Doing Good, Giving Back

Let’s talk about doing good, giving back.  

First, have you ever acted before thinking? I mean, jumping off the cliff without even thinking about how high that cliff is? Of course! We all have, haven’t we? I want to share two stories of my latest – falling off the cliff.

There is a guy out in British Columbia who came up with a Summit Idea called Do Good and Make Money. 100% of all net profits is donated to two causes. The Impact Igniters Foundation (enabling disadvantaged women and children) and The Entrepreneur Empowerment Institute (all about reversing the failure rate of small businesses across the globe).

I fell in love with the title – Do Good and Make Money – and immediately volunteered to talk about scaling businesses to $10,000,000 and beyond. A quick scramble to get thoughts into a coherent order and boom. Done.

The summit runs from February 1 to February 8. If you have a business owner friend, who is looking for ideas, give them this link. There are more than 70 speakers and panellists, and promises to be crammed with solid goodness. (By the way, I get NO gifts, no fees, no kickbacks for giving you this link. Just the satisfaction that someone in our circle will benefit.)

And then last week

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses released a depressing survey showing nearly 200,000 businesses will likely fold this year. Worse, that will have the distinction of adding 2,000,000 more to the unemployment line. Yowza.

The light bulb went on.

2021, at least here in Canada, will not see a fast end to the pandemic. So the mission for far too many businesses is to Keep the Lights On. And unfortunately, this year, far too many business owners and leaders are locked into a position of fear.

Fear that COVID will take them down. Fear that the government will never focus on getting the right kind of long-term supports in place. Fear that they will never be able to repay the debts they have incurred. Fear that their full customer base may never return. Fear that they will never be able to manage in the new normal – whatever that might be.

FEAR

Is an insidious and powerful emotion – too often presenting as anxiety, massive thoughts of doom and gloom, and extreme personal protectionism. Canadian tolerance for risk has declined over the last twenty or so years. So, it is not an understatement that many business owners are nearing the end of their rope today. And we, Kim and I, want to help – albeit in a small way of doing good.  

February 18, we launch the Keep the Lights On Forum.

In our experience, the best ideas and the best executions come from many. No single person ever has all the answers. And no single person can do everything. Unfortunately, way too many of us have yet to see or experience the logic or benefit of this.

Our goal with the Forum is to provide a safe space for business owners to learn from one another, grab one or two ideas about making it through to the end of 2021 and help each other along the way.

We envision a 2-3 hour session of guided discussions, focusing on sharing ideas that have worked, and presenting opportunities for adapting those ideas to other industries or sectors. This is not a networking session. It is a help a fellow Canuck Keep the Lights On. We envision during the session, many will want/need specific services to accomplish their goals. We also expect that many in attendance can provide those services – at reduced rates to help a fellow Canuck.

This is not about setting up a barter system

This is about opening everyone’s eyes and ears to the possibilities that may exist. Without breaking the bank and with a spirit of giving. All with the hope that in the future, everyone gets.

The basic program is mapped out, the interactive piece is laid in and the media sponsor is onside. This is a chance to escape the business for a few hours, engage in some highly interactive dialogue, doing good for one another, drive mutual enthusiasm levels upwards, change perspectives and essentially have a bunch of Canadians help fellow Canadians. For the express goal of helping everyone Keep the Lights On in 2021.

We want to make entry to the session free. And we want to raise the zoom stakes by using a virtual reality platform. If we charged for admittance, the cost to cover the venue would be a nominal amount. Hey! Do you know of any influential person in a bank, a successful company or an institution that would be interested in supporting a national event for entrepreneurs and business owners? Let me know, please.

Unless something drastic comes along, February 18th is the day. Three weeks to get the first Keep the Lights On Forum up. And if it goes like we think it will, we’ll do one every month for six months.

It’s not a big idea in today’s world. But it is a different idea. And different typically inspires!

Talk about jumping off a cliff, eh?

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