I’ll get straight to the point – what you do with your business and your money matters. A year ago, protests against racist policing and in support of Black lives erupted around the country. Today, we can reflect on those moments and think about the impacts they had, like the conviction of Derek Chauvin and the reduction of police budgets in more than 20 major cities, and look to the future to see how we might add to the movement ourselves.
Typically on this blog, I share practical tips related to giving, like how to use money mapping to give back and tips for stepping up for your community as a business owner. Instead, this article approaches the issue from a mindset-centered perspective. Many of us feel discouraged when it comes to thinking about social change. However, it is important for us to stay in touch with the belief that we really can make a difference. Internalizing this is the first step when it comes to making social impact with your business. Here are a couple tips on this subject:
Reclaim Your Power
When world and community issues are displayed to us on the news, they can feel huge and overwhelming. At this point, many of us feel helpless – while we might be able to imagine alternatives a better world, who are we to bring it about? The world’s problems are so big, and we feel very small.
This is where we need to reclaim our power. It’s important to recognize that while you may not be able to Wonder Woman the world’s woes away, you are capable of making a positive difference in the world. You can plant flowers, donate, fundraise, deliver and inspiring speech, cook a delicious meal for hungry people, and so on. Even better, your power is multiplied when you join up with other people who also wish to create positive social change.
Get Clarity On Your Values and Your Money
One thing that might be feeding a sense of powerlessness in your life is a lack of clarity with your values and your money. If you feel strongly about social issues, but your schedule, income goals, and spending plan don’t reflect that, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
If you’d like to have more time to volunteer, or more money to pass on as reparations, think of ways you can incorporate these considerations into your schedule and finances, while still caring for yourself. You are in charge of all of these resources. How would you like to allocate them?
See Yourself In Your Context
If you want to use your business to make positive change but you aren’t sure where to start, look around you. Who is your community? Who surrounds you, locally, in your industry, in your interests and organizations? When you take a look, surely you can start to see creative ways you and your business can help fill a need or brighten a day.
There might be local issues you’re passionate about, and there are likely organizations already doing work to improve the issues who would love your help or expertise. The same goes for your industry or a group you might belong to, like your church.
Remember the Butterfly Effect
The Butterfly Effect dictates that small events have a rippling effect that can cause much larger events to occur. While you may feel that your contribution to the world is small, what you do ripples out. I love this quote from author and activist Grace Lee Boggs, who says, “We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. In this exquisitely connected world, it’s never a question of ‘critical mass.’ It is always about critical connections.”
Next week, we’ll look at some of the more practical aspects of giving when it comes to your finances. For now, I hope these suggestions inspired you and gave you a couple ideas.