On Sunday at church we started a series on generosity. While most people assume that means it’s going to be all about money, our Pastor actually kicked it off saying money was going to be a very small portion of it. Rather, that generosity is a mindset, a way of life, not simply about how much you can give financially. It’s about holding your time, talents, and resources loosely. Being willing to extend them to others, instead of feeling entitled to keep them all to yourself.
It was such a good reminder to me of how life-giving it is to be generous and invest in others. To use my gifts and passions, without always getting something in return. I strongly believe it’s healthy and so rewarding for all business owners to find an avenue or two that you give freely of your time and talents – without expecting credit, or getting social media recognition, or trying to get published (in other words, styled shoot collaborations don’t count ;). For me, since that’s photography, I try to find ways each year to give of my service where it’s really needed. Whether that’s helping to meet some of the photographic needs for my church, offering to grab coffee and mentor a new photographer, shoot for a local non-profit, or getting involved with a larger movement like Help-Portrait. I’m not saying you should start working for free all the time, or even give away what you specialize in (I don’t do weddings for free), but finding an avenue that resonates with you, and that you can give of your passion joyfully for a cause bigger than yourself is just so special.
So, as this year has just a couple months left, if that’s not something you’ve thought about or taken part in yet, I’d encourage you to look into a way that you can serve a local need in your community with your gift. It will leave you energized and more inspired to go back to your normal work.
For two really cool national/global photography service opportunities, check out Help-Portrait and The School Sessions. I’ve taken part in local Help-Portrait a few times, and plan to get involved in The School Sessions, as well. They are such practical ways to use this passion to invest directly in others who desperately need it. But you can also reach out directly to local charities or non-profits and find out how you can meet some of their needs!
Here’s to realizing how richly blessed we are, and to extending that blessing to others – both in life, and business.
Happy Tuesday, friends!