. Let’s get back to giving.
Escaping the “Me” Mentality
This is so profound that I’ve found after studying the concept of giving, it has given me a greater appreciation for helping others. I will admit I used to be so focused on what I had to do, what I needed, and what I wanted that I lost more than what I was trying to gain. So this is to let you know that I did not always believe in the power of assistance, and hopefully this article can change someone from having that “me” mentality.
Let’s look at a few basic constructs that make up the concept of giving.
Let’s begin with money. The purpose of money is to be given as tender for a service or a good provided, hence the term “currency.” Currency must flow from one to another for it to be utilized effectively. The root word for currency is “current,” which means “in circulation.” This is the basis for creating an economic engine. If you can remember at the beginning of the recession of 2008, the US Government (which you may or may not have been in favor of) enacted a tax stipend for low and middle wage income earners to help stimulate the economy. This was done to have currency flowing in and out of the markets. I’m not an economics major, but I get the gist. It’s as simple as this: If you have $20 clenched in your fist, nothing can come out and nothing can get in.
I’ve read a book some years ago called the The Richest Man Who Ever Lived by Steven K. Scott. It was a great book, and I periodically revisit my highlights and notes. When reading it, I saw some parallels to Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, which happens to be the real estate investor’s bible. One of the prevailing principles is to give 10% of your earnings to charity. Yes, GIVE. If you grew up in a religious household, you might call it “tithing.” Even the US Tax Code makes allotments for giving; it’s called the Charitable Contribution, which is fully deductible.
The More I Give, the More I Receive
This may not be for everyone — I thought it wasn’t for me many years ago — but I have found the more I give, the more I receive. I do not necessarily look for a direct return because my investments bring me my returns, but my giving throughout the year is me simply saying “thank you” for what I’m provided, and the more I give, the more I seem to receive unexpectedly. I may not receive anything back in the form of money, but it may be in the form of favors from others or in a great deal popping up.
Giving is a great way to remain humble and to be helpful to someone else. As a wholesaler, I make sure even if the seller and I cannot agree to terms, I provide them with a value-add. I may keep them informed on market updates, referral services, or some other service but I make sure our conversation is not focused on what I want. I will also periodically send a thank you card and a gift card of some sort to my stakeholders (title agents, real estate agent, contractor, etc.) just to say I appreciate their assistance.
So give it a try throughout the year. Give not just during the holiday season, but during all seasons. You can start by choosing four local charitable institutions and giving them a donation quarterly. This can be a children’s hospital, cancer center, homeless shelter, battered women’s shelter, Habitat for Humanity, or any number of organizations that share your core beliefs and values. Try it and see what happens. Giving is infectious!
What are YOU doing this holiday season (and throughout the entire year) to give back to your community?
I would love to hear some of things you all do to help out!