Giving back and being socially conscious is big business. Thanks to the Millennials we can expect that trend to continue upward.
A whopping 81% of Millennials expect their favorite companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship.
Besides the business-side of philanthropy, running a socially conscious business can also make you happy. At the end of the day, this is definitely more important than your bottom line.
Here are seven reasons this thought process will make you happy.
1.You'll meet awesome people.
"When you give to others, one door opens to ten other doors. It's made my circle of friends and acquaintances much more diverse and interesting," said Tom Freston, co-founder of MTV.
Turns out Freston, who is now the Board Chairman of the ONE Campaign, was right. Take volunteering, for example. This single act of generosity connects you to individuals who may be pillars of the community.
This is always a great way of networking while building your company. If you already have a team working with you, volunteering can strengthen those relationships. You can introduce your brand to people who aren't familiar with it, and who don't even know you.
As an added perk, volunteering gives you a chance to practice and develop your social skills. Learning and practicing social skills is important if you want to possess those traits.
2. Giving back improves health.
As a business owner, it's vital that you take care of your health. Running a business can be stressful and so hectic that you may start forgetting the importance you must place on your health.
Getting less sleep, skipping your workout, and consuming unhealthy junk food while on the go can become a bad habit.
Thankfully, giving back has a positive impact on your health.
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Social Science and Medicine found that there was a higher rate of both happiness and health among volunteers.
Another study concluded that "both consistency of volunteering over time and diversity of participation are significantly related to well-being and self-reported health."
3. You'll develop new perspectives and skills.
We often get caught up in the rut of the daily grind. You know how it is. You do the same activities every day and interact with the same people over and over again.
You may even worry about the same things every morning and evening. Being "stuck in a rut" is one of the surefire ways to get burned out and decrease your happiness.
Giving back, however, is an effective way to counter this rut. Volunteering, for example, forces you out of your comfort zone. It gives you the opportunity to develop new perspectives.
You begin to discover new ideas, learn new skills and meet new people. Breaking the debilitating cycle of monotony will increase your health over time.
4. You'll be thanked.
Think about the last time you gave someone a gift? How awesome did you feel and how good did this generosity make you feel?
Generosity and gratitude both have an impact on our emotional health. When we practice them, we're happier, more optimistic, and have a lower risk for depression and anxiety.
Additional research also shows that gift giving reflects how we feel about others. Gift giving has even provided insights into how we maintain relationships. Charity and gratitude can reduce stress and will also help you sleep better at night.
That sounds like a win-win for your professional and personal life to me.
5. It helps heal old wounds.
A study of alcoholics in Alcoholics Anonymous found those who helped others were nearly twice as likely to stay sober. Additionally, their levels of depression decreased too. Experts call this the "wounded healer" principle.
Certainly you are aware that letting go of the past is one of the best ways to become happier. It also frees your mind so that you can focus on building a better future for yourself and your business.
As bestselling author and behavioral scientist Steve Maraboli states perfectly, "Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness."
6. You'll boost self-esteem and personal development.
Know how to boost your self-esteem? Of course you do. Merely being socially conscious can achieve this for you.
For instance, many volunteers experience a greater sense of self-worth. The reason is due to the fact that the person becomes aware that they're making a difference.
Another benefit of volunteering or charity work is that it gives you the chance to uncover your own personal preferences. You'll discover what you do and don't like.
When you understand your strengths and weaknesses it can expose you to a whole new skill and thought process. Information and experience travels back to your business with you. You will use this understanding to make your business better.
If that doesn't make you feel like a champ, I don't know what will!
7. You'll have a blast.
You may have been procrastinating becoming more socially conscious, because you think you won't enjoy it.
You may be afraid that it will be too hard or depressing. A fearful mindset has been proven to be relaxed when volunteering. So rethink these negative thoughts and go seek happiness for you and your business.
There is a sense of camaraderie and fun fostered through these shared experiences. The sheer joy of giving back, means that you and your team will probably have the time of your life!
Don't believe me? Give it a try. The worst that will happen is that you'll become happier. But you will be making the world just a little bit better -- and making your business grow.
How to Make Your Business More Socially Conscious
If you want to become a more socially conscious business, you can easily start by: