Give Back & Grow More

3rd December 2010


Be Inspired


Give Back & Grow More

In a fast paced “dog eat dog” world it is very easy to get absorbed in your own problems, your own goals and aspirations, your own income and your own enjoyment…

Well after all, if you don’t look after ‘Number 1’ … Who will?

I disagree. Whilst you could argue it is good to be independent and take charge of your own destiny, how many times in your life, when you were in a moment of need, have you been genuinely helped by a friend, a family member or even a complete stranger?  In those moments I bet you were very grateful of someone looking after you rather just themselves.

Can you help me?

What is your automatic response to the question “Can you help me?”… I am sure your instantaneous answer is “Yes”. How good does it feel when you have helped others out whether that be with your time, your skills or through a donation?

The Secret of Living is Giving

I have always believed in the phrase “The Secret of Living is Giving” and for a number of years I have donated every month to the RNLI ( a magnificent cause close to my heart given that I am a keen sailor).  As you will have seen from an earlier blog post I took my monthly donations to a new level in September this year by swimming 1.5 miles in Rydal Water to raise money for the RNLI.

The personal sense of achievement of swimming 1.5 miles in open water was of course great.  I am sure you have felt a great sense of achievement when you have set yourself a challenge and achieved it.  I also got something unexpected.  I knew I would feel good about raising money for a charity with personal significance but what I didn’t expect was the sheer rush of energy and feeling of pride and satisfaction that I had raised a good sum of money for a charity whilst achieving a personal goal.  I felt vibrantly alive….and that is when I fully appreciated the phrase “The Secret of Living is Giving”.

I believe that success leaves behind it a trail of clues. Over the last 22 years I have been on that trail and have studied what differentiates the successful from the less that successful.  If we take very successful Entrepreneurs / business people nearly all of them also give back a huge amount to charitable causes.  This is a pattern that has been repeated throughout history.  There is no accident to this.  I believe that it is a crucial part of the formula of success.  We are talking about some of the brightest brains on the planet, incredibly wise and shrewd with money and they have made the considered decision to donate significant amounts of wealth to charitable causes.   In August this year we saw Warren Buffett and Bill Gates encouraging more than 30 US billionaires to give away at least 50 per cent of their wealth to charity.  See .

So not only do you feel good when you give back to others, it appears that giving a percentage of your income/wealth  to charity (many writers advocate donating 10% of your income)is a fundamental part of the formula for your own success.

When you get a strong gut feeling, a feeling of excitement, of pride, a feeling of being vibrantly alive in your own skin….then that is strong feedback that what you are doing is absolutely right for you and you should do more of it.

I decided that I wanted to make raising money for charity a key part of my work.  I also wanted to continue my support for Life Saving charities such as the RNLI.  Continuing the life saving theme I have decided to run a number of events this year in support of the Air Ambulance Charities around the UK, starting with the North West Air Ambulance.  

I am privileged to be in a position to influence and inspire the actions of the Entrepreneurs I work with and what better way, when helping them discover their own success formula to grow their 6 figure businesses into multi 7 figure businesses, than by role modelling “The Secret of Living is Giving”.

The Bigger the Why, The Easier the How

By giving back to others and to charity you are helping a cause bigger than yourself.  It gives you a bigger purpose.  “The bigger the why, the easier the how”. (More on this in a future blog post).  So by pursuing a bigger purpose you will achieve your own goals easier and quicker.  A true win: win. Looking after others whilst looking after ‘Number 1′. Now that is something to feel good about.

22 Responses to Give Back & Grow More

  • Gavin Preston says:

    Craig Sweeney wrote: Gavin, I agree with you on this. Earlier this year Opal encouraged every employee to take a day out of the office to ‘Give something back’ to a charity or community project. The positive effect on staff morale was fantastic and it is scheduled in again for 2011.

  • Gavin Preston says:

    Hi Craig, Thanks for your feedback. It is great to hear the positive impact on morale at Opal from the day out “Giving Something Back”. Doing something like this shifts our focus away from ourselves and activates the best of human nature…the genuine desire to help others. It provides us with some meaning and purpose, something that is all to often lost in the busyness of day to day business.

  • Great blog Gavin, well said. It’s true that we receive more pleasure from giving than from receiving. If you don’t believe me, just watch the faces of your family on Christmas Day.

  • Claire says:

    I have just read ‘The 4 spiritual laws of prosperity’ by Edwene Gaynes which was a gift from Lisa S and the first is about tithing – 10% of all income….

    She focusses on giving to those who provide ‘spiritual food’ as it makes you more aware of where you get it and gives back in a massive way…

    Lisa also says that ‘money is a river not a pond’, which I love – you have to keep it flowing……

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  • Thank you for this post! I am currently fundraising for 10 weeks and it has really been an eye opening experience on people’s thought and feeling on giving!

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