After I graduated from college, I choose to pursue a career in IT as a web programmer in an educational institution. ’twas quite okay, but the annoyingly fixed schedule, the boredom, and the office politics turned me off. I then decided to take a postgrad study in business, and was kinda expecting to get a job as a consultant.
But lucky for me, I didn’t get the job. Not that I didn’t get offers… I do, but I don’t like what’s offered. You might think that salary is the reason I rejected the offers, but the truth is, it’s more than that: There was something within me that made me feel empty looking at the offers. This has lasted for a couple of months, and I need to make a decision – fast.
I finally realized that entrepreneurship is my game, so I decided to follow around my entrepreneurial relatives as an apprentice. To cut long story short, that decision has led me to plunge myself into small business ownership via franchising (I am small business proud!), and later, online business and lifestyle entrepreneurship in general.
I didn’t find success with my franchising gig, so I have my eyes fixed on lifestyle entrepreneurship.
I’m always intrigued how someone can make millions, running her business from a laptop from anywhere she wants. So, I decided to embark on a journey into the wilderness: I had no mentor, no Internet marketing experience… nothing. Just passion. Let’s say I start my journey without a map.
Through many, many failures, I eventually enjoy some successes. The blog you are reading right now is one of those successes.
But I do have to apologise, because this blog post is not about how I build a successful online business and enjoy a better work-life balance as a lifestyle entrepreneur – those are for the future blog posts (fingers crossed!) Instead, this post is about…
Let me explain.
I have my high and low moments running my online business. Indeed, success doesn’t come easy; in fact, I can’t say that I have achieved success. True, I have reached some milestones, but there are more milestones I want to reach.
I am focused in reaching milestones after milestones, but there is something else that has shaken my focus. Not that I lose my focus, but there is something that requires me to shift my focus – for the greater good.
In the past few months, I have this urge inside my heart; the urge to give back with my time and knowledge to my community. Perhaps it’s influenced by the mentors I follow: They give time, and even monetary investment to spread what they know to the community. They do this without expecting something in return; instead, they feel obliged to give back to the community, in return for the success they have achieved in life.
In Quora, someone asked this question: “I have an enjoyable life doing what I’m doing. I’m happy. So, why I and many others bother to want more, to be richer and wealthier?”
Well, I didn’t know the answer myself. But now I know. True, money can’t buy happiness. However, money can buy opportunities.
The big question is: What kind of opportunities do you buy?
To some, the opportunities come in the form of buying bigger home; traveling the world; buying fast cars; preparing the better future for the kids. Those are not wrong: You reap what you sow. Working hard and becoming successful can give you all that.
But there is one more thing that success, riches, and wealth can offer you: An opportunity to give back, to make the community and those matters most to you better. The more you have, the more you can give.
I’m not only talking about charities; I’m talking about giving others our time and knowledge, so that they can be a better person, more successful and have brighter future; so that, hopefully, they will pass on the knowledge to more people – all for a, hopefully, better world.
I have got the ball rolling. I started out with Quora. Here’s what I do – it’s simple, really: I try to answer the questions asked, especially those related to my line of business.
What do I expect in return or, in the business jargon, what’s the ROI? To be honest with you. I don’t know.
As you can see, Quora is not a marketing platform, so I can’t promote anything inside. I might get some brand exposure because people might want to learn more about me and my business, however.
My only concern right now: I just want to share what I know about running a blog, building an online business, online marketing, SEO, overcoming challenges in life, taking risks, and everything else I have experience in and knowledge about.
I also try to share my 2 cents on other social media platforms, but Quora is a good start, I think. I got some good response from the questions I answer.
So, why I’m doing it, when I don’t know what to get in return?
Just like my mentors, I feel obliged to do it. I don’t know whether my knowledge is enough to help others, but I do know that my experience will, because I’ve been there and done that. I can share my experience so others don’t have to do my trial-and-errors.
Another reason I do it and will keep on doing it is this: It feels good. Why? Because what I know and experienced can help others in one way or another. Let’s just say that feeling good is my reward; my ROI.
As we approach the year’s end, today is the right time for us to reflect upon our personal and business achievements this year. Have we done our best? What could be done better?
Don’t forget to plan for 2015, too! Find answers on these questions: What will I do in 2015 to make my business better? What’s my plan for my personal development? What venture will I try to establish in 2015?
While you’re at it, add a couple of more questions: Have I give back to the community? What’s my plan to give back in 2015?
Here’s your takeaway: Giving back has changed my perspective about entrepreneurship; through some ‘magic’, giving back actually makes you and your business better, even if you don’t expect anything in return. So, just start giving back: It’s your obligation as an entrepreneur.
So, get ready for 2015 and please share how things go with your planning and preparations.
Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Spark Business℠ from Capital One®, but concerns my own opinion. This is the last post in a series of eight.