I volunteer—a lot. And not just by donating time, but also skill. I often volunteer by providing professional services and training to non-profit organizations and individuals. I do it because I enjoy connecting with people in a genuine way. I also find that I consistently come across some of the most interesting and authentic people in the process. I find it rewarding in and of itself. When it comes to traditional volunteer activities, people seem to understand my motivations a little more easily. When it comes to sharing professional resources and time, that’s when I get asked more questions:
- Why would you take all that time to write an ebook and give it away for free?
- Why do you invest so much money to host personal branding workshops that free to attend? You could be charging for those.
- Why do you treat pro bono clients the same way you treat paying ones?
For me, it comes down to doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Without going into ethics, there are a few guiding principles I live by. One: I never want access to be an issue for the things I do. Especially with regard to personal branding and communication, everyone should be able to have access to the information if they want it. I feel it’s a human right. Everyone has a story. They should be able to share it. If there is anyway I can help make that happen, I want to be a part of it. Two: every experience is a learning opportunity. One of the most difficult things I had to overcome in order to deliver my workshops was the feeling that I was not knowledgeable or qualified enough to teach. After all, I’m not trained in teaching. However, by putting a date on the first workshop, I forced myself to be intentional about not only the information, but how to curate and deliver that information. My sincerest hope is that those who took part in the series have gained actionable skills and met some great people in the process.
I truly enjoy what I do. I do it because I find fulfillment in working with ideas and people. I’m all about seeing potential realized. I love sharing stories.