Over the years, I've come to realize my standard of giving is what has improved my life far more than my standard of living.
While many entrepreneurs enter the game to build wealth, a name for themselves, and freedom in a life filled with luxury, that shouldn't be the only vision. Once you start making a certain amount of money, your standard of living becomes a finite game. A tipping point hits and you are left to wonder: how much more could you really need? In this moment, you have an excess of wealth to be used elsewhere.
You may read the word "wealth" and immediately think about the number in your bank account, but giving has many faces. You don't need to wait to step into massive financial success to give. In fact, when you begin to help people, the money follows-- always.
If you change your perspective from searching for ways to improve your standard of living to seek out avenues to improve your standard of giving, your overall life will naturally improve.
Here are three ways I have been giving, with or without using financial wealth, that have led me to success in business and in life.
1. Dedicate time to others.
There is one attribute in life that can never be bought or sold. Time. We can all make more money, but no one can whip up extra time. Every person is given the same amount of minutes in the day. What we do with them is what drives our life forward or backward. Understanding the value of this commodity makes offering it more meaningful.
Time is more than just sitting idle next to others. Be fully present in a conversation with someone, and you will leave them feeling inspired. Offer you full attention and energy to a room, and you can change an experience in someone's life. Spend time listening attentively to someone to understand them, and they will feel heard.
2. Offer up your unique skills and knowledge.
More often than not, we give with the intention of solving a problem or improving a situation. While money may be the solution, there are other options worth exploring. It's about being resourceful and looking externally for what you can bring to the table.
As an entrepreneur, building a strong willingness to solve someone's problem will set you apart from the herd. When engaging with others, constantly ask, "How can I help you out?" When you take someone's problem and find a solution for it, you will change their life.
Money can often be a fast track to get somewhere, but walking through the trenches with someone while you guide, mentor, or teach them offers a stable bridge for their future. Offer up what knowledge you have, be by their side while you solve a problem, and both of you will naturally create fulfillment.
3. Share your connections.
The saying your "network is your net worth" couldn't be more true. I recently joined the app Clubhouse and found the natural connections generated from the panels as something I had to be a part of and then share with others.
Instead of keeping your connections to yourself, open your contact list and be a network connector. I was recently in a discussion with my business partner whose friend was moving to Puerto Rico and looking for entrepreneurial business connections. I was able to connect him with a group there upon his arrival. While I have never met this person, our worlds collided and I was able to assist him in a meaningful way.
You don't always have to know what the outcome will be, and sometimes nothing comes from your actions. But If you live life with the attitude of giving, forces will come back to support you in the future.