My good friend and colleague, Kim Carpenter, came to visit my private mastermind group last Wednesday to talk about how to authentically align your business with a cause you care about, and I felt so inspired that I had to write about it. Kim is also one of the featured speakers on The Client Attraction Video Symposium that starts tomorrow, so you can tap into her brilliance on the topic if you join us there!
When you authentically align your businesses with a cause you care about (and not use it as a PR ploy like some companies do), it causes a quadruple win: win for the cause, win for your clients, win for you, and a win for the world. As conscious entrepreneurs, at the heart of it, you want to change the world for better. This is a way to do that in an exponential manner while truly appealing to your ideal clients in the process. Generosity begets generosity, and your ideal clients will be more drawn to you. Why? Because people hire people they know, trust and like, who they feel can make a significant impact with them. By sharing about your personal connection to a cause you care about, you are allowing your ideal clients to know you better, and, unsurprisingly, like and trust you even more, too. They see what matters to you and feel how much you care, and that is pretty darn attractive.
The cause can be something that feels like a natural connection to your business (this direct connect can make it even more resonant for you and your clients), but as long as you have a strong personal tie to the cause and can share why you care about it, your clients will have a clearer understanding about what you value, what you care about, and what inspires you. When Kim shared her commitment to helping educate girls in third world countries and how that impacts and raises up the entire family and entire village, her core values were popping out at us. I pointed this out to my clients because it was so poignant, and it was such a great illustration of how clearly this would attract clients with a shared value set. In that moment, my clients and I saw the real beauty in sharing our passions with our clients, and how amazingly attractive it is.
I also realized that I had never shared the causes I care about with my own tribe! It never occurred to me to talk about that piece of me with you – mostly because I didn’t want to toot my own horn, but after hearing Kim talk about her passion, I knew I wanted to share mine with you. Let me tell you a little bit about my own journey.
When I was 8 years old, my brother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. His diagnosis had a big impact on our lives – some for the worse, as you can imagine, and, ultimately, some for the better. As you may have heard me say, I have a firm belief that life is perfect, but you don’t always know that at that time. It was a scary and difficult time for my brother, my family and me. Lucky for us, he not only survived but thrived and has a beautiful family and a rich life. His diagnosis and long journey to wellness changed our lives forever. My mother ended up running a local chapter of a support organization for kids with cancer and their families called Candlelighters, and later got a Masters in counseling and became a bereavement counselor. Being my mother’s constant companion, I helped her get ready for meetings and I became an involved volunteer at the young age of 8 and continued on through high school. Not only was I touched by my brother’s journey with cancer, but with dozens and dozens of people in my Candlelighters community. Unfortunately, many of them didn’t recover and lost their lives at young and tender ages. By the time I graduated from high school, I had been to a dozen funerals (maybe even more) and it is part of why I have such a lust for life – because I knew it was a privilege that so many people I knew didn’t get to have anymore (one of my ex-boyfriends refers to me still as “the girl in love with the world”).
That rich experience and my mother’s influence sparked my love and dedication to stewardship and giving back to my community that is part of the fabric of who I am. I’ve now been on four different Board of Directors for non-profits, most recently for four years for The Ceres’ Community Project here in Sonoma County. Ceres makes whole and healing foods for people with life threatening illnesses (mostly cancer) and their families. We also teach teens how to cook whole and healing foods, as well as how to be leaders, and the teens make all of the meals for the families we serve. Not only do the teens help other families, but they learn about healthy eating and how to appreciate healthy food. It has greatly increased the amount of healthy foods they and their families eat (and a lot less junk food, too).
Although I am not on the board now, I still volunteer and Broadviewpreneur has sponsored some of their charity events and continues to donate to them on a monthly basis through their Kale Club program. What I love most about Ceres is the ripple effect that they have in the community. Not only do they support people who need help during such a challenging time of need, they teach young people the importance of stewardship and volunteering, as well as important life skills that will make them healthier and better contributors to our world. I most recently helped them with their Job Readiness Program, helping teach young adults how to write a resume, how to handle tough interview questions and even how to have a good handshake and eye contact. It was really fun and rewarding. When I get to interact with the teens at Ceres, it gives me hope for the future of our world. They inspire me and I am in awe of the emotional intelligence and maturity that they possess. I feel our world will be in good hands in this next generation.
Now you know about one of the causes I am passionate about! I hope you check The Ceres Community Project out, as they have expanded to many other parts of the country. I hope you feel like you know me even more through my sharing, and you are inspired to connect with a cause that aligns with your passions. I’d love to hear about some of the causes you care about and why! Please share!
If this has piqued your interest, I hope you join us for the interview tomorrow with Kim Carpenter. Free replays will run through March 8th, 2015. To sign up, click here.