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How to Become an Outrageous Giver

How to Become an Outrageous Giver

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You should become an outrageous giver. An outrageous giver is someone who gives beyond expectations. If you are going to give more than others expect, you should also raise your own personal expectations. Lift your expectations about how much you are going to give both now and into the future. Set your goal to become an outrageous giver.

WHY GIVE?

There are many reasons why you should give money away. The first is that you will make a difference. Giving money away allows you to contribute to the lives of others in a special way. This might be other people, or other organizations. Often you are able to make your money work in a way that is bigger than yourself; to multiply the effort of your money.

Secondly, giving is fun. It is fun to hand money to someone or some organization and to see the joy that you are giving. It is fun to see the smile on faces, or to hear stories of what your money is allowing others to do and achieve. It is satisfying to be making a difference in people’s lives.

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Thirdly giving helps you to be more thankful. As you give money away you are doing so in recognition that you have received good things. You can be thankful for those good things by giving them away. Being thankful is an important step in being happy in life.

Giving also helps you to create an abundance mentality. The act of giving is an acknowledgment that you are ok without the money. If you are giving abundantly, that means that you are confident that you have enough money without it. You are portraying the mindset that money is in abundance. Note that this happens even if you don’t have a lot of money. The act of giving sets your mind to believing that you do; that money is abundant. And if you believe money is abundant you will more likely act in ways that create that abundance.

There is a clear connection that occurs between giving in receiving. The people that give money away tend to receive more back. I don’t think there is some magic reason for this happening, but I do think it works in our psychology. The combination of an abundance mentality and thankfulness puts you in a better attitude and state to attract money and opportunity to yourself.

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HOW TO GIVE?

Get started – No matter whether you earn a lot of money, or very little, you should start giving now. Some people decide to wait until they are making a certain amount of money, or reach a certain age. Almost every time they express regret that they didn’t start giving early. You can make a difference by starting to give money away now. Even students living on very limited incomes benefit by giving money away.

Pick an amount – You should pick an amount that you want to give away. You may want to do this on a weekly basis, or monthly basis. You may choose an annual goal, but if you do be sure to break it down into monthly targets. It is often easiest to start with a percentage of your income. A good place to start is by giving 10% of your income. For some, this may seem like a lot, and yet if you set it up as an automatic gift each month you will hardly notice it. And yet, it will be able to make a significant difference in the lives of others.

Set goals to increase the amount – Once you have chosen how much you will give away to start with, set goals to increase that over time. You may be giving away 10% now, but you may have a goal to increase to 20%, 30% or even more over time. This increase may take many years to meet, but it can be an important motivator as you work towards bigger life goals.

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Be anonymous – In your giving there are really two types of anonymity and both are valuable. One type is where no one knows who it was that gave the money. There is no record of the person giving the money. The only person that knows is you. The other type of anonymity is where you know and it is registered that you gave the money, however it is not made public. The benefit of this is that you receive a tax receipt. For example when I give to my church, they gift is recorded and a tax receipt is issued. Only a couple of people involved in the accounting process know about my gift. It is never announced or acknowledged otherwise. The government offers tax deductions for charitable donations because it is a practice that they want to encourage, and it is good stewardship to take advantage of those tax breaks. If you want, you can turn around and give your tax return away also!

More than money – you don’t need to give just money. You can give away possessions. This might be giving away used clothes to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. It might mean donating something around the house that you don’t use anymore. Someone I know recently donated a drum set that their kids didn’t use any more to a church. You can also donate your time by volunteering. Look for places to contribute with an investment of your time. This can often be extra rewarding as you are connected directly to the work that is taking place.

WHERE TO GIVE?

Support a meaningful cause – you may have a cause that is meaningful to you and that would be a great place to start with giving. Perhaps you lost a family member to diabetes and so supporting diabetes research would be a great place to start. Look for ways to give to that cause. Be sure to find something that is meaningful or passionate.

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Support your local church, synagogue or worship community – if you attend a church, synagogue or similar community you should be involved in supporting it. Not only does it support the ongoing functions of the group itself, but faith organizations often provide an opportunity to pool funds and use them to accomplish things that individual donors would not have been able to do.

Support a microcredit entrepreneur – Microcredit is the issuing of small loans to people in poverty. They then use those loans to create businesses called income generating activities. It may mean purchasing a cow, or buying a sewing machine. This kind of entrepreneurship can play an important roll in poverty alleviation. While this is often done by large organizations, you can contribute as well. Kiva.org partners individual lenders with entrepreneurs in developing countries. You loan a small amount to them, and it is repaid back over the next year. You are then able to take the same money and loan it to another person.

Sponsor a child – There are many organizations that allow you to sponsor a child in a developing country. This can be a very rewarding form of giving. Your funds go to help pay for food, clothing and education for that child. You are able to send and receive letters from your sponsor child providing a hands-on connection to your giving.

Random acts – Look for opportunities to give as part of a random act. This might be giving a gift card for groceries to a neighbor who lost her job or box of diapers to new parents in your community. It might be buying flowers for someone or just giving money when needed. There are lots of opportunities to give as part of a random act.

You now know the why, the how and the where of giving. The next step is up to you. Just get started and you can become and abundant giver.

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Last Updated on October 18, 2018

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

Things go wrong when you run your own business.

Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

  • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
  • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
  • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

The Bottom Line

Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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