I launched my market research business from a place of desperation and anxiety….also known as unemployment. Now while I had a great understanding of my industry and the need for my services, what I didn’t have was a big budget to reach my target market.
Fast-forward a few months (and they were lean ones) when I received a phone call from the director of the nationally recognized entrepreneur program (which is also held at my church). On the call she informed me that the regular instructor of the program would be unable to teach and that my name had come up to be the replacement.
Cha-ching! ……or so I thought.
Turns out the 7-week program wasn’t a paid job! The passion I have for entrepreneurs made saying yes an easy decision. However, my rational mind wanted to know exactly how I could afford to offer my services for free when the business was barely making ends meet.
In the end my heart won and I accepted. Not only was it the most fulfilling experience I’ve ever had professionally, it also ended up catapulting my once slow income stream exponentially. In fact, so many of the entrepreneurs in that class ended up hiring me afterwards to conduct market research for them that they were responsible for 65% of my income for the year!
So what does this have to do with you?
I’m not suggesting you go out to your local church and start teaching business classes (although that would be cool too), but I am suggesting you look around your community or even within your own business for ways you can give. Not the reach into your pocket and pull out some coins type of giving but the where and with whom can I share my time and expertise kind.
Can you bring on a local college student as an apprentice? Mentor an entry-level employee within your company? Share some tips and best practices with a company that’s new to your industry? You’d be surprised at how giving when it seems completely counterintuitive to do so can be one of the best things you ever do for your business.
By the way: I’m still teaching that class.